Document Analysis Skills

Applicants for certification are sent a copy of an historical document that relates to the geographic areas and time periods in which they normally work. The document is chosen based on the research background the applicant specified on his or her Preliminary Application Form. Applicants are also asked to submit a document of their own choice and, for each document, to undertake specific tasks set out in full in The BCG Application Guide.

This gives an applicant an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to read, transcribe and abstract handwritten records, analyze their contents, and design an efficient research plan for answering a research question based on clues found in a document.


You can test your transcription and abstracting skills by opening each of the documents provided here, preparing your own transcription and an abstract, and then comparing your work to the samples below.

1836 North Carolina Agreement

1836 North Carolina Agreement – Document
1836 North Carolina Agreement – Transcription
1836 North Carolina Agreement – Abstract

1864 South Carolina Will

1864 South Carolina Will – Document
1864 South Carolina Will – Transcription
1864 South Carolina Will – Abstract

1911 South Carolina Deed

1911 South Carolina Deed – Document
1911 South Carolina Deed – Transcription
1911 South Carolina Deed – Abstract