Talk:World Archives Project: California, Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950 (Part 5)

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Feel free to add to or edit information in this discussion tab as necessary.  Please take time to become familiar with the General Keying Standards and be sure to read all instructions on the main project page.  (Please note that in case of a discrepancy, project level instructions always trump general keying standards.)

Extra Keying Helps

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

Months should be keyed as seen. If months are shown as a number, key the number. If the months are shown written out, key in its three letter abbreviation as in the dictionary.

Many are wrongly marking Employee Card Page 2 (with the birth information at the top) as a Cover Page.

Many are leaving the SSN field blank. It should be keyed with Yes or No whether or not the Social Security Number is present.

Many are confusing the Employee Card with the Employee Record and vice versa.

Many are not keying the marital status as seen.

Do not calculate birth year from age.

Questions and Answers

If you have a keying question that is not answered on the project page or in any of the information above, click “EDIT” and ask it here. (If you click on Rich Editor you won't have to worry about formatting your entry.) Then click “WATCH” at the top right on this page and you will be notified via email when an update has been made.  

Employment City

Question: If there is no Employment City on the image, but there is a Divn (like Ariz Divn), I have been keying the Divn. Is this right? Thank you.

Answer: From looking at the examples, when "Ariz Divn" is mentioned the examples do not identify it as an Employment City. When there is a city mentioned, the example does identify it as an Employment City. Such as "Needles". So put nothing if no city mentioned.--Billlinda155 01:34, 9 September 2014 (UTC)


QUESTION: Employee Cards many times have the Given and Surname filled in as well as a typed or hand written version at the top of the card above all the card entries. The ones mentioned at top of the card many times have a different version of the Given and/or Surname. Should these be entered as aliases?

Answer: The name should be keyed as the most complete name. An alias would not be used when it is a variation of the same name. --Wiedwoman 06:04, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Rehire and Multiple Occupations

QUESTION: I have an Employee Record, where the Employee held one occupation for a period of time and resigned. Then was rehired two years later as a different occupation. Should this be entered as two separate records in the same section due to the break in employment dates? Or do we only enter the information associated with the first occupation? - SlinkyM

A: Enter the information associated with the first occupation. Annafechter 18:52, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Q: I have an employee record that shows a date and occupation, then below that, "Prior Service" with earlier dates of employment. In the instructions it says to use the "top" date on the page, but, obviously, the prior service was before the "top" date on the page. Should I use the earlier prior service dates as the Employment Start date or the first date on the page? Thank you. Virginia Welker.

A: Virginia, If you can determine what the start date was us that date regardless of where it is found on the page.Annafechter 21:12, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Change in Occupation and Marital Status

QUESTION: I have an Employee Record, where the Employee was single when he held the first occupation and then when he was promoted to the second occupation, he is now shown as married. Should this be entered as two separate records to pick up the dates associated with the change of marital status? Or do we only enter the information associated with the first occupation? - SlinkyM

A: Anna answered this on the board. The record should be keyed as married. Only 1 record is needed. --Wiedwoman 06:12, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Duplicate Entries

QUESTION: Two records are duplicate, but the second form shows more information than the first occurrence. I tend to lean toward typing the first occurrence as a duplicate and the second occurrence the one to key. Want feedback or direction on this.

A: I've had those kind of records before. I've treated them as individual records and keyed what information I could get off of each one. I realize that they started off as identical records but each record is either missing information or has more information due to part of a page turned over or kept down. Not sure of what AWAP would say though...
A: Yes, unless the records are identical they should be each be keyed. Annafechter 19:07, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

QUESTION: If I have an obvious "Employee Card 2" with no data on it, do I enter it as an "Employee Card 2" or do I enter it as "Image with no data"?

A: if there are no words written on the card it would be "image with no data". If there are words but no data to key it would be a "cover page". --Wiedwoman 18:16, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

QUESTION: I have two cards; the first has the name listed as "John B Duncan" and the second has the name listed as "Duncan John Bicker". Should I transpose the name on the second card to be [FN): John Bicker (LN): Duncan], or should I key as seen [(FN): Duncan John, (LN): Bicker]? The card isn't a true duplicate, but I have a sneaking suspicion that both cards are for the same person. There is no comma between the names on the second card, and nothing to indicate that Duncan is the last name (I've assumed that based on the previous card and the fact that the cards are in alphabetical order, more or less.)

A: use John Bicker Duncan as the name.--Wiedwoman 01:36, 13 June 2014 (UTC)


  If you have a suggestion or would like to make an addition to the project page, click “EDIT” and post your suggestion here. (If you click on Rich Editor you won't have to worry about formatting your entry.) Then click “WATCH” at the top right on this page and you will be notified via email when an update has been made.

Remove the automatic suggestions on the Employment End Month to help avoid entry errors. Since we are typing both alpha and numeric, when someone types "12" for December, it comes up as "10" and a lot of people are not noticing. And then you have to remember to type "14" to get "12". Data entry would be faster if everyone could just type the numbers.

I so agree with this.  Please remove the suggestions for months 10-12.  It causes me to back up and have to correct every entry.

This has been fixed. All of the month fields should accept the entries and only suggest the 3 letter abbreviations.

Suggestion: I have reviewed thousands of the Cal Railroad Emp Records and have found thousands of errors. These are errors that could have easily been avoided by simply reading the Field Helps and Project Instructions. It is very frustrating to see the same errors over and over again. Thank you. End of rant. Virginia Welker.