FreeBMDFreeBMD Transcribing Scanned Source

What Do I need to know before I start transcribing?

Transcribing from the scanned images is very similar to transcribing from the original film, and there are just a few administrative points that you need to be aware of. If you are new to transcribing you might want to read Information for New Transcribers first. Experienced and new transcribers may like to take advantage of some hints and tips which will enable you to make the most of the scanned images.

  1. Please register with a Scan syndicate before starting to transcribe from the scans.
  2. Only transcribe the pages allocated to you. If you do other pages you are simply duplicating somebody else's effort.
  3. Read and understand the file naming conventions.
  4. Report any pages which are badly or incorrectly scanned to the Syndicate Coordinator without delay. Re-scan requests are managed using a spreadsheet which can be viewed to determine the progress of a request.
  5. Contact your syndicate coordinator if you need any further assistance.

Scans can be downloaded from the following links:

Scans are provided ONLY for transcription purposes. Downloads are monitored, and excessive usage will result in access being withdrawn.


Header Details and File Naming Conventions

Header Details

Source Files

Data Files

Transcribers are recommended to use WinBMD.

SpeedBMD version 1.9 or higher is also suitable, but it is limited to an <8 character>.<3 character> filename naming convention since it is a DOS program.

Hints on getting the best from the scanned images

If you have any more suggestions Email me

Information for New Transcribers (FAQ)

The items listed below are the questions I am most often asked. If you have additional points which you think should be here Email me
What software do I need to use the download the scans? Your ordinary internet browser, and possibly a graphics package capable of reading GIF, JPEG or TIFF files (Microsoft Imager for example). See the Hints and Tips for information about the sort of features your graphics package should have.
How big are the images? Obviously the images vary in size, but most are about 100-200 kb in size.
What software do I need to transcribe the data? You don't actually need any special software, you can just key the data into a text editor. We strongly recommend that you download SpeedBMD (by Peter Cox) or WinBMD (by Ian Brooke), which are both free programs to speed up the job. And there is also another free program called BMDVerify (by David Lang) which is useful for checking.
How do I get my first allocation? When you register with the syndicate, you will be allocated a page to transcribe and upload.
How do I get more allocations? Your coordinator will tell you how to get more allocations when he sends you your first allocation.
How do I access the scans? Click on the appropriate alphabetic range in the scan table or follow the instructions given by your co-ordinator.
What about entries that are hard to read? If you have difficulty in reading some entries, you should read the information about representing uncertain characters on the Beginner's Help page. If you are transcribing from handwritten material, you may also find the page about reading Victorian handwriting useful.
What do I call my file? See the information above concerning the naming of Data files.
What do I do with my file once I've transcribed it? Upload it to FreeBMD via the File Management Screen. Help on this process can be found in the Beginner's Help page.

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