WWI Transcription Project

War diaries are a popular subject for research. The World War One Transcription Project ran from July 2016 to January 2019 and was focused on successfully digitising most of the WW1 soldiers’ diaries, and a portion of WW1 soldiers letters held in the Hocken Archives collection. In total, 72 diaries and other documents were digitised (around 7000 to 8000 pages).

Roberts, Edward Fletcher : Diary (August-November 1915) (MS-0485/019)

Surrogate paper copies have been printed and bound and these are catalogued on Hākena and available for use in the Reading room at Hocken. Having high quality preservation copies available for readers substantially reduces handling damage to the originals, many of which are fragile because of age and repeated handling in the past.

The key role played by a group of volunteers from the Friends of the Hocken Collections was the work to create transcripts in MS Word of some diaries and documents. A total of 16 were completed and donated to the Hocken by the volunteers. These volunteers were: Rosemary Clarkson, Liz Crook, Kathryn Davey, Trish Fleming, Ross Grimmett, Nigel Harwood, Denise Hesson, Rosemary Hudson, Lorraine Isaacs, Dave and Lynne Keen, Phillippa Keaney, Allison McKenzie, Barry Mackenzie, Claire Stevens and Sara Barham. You can read more about their work in an Otago Daily Times article, “Hocken friends create a wartime legacy” (23 April 2017).

Guidelines for standardised transcription of hand written documents were developed with feedback from the volunteer group. The guidelines can be re-used for future transcription projects.

Completed transcriptions held at the Hocken:

TR#TitleEraPreservation copy
TR-082Transcript of Jeffery, Minnie : War diaries volume 1, pp.1-1561915-1916PC-0310
TR-083Transcript of Jeffery, Minnie : War diaries volume 2, pp.157-2251916-1917PC-0311
TR-084Transcript of Weir, Daniel : Letters from World War I (Misc-MS-2148)1916-1918PC-0853
TR-085Transcript of Jeffrey, J. G., Lieutenant : Transcripts of letters from Lieutenant J.G. Jeffrey (MS-1243/010)1915none available
TR-086Transcript of Paulin, Thomas Gerald : Diary (AG-777/01)1917PC-0714
TR-087Transcript of Cargill, Arthur W. : Diary (Misc-MS-0636/001)1914-1915PC-0862
TR-088Transcript of Cargill, Arthur W. : Diary (Misc-MS-0636/002)1915PC-0863
TR-089Transcript of Jackson, James Gardner : Diary (AG-577/001)1914PC-0236
TR-090Transcript of Jackson, James Gardner : Diary (AG-577/002)1915PC-0237
TR-091Transcript of Paulin, Thomas Gerald : Diary (AG-777/02)1917-1918PC-0715
TR-092Transcript of Cloughley, George : War diary of George Cloughley (MS-4395/001)1914-1916PC-876
TR-093Transcript of Falconer, Alexander Smith : War diary (MS-0804/001)1914-1915PC-0880
TR-094Transcript of Allen, John Hugh : World War I diary (MS-0139/B)1915PC-0318, PC-0319
TR-095Transcript of Falconer, Alexander Smith : War diary (MS-0804/002)1915PC-0881
TR-096Transcript of Lawless, James Henry : Diary (MS-1640/001)1915-1920PC-0859
TR-097Transcript of Roberts, Edward Fletcher : Diary (August-November 1915) (MS-0485/019)1915PC-0893

The project was initiated in 2016. Related projects in other places included:

Measuring the ANZACs – The Measuring the ANZACs project brings together an international team of researchers, community connections around New Zealand’s military history from the Auckland War Memorial Museum, and the power of the Zooniverse community to explore, analyze, and digitize original World War I personnel files. It is building on work done by Archives New Zealand

Online Cenotaph – Auckland Museum

World War One Diaries – State Library of New South Wales

Discover World War One 1914-1918