How we get things done: the transcription workflow

Once items are added to DataScribe and the datasets are ready for transcription, the transcription workflow begins. The project owner can assign users one of two roles: reviewer or transcriber. Reviewers can edit all records and items, regardless of the item’s status. For Bills of Mortality, Reviewers include the staff members on the project and our Digital History Research Assistants. Transcribers can only edit records and items which are locked to them. The Bills of Mortality transcription team is made up of undergraduate and graduate students. The Bills of Mortality transcription process starts with a Reviewer assigning items to the transcribers. Each item in DataScribe begins as an unlocked and new item in a dataset. When the Reviewer opens the dataset, they use filters to find these unlocked items and then assign them to individual members of the transcription team. The batch action dropdown menu […]

A Parish By Any Other Name

The Bill of Mortality from Christmas week in 1664 reports that three people died in the parish of St Foster. But fifty years later, there were happily no Christmas deaths in the parish of St Vedast—or rather, the parish of “St Vedast alias Foster.” Because the parish of St Vedast is the parish of St Foster. Welcome to the complex world of early modern parish names. Given that our sources were published over the course of centuries, it’s hardly surprising that the names of some of the parishes in the bills changed over time. It does, however, present a bit of a challenge for our project since transcribers must be able to match the names in the bills to the names on the transcription form. And even if we were to change the names on the transcription form to accommodate changing parish names, analyzing bills […]