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Frequently Asked Questions

We're grateful for all the help we can get in making these documents easier to use. By volunteering to transcribe, you become part of a team of people working on the documents.

Will I be the only person working on a document?

In theory, anyone can work on any document at any time. In practice, we know that people prefer to start on a new document and work on that. As soon as you begin transcribing, we recommend you save your work. This signals to other transcribers that work on it has started. They are likely to choose another document to work on then.

What if I lose my work?

You should save your work often as you go along to be sure that you don't lose it, but you can go back in and edit it as many times as you like.

What if I make a mistake?

There is a review process for all documents transcribed, so don't worry if you make mistakes or aren't sure of a word.

What if I'm just not sure what something says?

The nature of the handwriting means that some words will always be impossible to decipher or will just be a best guess.

What if there are notes in the margin or the page  is in columns?

If this happens, please use the 'discussions/notes' box to tell us how you have appraoched it. Usually the best idea is to write all the main text, or the first column, as if it were one page. use square brackets [] to make a note that this is [text for column two] or to record in the text [margin note recorded below] etc. Then just transcribe text as you feel it will make most sense.

What if one column records figures?

If the second comun needs to be read alongside the first to make sense please just treat it as though it's on one line. The main thing is that text is clear and will make sense to anyone reading the transcription.

What do I do when I've finished transcribing?

Once you are happy that the transcript is complete, just make a note saying so in the 'discussion/notes' box. When you have done so, it will be picked up by a team of reviewers. These are also volunteers. Often they are local historians who are familiar with the documents and have used the originals in their research. They will read your transcript and any comments you have made. Once they are happy with it, the document will be locked for editing, which means no one else can transcribe it.

What if I start a document and can't finish it?

As long as you save your work regularly, it won't be lost. If you are no longer able to help with the project, someone else can pick up your work at a later stage and complete the transcription.

What if I want to edit a document that is locked?

A team of reviewers will check and lock the documents ready to export to People's Collection Wales. Whole volumes may also be locked ready for review. This reduces the risk of malicious damage to volunteer work: although we can always retrieve previous edits, it is time consuming to do so and simpler to lock work that you have signed off as complete. If you want to go back to work on a locked document, contact Sarah or Rachael (see below)

How do I contact you with questions?

If you have any other questions or would like to discuss something, please contact enquiries@gwentarchives.gov.uk or cynefin@llgc.org.uk