Reading the Unreadable

Are you researching family history, local history, or the history of a building?
Are you an archive or museum with manuscripts for publication?
Do you have copies of source material but struggle to read it?
Would it all be so much simpler if you had an accurate typed transcript?
We can help!

What we do!

We will accurately transcribe and/or translate your historic documents, records, or manuscripts (e.g. Wills, inventories, indentures, deeds, court records, letters, diaries) in English, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch

Our Experience

Reading original documents from archives, libraries and museums in England, Ireland, Canada, Australia and the USA enables us to decipher and transcribe old documents written in English, from the 15th century onwards.

Our Process

Send us your documents
Send us a high quality image of your documents via email to
Quote & Timeframe
From the image you provide us. We will estimate how long it will take us and provide a quote.
We will Transcribe/Translate your document and send you a copy on Microsoft® Word .docx files or .pdf files via email

What to send us

With your enquiry please send, as email attachment or through a sharing service such as or, a high resolution digital photograph or scanned image for each document.

Do not send any unique original document to TSL except by prior arrangement.  TSL will not be responsible for any loss or damage to originals whilst in the postal service.

For each document where possible please supply a brief description, including:

◊ the name and location of the archive at which the original document is held, with their document description and reference number.

◊ a list of family names and place names believed to be associated with the document.

After reviewing your documents we will get back to you with a quote for transcription or translation as appropriate.

We can accept payment by Sterling bank transfer or by Paypal, whichever is more convenient for you.  We will send the appropriate invoice on completion of the work unless the size of the job requires an initial payment with the balance due on completion.

We will provide

TSL deliver completed work as Microsoft® Word .docx files or .pdf files via email.

If you have an enquiry, a comment, or would like a quote for your document, get in touch!


You will appreciate that the time taken to transcribe a document depends heavily on style and clarity of handwriting, condition of the original and quality of the image provided to us.
Our quotes are based on the length and perceived difficulty of each document, so before we can provide even an estimate, we need to see at least a representative sample of images of the document.
Deciphering and transcription of old documents written in English from any period has a minimum charge of £20
Transcription & Translation
Deciphering, transcription and translation into English of old documents written in Latin, French, Spanish, Italian or Dutch of any period has a minimum charge of £30

Need us to transcribe your documents?