As you may know, we have been setting up the digital space for our remote volunteers to begin transcribing the compensation registers in our collection. We have been using the marvelous ‘WOVeN’ system. WOVeN is a database created by the Warwickshire Bytes team, which is going to be used for future remote volunteering projects, including Mining the Seams. So far (fingers crossed), our spreadsheets and images have slotted into the system nicely!
We are trying to make our project as user friendly as possible, so we have made a few guides to explain as much as we can. Beck has made a series of written guides, which give detailed instructions about how to begin transcribing. Laura and Katie have made some snazzy video guides (complete with inspirational music!) that show screen recordings and live views of how the database works.
Our first volunteers
Beck and Katie have spent some of their time testing the spreadsheets to iron out any flaws, with a helping hand from Phoebe, a History student placement from the University of Warwick. After a few inevitable hiccups, the transcribing of the Mining Compensation Registers is well underway. In the first fortnight, we have recruited 12 volunteers and the emails are still coming in!
As we are now recruiting, here are a couple of little incentives to get involved:
- Coffee and Cake. We are planning on holding a cake and coffee social for our remote volunteers and anyone interested in potentially signing up. It will be Monday 24th February at 2:00-4:00pm. We will be getting out some of the interesting documents from the project for you to have a nosey at, as well as a chance to meet the team and other volunteers.
- Keyrings. Beck and Katie have been working on some keyrings, which feature the much-awaited arrival of the Mining the Seams logo, to celebrate your involvement with the project!
What else have we been up to?
Aside from setting up the remote volunteering, we’ve all been working hard behind the scenes. Katie and Beck have been tirelessly indexing disputes files and accident report forms. Many of these files are too recent to release to the public, but this database will help our Compliance Officer locate records when they’re requested for legitimate reasons (for example, if someone would like to see records relating to themselves). We’ve indexed over 200 folders and found nearly 12,000 names so far.
Laura’s cataloguing has moved on apace. After some boxes that were almost bursting at the seams with paperwork, she’s reached some nice simple volumes to catalogue. We’ve all been dealing with poorly packaged files, pages that are scrunched up and torn round the edges, and some records affected by water damage. We’ve repackaged them in new archival quality folders and brass paperclips, which should help protect them.
Also, since our last blog post the logo has landed! We designed it ourselves and are pretty proud of it. The idea of the design was to reflect the way that we are ‘mining the seams’ of the documents held here, and shining light on records that have been buried. Let us know what you think!
The January Highlights Reel
- Getting our first volunteers! We’ve been buzzing ever since that first email. Here’s to many more…
- Some beautiful doodles found in the documents – a tiny goose and a pun about knitting and unions!
- Finishing the disbinding and cleaning of the compensation registers.
- Reaching book four of Harry Potter. Harry is preparing to face his first challenge. Looks like we’ll finish the series soon and we’re going to need a new audiobook to listen to. Any recommendations?