The Friends’ World War One transcription project is under way. The project is focusing on the transcription of World War One diaries, as well as other archival materials of that era. We’ve got around a dozen volunteer transcribers so far. Some are already members of Friends of the Hocken Collections, and others are joining up.
At the first transcribers’ meeting, Anna Blackman, the Hocken Collections Curator of Archives & Manuscripts, had selected a range of candidates for transcription – diaries, letters and other materials. 3 examples of documents and writers are: “Donald Baxter, conscientious objector, Waiheria Reformatory”, “Beaumont, letter on wood, Gallipoli, France” and “Roberts, Edward Fletcher”.
Anna also provided to the group an excellent guidance document about transcribing. It includes, for example, how best to decipher handwriting and ways to ensure that the transcription duplicates, as accurately as possible, the text on a page.
Transcribing can be done (within reason!) wherever there is access to a PC, laptop or tablet. Sometimes, of course, there could be an advantage in working at the Hocken itself, with experienced interpreters of century- ago handwriting available.
Our aim is to have completed and digitised transcriptions to share via the media in a year or so from now. For example, at the time of the Passchendaele Centenary in October 2017.