Letters of 1916 Workflow 3: adding a letter

This is a repost from the #Letters1916 tumblr for #DayofPH 2017. Hannah Healy describes the next stage of our workflow, adding a letter to Letters of 1916.

contribute | Letters of 1916

A large part of what I do on the letters project revolves around the uploading of new letters. For this process I use a set uploading template (provided on the website) to fill in specific pieces of metadata relating to the letter I am working on. This information varies from personal details about the sender or recipient of the letter to the location or archival institution in which the letter is currently being held. In order to complete this process I go through a step-by-step approach to obtain as much information about the letter and its sender and recipients as I can gather. As I collect this information I input it into the uploading form until I have completed as many fields as possible.

To begin, I start with the information that the letter provides, for example the sender and recipient and the date the letter was written. This information is usually obtained relatively quickly through a quick read-through of the letter. Occasionally, the signature on the letter can be rather difficult to read, when this happens I conduct further research using the address provided or content from the body of the letter in an attempt to decipher its author. While this is not always achievable, through the use of resources such as the digitised 1901 and 1911 census it can be possible to generate a positive result from a search. After the metadata has been filled in and the letter has been assigned one or more themes I write the historical abstract for the letter. This includes a brief synopsis of the letter’s content and biographical information relating to the activities of the author and recipient in the 1916 period. I then proceed to attach and label the relevant images of this letter according to our file-naming system. Once the images have been attached and the metadata checked I submit the letter in accordance with the terms and conditions of our website and the letter is uploaded for public transcription.

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