Consulting, Transcription, and Translation
Since I began transcribing colonial-era Spanish documents in 2009, I have had a passion for making previously illegible stories of the past accessible. I find the process of solving the puzzle of difficult or degraded handwriting, along with the joy of discovery, intoxicating. With ten years of practice, I have become a capable paleographer, translator, and researcher, and I am sharing my talents with clients.
I am well-prepared to help with transcription, translation, and research. I was trained as a paleographer by Michael Francis, the current instructor for the Huntington Library's famous Mellon Summer Institute in Spanish Paleography who has taught hundreds of undergraduates and graduate students how to read 16th century Spanish documents. I started conducting in-person archival research in Spain in 2010, and since then have worked in multiple archives across Spain, the United States, Mexico, Italy, and the Canary Islands. I am the co-author of a user's guide to PARES, Spain's clearinghouse for archival documents and finding aids in their national archives. My most recent article, based primarily on 16th century sources I transcribed, won the 2018 Conference on Latin American History Tibesar Prize, marking it as one of the three best articles in my field in 2017. I have worked on everything from maps to musical manuscripts to dictionaries. I have also taught paleography to dozens of anthropologists and historians at Penn State over the last seven years, both in person and via Skype.
I currently offer the following services:
I have transcribed documents ranging from the 14th century to the 19th, and specialize in especially difficult documents that often stump other scholars, but I am interested in working on any period. Depending on your needs, I can offer an extremely faithful transcription or something more readable to modern audiences. See the example below for a range of possibilities.
In addition to my technical skills in paleography, I am a capable translator of the documents I transcribe. In the translations I do for my own work, I favor accessibility and clarity, while still remaining faithful to the spirit of the text. I am also happy to do more precise and direct translations for archaeologists or other professionals with different needs. The sample below comes from a personal memoir I used in writing my article and is in a more literary style.
Consulting, Research Preparation, and Instruction
As a result of my own research, and of writing the PARES guide, I have become particularly skilled at tracking down documents in the Spanish system and finding out if they are digitized or not. I have also learned how to find potentially useful sections of the archive that are not easily brought up by using the search functionality. I would be happy to help you track down digitized documents or to find materials you may be interested in as you prepare to go to Spain.
I would also be happy to check your transcriptions, or to offer one-on-one paleography instruction via Skype if you are interested.
For enquiries and estimates, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Transcription and Translation