Key Transcription Rules

To make my system work, it is important that we have some rules for the operation our syndicate. This document is aimed at us all doing things the same way. This will keep our results consistent. Any questions please ask me. Any suggestion regarding additions to this section are welcome.

Rule One.

You must type what you see. Do not try to fix things. For Districts in particular do NOT select from the drop down list any variation, use only what is on the scan. On some occasions the districts will have what appears to be the wrong number allocated, you must still type what you see. The FreeBMD checking process will identify all such anomalies.

Rule Two

If you cannot read it "For Sure" then follow the approach detailed below.

Uncertain character format:

Rule Three

All characters and numbers must be typed as seen including ","  with one exception and that is when the comma is between the Surname and given names.

"." should be typed only where they are present. (A period is used with initials on some but not all occasions) Districts are inconsistent e.g. ( W. Ham and W Ham).  In some cases a period will be found following the Volume number or age. These should not be included.

Rule Four

When entering  Surnames please always use capitals even if the scan being transcribed has only the first letter as a capital. The remainder of the data should be entered as on the scan.

Rule Five

When a scan has been fully transcribed the last entry must be  +PAGE,nnnn  entered in the Surname field.   'nnnn' is the scan number as entered at the start plus one. To enter this follow the instructions below.

SpeedBMD: In the surname box enter +PAGE; (Note the semicolon)  Press the tab key twice followed by the escape key twice. This will save the file with the correct page number.

WinBMD: Enter +PAGE,nnnn where 'nnnn' is the scan number plus one. Save the file in the usual way

MacBMD: After typing the last entry on the scan, click the page button and enter the scan number as entered at the start plus one. Note that  '+PAGE,'  is entered automatically.  This description is thanks to Nancy Campbell.

Rule Six

If the scan has an alternative name in one of the fields, the following action needs to be taken.

How do I handle alternative names e.g. "BONUS alias CHAPMAN" or "BONUS or CHAPMAN"?

If the alternative name is the surname, check, if you can, to see if it also appears in the index, i.e. is there an entry for CHAPMAN.

If so, just transcribe the first name, that is BONUS... and add a line after: #COMMENT(2) Surname has alternative name CHAPMAN

If it is not the surname (i.e. it is the given name, spouse or mother`s name) or there is no entry for CHAPMAN, transcribe both names using 2 lines (repeating all the information such as forename, district, etc.), that is

...BONUS... ... CHAPMAN... and add a comment after the first line so that you have:




where XXX is the word ‘alias’ or the word ‘or’ as appears in the original text and YYY is replaced by the fieldname, i.e. surname, given name, spouse name or mother`s name as appropriate.

If there are more than two names, enter one record for each and put in one comment covering all the names, e.g. #COMMENT(3) after the first of three entries. Please note that the bracketed number must follow the #COMMENT without a space, thus for example : #COMMENT(2)

Rule Seven

Some scans have patches of black where the data cannot be read. If you are able to confirm the number of unreadable entries then they should be entered as asterisks, in accordance with rule two above. If not, then when you reach the point where the entries cannot be read add a line '+BREAK'. If no further entries can be read following this point then the transcription is complete. Do NOT add the usual +PAGE,nnnn entry. If you are able to read more entries following the black area, continue in the usual way and add the final +PAGE,nnnn entry

Please note that if a file ends with +BREAK, you will get a warning message when you upload the file. This should be ignored.

Updated on 26th April 2014.

First Created on 5 March 2001

Copyright © 2001-2014, B.M.Smart

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