Hello all GB1900 volunteers.
Welcome to the second edition of our newsletter and a particularly warm welcome to our new volunteers on the project. GB1900 has been making good progress since the last newsletter, and increasingly the challenge is being able to find the small areas without transcriptions which need to be filled in, adding confirmations and making sure everything in a particular area is properly finished off. As always, the main site is at:
and the support site, with various resources to help you, is at:
Please use the monthly snapshots on the National Library of Scotland web site to see where work is most needed; this now uses historical maps at different zoom levels to help you orientate yourself:
• We are now aiming to include two maps from each snapshot, one showing “all names”. That shows that the biggest gaps, where no names have been transcribed, are in the north of Scotland. There are also gaps in central Devon, and parts of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
• The other map shows “1 name only”, so these are the areas where a lot of confirming is needed. In particular, there are many place names in Wales which were transcribed by the original Cymru1900 project which have never been confirmed, because the original software did not encourage it.
• For more detailed suggestions of areas to work on, if you have finished the areas of particular interest to you, the support site now has a list of suggested locations, randomly selected from across the country:
• We hope that volunteers will start working to fill these large gaps in Scotland and Wales, even if you don’t have personal connections with these areas — we need to finish off the whole of Britain. However, first please make sure “your” area or areas are really complete. One tip is to zoom out a little from your normal view as there are many parish names that are not yet transcribed when the rest of the names in that area are done. This is simply because they are in significantly larger font than other names in the same area on the map, and at a normal magnification the whole name may not even fit on the screen.
Working on Gaelic and Welsh Names
Asking you to work on Wales and the north of Scotland means we need you to work on names which are in Welsh and Gaelic. This still means typing the exact set of characters which appear on the map, but you may need to take a little extra care with names in another language. Many of these names include accented characters, mainly on vowels. GB1900 does let you include these in your transcription, by clicking on the relevant character in the row below the box you type the name into — we had to keep them quite small so that the transcription form did not hide too much of the map, so you may need to experiment a little to get the right character. Welsh accented characters appear in alphabetical order on the left of the row, with additional accents needed for Scottish names added on the right.
We know we do not have upper case versions of the accented character buttons, but all accented characters required for Welsh and Gaelic place names should have a lower case button. If you input the characters using the lower case buttons, when we come to cleaning the names we will check whether the rest of the word is in capitals or it is the first letter of a name and convert them to upper case as necessary.
Lastly, we are including in this mailing the original contributors to the Cymru1900 project, as we hope that some of them will be interested in seeing coverage of Wales finalised during 2017 — and they will be more familiar with those Welsh names. It is maybe worth emphasising that GB1900 is not just a place-names project: it is also gathering important information on past environments — “Liable to flooding” — and human activities, like all those old mining sites. If they have not used GB1900 at all, they will find that their existing log-ins and passwords still work, the mapping from the National Library of Scotland is easier to read, and the software is basically the same but has been revised to make the need for “confirmations” clearer: click on green pins, and if the name you type in matches the existing transcription the pin changes to purple, or otherwise to brown; pins you yourself created will already be brown, and you cannot confirm pins you created.
Thank-you for your continued support.
Paula & the GB1900 Project Team