State Wants Help Deciphering Old, Hand-Written Documents

Dec 28, 2020

The State Archives of North Carolina is looking for help in transcribing hundreds of old records with handwriting that one expert described as “colonial chicken scratch.” The Virginian-Pilot reported last week that some of the documents are 300 years old. The state has put the records on a website called Transcribe NC. Volunteers can take a stab at deciphering what they say. The documents are written in an outdated style with large swirls and long tails. The site offers a tutorial on how to decode the writings. Many of the documents are court records from before the Revolutionary War. There are also Slave trade documents as well as treaties with Native Americans.