Transcription Project Home

a page of Merriam's handwritten journal and the corresponding digitally transcribed page
Example Figure: Transcription from a scanned copy of Merriam's handwritten journals to a digital text format makes his work searchable and easy to read.

CHM Journal Transcription Project

The journals of Clinton Hart Merriam contain a wealth of natural, ethnographic, and historical data. We are currently undertaking a project to digitally transcribe the journals so that they can be searchable and easier to read and access. This is being done open-source and non-profit with the intent of aiding research of ethnographic California.

If you would like to get involved with this project, please contact the Museum. Before getting started, you can check out some guidelines below.

You can use the Journal Transcription Forums to post questions, discuss research, and communicate with others in the project. There's also an indexed list of what sections have been transcribed so far. Finished transcriptions can be submitted on the website or through email correspondence.

General Guidelines

  • Indicate the section you are going to do so others can choose to not transcribe the same sections. You can do this on the forums and when requesting the journal scans from the Museum.
  • Retain Merriam’s edits. Merriam's edits in his journals showcase his character and development.
  • Indicate illegible words using ***. There will be some words that will be hard to discern, especially species names, and these can be excluded as necessary.
  • You may indicate and skip species lists. Many species' names are hard to make out and the nomenclature has changed. Therefore transcribing species lists can be tedious and is not the highest priority in this part of the project. Unless you wish to accept the challenge, just indicate where these lists occur by using [LIST FOLLOWS], as seen on the right. 


excerpt of Merriam's journal
-1900 Vol. 1, Page 43
excerpt of Merriam's journal
-1902 Vol. 3, Page 207
excerpt of Merriam's journal
-1902 Vol. 3, Page 208

Peter Crook transcribing CHM journal
Peter Crook, longtime museum volunteer, transcribing Merriam's California Travel Journals