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Update on the project

Thank you for joining us on our Beta test

In the last issue we let you know about the Beta test we had coming up. In order to become an official Zooniverse project we need to pass Zooniverse’s review process – called a Beta Test. Zooniverse volunteers test out our transcription task and the project to see if it works and is easy to use.

For just over one week this month, Zooniverse invited a select number of their users worldwide to test our project and give feedback on it. We also put the invite out to you, our existing volunteers. We received lots of interesting feedback and constructive comments from the testing.
As a result, we’re working to improve information in our Tutorial, Field Guide, and elsewhere on the site, so that we can provide more comprehensive information to you about the records and the best way to approach the transcription process.

It’s been really good for Molly and I to be able to take time to reflect on how things are working and where we’re at with the project. Thanks to those of you who took part, we really appreciate you taking the time to feed back.

Transcribing and viewing Petition Letters

The transcription of the Petition Letters has been continuing at a great pace this month. If you have been transcribing them, you will have noticed that while each letter may include multiple parts or pages, they come through on Zooniverse as stand-alone items.
The Zooniverse platform doesn’t offer the functionality to group record pages together, but some of our lovely volunteers have been working hard to gather these together into Collections, which is extremely helpful. You can read more about these in Stories from the Talk board below.

Looking beyond the Zooniverse transcribing, once we launch the database with these records and transcriptions on our website, all the pages from the same letter will be able to be grouped together, making the content easily accessible and searchable. This will offer even greater research opportunities for people based all over the world.
As an Archivist, it’s really exciting to be involved in a project that is increasing accessibility to archives at this level, and to be connecting with people who have such a wide variety of reasons for engaging with the records. So do keep letting us know your findings, the things that are resonating with you and what captures your attention!

– Jo, Project Archivist

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* Each page is completed once it has been transcribed three separate times. It’s then compiled together into a final transcription, to ensure best quality.