Proposal for Transcript Management



For our purposes, a transcript is an ordinary wiki page (or collection of pages) that is specialized to host a hyper-linked copy of source material. It further serves to provide a copy of the work that is able to be searched within the WeRelate environment. Some early examples created using existing page types:

Moreover, a transcript page will represent a reasonably complete representation of a work or section of a work. Short quotations - even if hyperlinked extensively - are more appropriate for use on the person or family page to which they are most related. Complete items - even if short - that refer to more than one person are well suited to a transcript page or page set.

Naming Conventions

A transcript will always relate to a single source or mysource page. Even if a full transcription of the work would require many discrete wiki pages, the transcript as a whole is associated with the appropriate corresponding source/mysource. For this reason, the most obvious naming convention for transcripts is to use the same name as that of the associated source/mysource item.

Simple transcriptions, that are well represented on a single wiki page, can simply appear on the appropriate transcript page without any further organizational steps. Transcriptions of a single item within a collection, or perhaps a single section within a relatively much larger work, require further organization.

Consider a massive work such as Savage. Not only is the content well beyond what can be presented on a single page, a full transcript (appropriately linked) would probably be a work of thousands of man years. In practice, individual researchers are normally interested in a handful of particularly named entries. The initial organizers of a transcription effort will be faced with the task of determining a reasonable page set - underneath the primary or root page of the transcript. An organization such as that used by Savage on USGENNET might be appropriate. So this would suggest pages such as:

  • Savage, James. Dictionary
 * Savage, James. Dictionary/Volume 1
   * Savage, James. Dictionary/Volume 1/Abbee-Acy
   * Savage, James. Dictionary/Volume 1/Alderman-Allen
 * Savage, James. Dictionary/Volume 2
 * Savage, James. Dictionary/Volume 3
 * Savage, James. Dictionary/Volume 4

After determining an organization however, individual contributors would only need to provide the intermediate page(s) and the transcript page of interest (perhaps only a partial page), but within the framework of an organization that can accept growth as other content is added.

Use of Transcript Pages for Citations

Several options are presently under discussion:

  1. link to a Source/MySource for the bibliographic information as usual. If you linked to a Source (say a collection of wills), then you would enter the Transcript page title in the "record name" field so the citation linked to your transcription. If you entered a MySource and the MySource page linked to the transcript, you could omit entering the transcript title in the citation.
  2. In the "Source namespace" field I could "Transcript" as a third item in the drop-down (in addition to Source and MySource). You could select "Transcript" from the drop-down and enter your transcript title. The Transcript page would have a Source/MySource field that would link to a Source or a MySource, and the bibliographic information displayed on the Person page would come from that Source/MySource. As an option, I could add a "citation" field on the Transcript page, and if you filled in that field, that citation would be displayed on the Person page instead of generating a citation from the Source/MySource.