The impetus behind this project is the idea that there is a better approach to putting certain types of archival sources online than merely photographing them and making the images available. For some types of sources like ship’s logs, certain types of standard reports, it is much more difficult to analyze a large number of document as a whole than it is for letters, orders, or other prose-centric documents. This project involves transcribing ADM 8, (Admiralty List Books), putting the data into a relational database, which can be accessed through an open-access user interface. This will allow researchers to access individual data points about officers and ships, view whole reports, but also query the entire database, ask questions that are not otherwise possible.
The project has already gone live, albeit with only four reports transcribed and uploaded. The current phase of the project involves ADM 8 volumes 1 and 2, which together consist of approximately 360 photographs, 720 pages total, for approximately 150-180 individual reports and documents spanning July 1673 to March 1692. These documents include deployment lists, wage lists, list of the fleet, officer lists, and other documents detailing the Royal Navy.
We are looking for volunteers to help transcribe these reports into spreadsheets (.csv files), which will then be used to upload the information into the server. We will provide volunteers with the images, and also with example of the spreadsheets and all the necessary resources and instructions.
All Volunteers will be thanked publicly on www.globalmaritimehistory.com, and Program Coordinator would be happy to write reference letters etc. for volunteers.
Dr Samuel McLean, Project Coordinator