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Typing Fast

You want to be master of the keyboard? Type at least as fast a stenographer? Well, unfortunately, its all about practice, practice, practice. And that is where we can help each other, we can provide you with the motivation.


The Letter Repository contains thousands of letters from normal every day people of the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s all the way to the end of the second world war. Imagine one belongs to your grandfather, your great grandmother or other ancestor and how delighted you would be to find it online. Well that is the experience we are trying to bring to people.

Unfortunately computers can't read handwritten text. And we need people like you, to transcribe them so that the contents becomes sharable on the internet, i.e. searchable by the major search engines. So we ask for your help to help us digitalise history.

Most of the un-transcribed letters have not be read prior. In some cases you will be the first one to read them in a couple of hundred years. You are in a way an explorer. Sometimes you'll be rewarded with a beautiful handwritten love letter or the letter from a soldier engaged in a famous battle or war. Other times the language can be vulgar and graphic. This site is not for the faint hearted but it can be something truly gripping.


Below you will find links to some un-transcribed letters. In the top right corner of the text area, just underneath the image of the letter itself is an 'Edit' link button. By clicking this you will be taken to a page which allows you transcribe the letter. Open the image of the letter and position it on your computer screen so that you can see both the letter and the transcription box and away you go.

Depending on your comfort with the keyboard it can be a good idea to turn the lights off. This will stop you looking at the keyboard and instead will force you to transcribe by looking at the screen only. This is the best way to type.

More letters are available on our interactive transcribers page here

PS: If you discover a particularly interesting letter, practice typing further by droping us an email. We always love our visitors comments.