I have just put a new version of the WCP's transcription protocol up on the Transcription page of this website - click on the following link if you want to download it: http://wallaceletters.info/sites/wallaceletters.info/files/WCP_Transcription_Protocol.Version_6_0.pdf The protocol was revised with helpful suggestions from Charles Smith, Anna Mayer, John van Wyhe, Caroline Catchpole and Efram Sera-Shriar.
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The Wallace Correspondence Project is looking for dedicated volunteers to help us transcribe letters written by Wallace, as well as letters sent to him from his many correspondents. Ideally we would like volunteers who already have experience of transcribing (sometimes difficult) Victorian handwriting, but enthusiasm and persistence are more important, and we will provide a palaeography guide!
On Wednesday 2nd November I attended the Darwin Lecture 2011, an annual lecture jointly organised by the Society of Medicine and the Linnean Society. The Lecture, held at the Royal Society of Medicine was given by Sir David Attenborough and was entitled 'Alfred Russel Wallace and the Birds of Paradise'.
Hi, my name is Caroline and I'm the new Project Archivist for the Wallace Correspondence Project. I've been in post now for 4 weeks and have been very busy getting up to speed on the progress of the project thus far. I've begun contacting repositories who hold Wallace correspondence and will be starting to catalogue the letters onto our project database soon.
READ THIS - IT COULD SAVE YOU A LOT OF TIME!
Several hundred letters to and from Wallace have so far been transcribed by students from Harvard University and others. The transcripts are currently saved as separate MS Word 2003 documents, although ultimately we will probably convert them to a non-proprietary format.
A News article which promotes the WCP and encourages people to report any Wallace correspondence held in 'obscure' collections to us, has just been published on the Natural History Museum's website. It is entitled "Missing Wallace-Darwin letters search is on" and it can be read here:- http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2011/august/missing-wallace-darwin-letters-search-is-on102142.html
After about a year of discussing and exploring a variety of different options, ARW's grandsons John and Dick, and myself, George Beccaloni, finally decided how to manage the copyright of ARW's unpublished works (such as his letters and notebooks). This is important to the Wallace Correspondence Project and to all others who would like to publish transcripts, images etc of these manuscripts. On Sunday July 31st 2011 I met up with John and Dick in Lymington and the three of us signed a legal contract in which we agreed the following:-
As mentioned in an earlier post, our project Archivist, Anna Mayer, unfortunately had to leave the project. We re-advertised the position and had 72 applicants for the job, five of whom we interviewed on Monday. We are very pleased to announce that we offered the position to Caroline Catchpole, who is at present coming to the end of a contract as Project Record Officer in the Archives and Information Management team at King's College, London.
The Harvard interns (mentioned in previous posts) finished the work they were doing for the WCP last Friday. I have now had a chance to look at what they did and to draw some interesting conclusions for the WCP from it.
First some facts and figures: The students worked for the WCP 6 hour day for 10 days. Five of them transcribed letters and they managed to transcribe a total of 202 of these, which had a combined total of 766 pages. These letters took 300 person-hours to transcribe, so were transcribed at a rate of 0.67 letters per hour, or 2.55 pages per hour.