The Leicestershire project is run by one person me! There is a Helper's list, to ask questions, get answers and to receive advice of changes to the software and so on. There is also a 'chat' list for more frivolous subjects. In the first instance, it will be easier for you to address any questions to me. Technical questions will be answered by an executive member via the Helper's list. You will be given instructions on how to subscribe to these lists.
The task is to deliver up to the project transcribed, checked and validated census returns. You are entering the first stage, transcription. Someone else will check your work when you have finished it. There is no time limit, other than the two year loan period imposed by the LDS. However, it is obvious that if it takes 18 months to transcribe a piece, there is not much time left for the other two stages. The 1861 project differs in that the LDS is not involved with the loan of the CDs.
Each Fiche/CD can consist of up to 100 pages. However, up to one third of those pages will contain little or no data to be transcribed. How you do it is up to you. You can transcribe direct into the software or to paper (a suitable form comes with the software) or into spreadsheets. Use of a two-step approach may help to resolve problems involving personal and place names if you do half a dozen or more pages before inputting.
Each fiche/CD contains a mass of data. Each fiche/CD set is a 'piece' which has a number. The 1891 returns are classified as RG12, 1861 as RG9, piece numbers are 4 digits long and found in the top right corner of each fiche or on the label of the CD. Each Piece has two place names; the registration district and sub district. There is also an LDS film number of no interest to us once we have got the fiche/CD.
Each page has a page number, printed top right for odd numbered pages and top left for even numbered pages. There is also a folio number, stamped top right, usually outside the page margins. These folio numbers are stamped on every other page, If the folio numbers are missing or impossible to read, move on, find one and extrapolate backwards. The enumeration district number is at the beginning of each round. If it isn't, move through the fiche till one is found and work backwards again. Take the time to read the enumerator's round - it is often better written than the actual returns.
You must transcribe "as is". We do not transcribe all the data from the top edge of the page, for reasons to do with the software. The ecclesiastical parish is entered by the checker. Don't linger too long over something difficult. Give it your best shot, flag it up as a query, and if necessary, leave a note for the checker.
If you are struggling with the handwriting, please don't give up. Give each line your best shot, but have a line for each entry. Remember that every 20 or so pages, the enumerator will change, and so may your luck. Remember also, that behind you will come a checker and the validator.
Please, please, work through the tutorial (if using INCENS), read the Help file and the FAQ, and do a few households in the Test mode. It will pay off, because most questions that are asked are already answered in the Help file or the FAQ. You will be asked to input a software ID (if you are using INCENS) - just follow the instructions. This is NOT your county ID.
You will be sent a link to access the 'manual' for the project, please read this and keep it handy at all times. Many initial queries could quickly and easily be answered by reading the manual. For all other queries there are the Helpers Lists.
Please keep in touch with your organisers. Use the county ID in the subject line. When you finish the task, report in and ask for instructions.
REMEMBER, this is supposed to be fun as well as worthy!!!!