Talk:World Archives Project: New South Wales, Australia, Sheriff's Papers (Part 1)

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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

The very first line on the Wiki page reads "This collection contains records regarding prisoners in NSW, Australia". Please keep this in mind when keying.

  1. Regarding Warders - per Anna "err on the side of not keying them", this should just read do NOT key them unless they are actually involved in a crime.
  2. It's not just promotions of Warders that's keyed.
  3. Other names ie Waste removing contractors etc etc should definitely not be keyed.The person writing the letter is not be keyed, neither is the person to whom it is being sent. Do not key receipts of cheques in payment of salary to warders.
  4. Each memo/letter does need to be read, often prisoners names are there, not always in the margin.
  5. There is no Alias field on this project, please do not key the Alias name as a separate record.
  6. Do not key Index pages, please look on the Wiki page for samples of Index.
  7. Watch out for the abbreviation Wr ( Warder). Alot of mistakes thinking it is either Mr or Wm.
  8. When a name in a letter is abbreviated and then mentioned in full key the most complete version. eg. if first written as "Willm" then followed by "William", key William.
  9. When a name in the margin has eg. John Smith and under it als then another name, als is short for alias and the second name therefore NOT keyed.
  10. Sometimes a prisoner's name is followed by the name of the ship on which he was transported. This may be prefixed by a dash, or written below the prisoner's name. The ship name was used as a discriminator for names up to about 1850.

Common Keying Errors Found by Reviewers

  1. Event City - S O in the header with the date is not a location, it stands for Sheriff's Office.
  2. Keying Mr in the suffix field.
  3. Not keying the year as seen. Per Anna, key each article independent of the others.
  4. Not keying various events relevant to warders and other officers, eg appointments, promotions, charges against them, dismissals, etc.
  5. Missing names within the articles. Refer to keying example 3.
  6. Keying alias in the suffix field. There is no alias field so they are not keyed.
  7. Keying aliases as separate records. Aliases should be ignored.
  8. Not changing the form type to Cover Page when there are no names to key. Don't submit a form of 'Record' type with all rows blank.
  9. Creating sections. There is no need to create separate sections as each individual has their own event city and date fields.
  10. Entering a ship name (see above) as a person. It's easy to make this mistake, because many of the ships were named after people.

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.

Q: How is the year to be handled when it is written as 62 but further down the image it is written as 1862, as in keying example 8? I'm presuming key as seen for each individual entry which would be 62 for the red example and 1862 for the blue one. Correct?

A: Yes, that is correct. Key each article independent of the others.

Q: Aliases are being noted quite often in the letters. Do we just ignore them? Seems a bit odd not to include them, on past practice and given the nature of the records. CM

A: Without Alias fields they should be ignored.

Q: Further with the year, some articles have both a signed/sent date and a received/entered date. If an article is recorded as received 25/5/65 but the author has signed and dated it with the year 1865, should either be accepted in review or should the most complete 1865 be keyed/accepted?

A: Either should be accepted. Generally keyers enter the most complete date.

Q: Again on the year - some are dated at the top e.g. 27/7/5 for 1865. Key year as seen?

A: If there is a more complete date having at least the decade makes the date usable. If there is something on the record that states, "xx65" or "1865" it can be used to complete the year. Annafechter 18:43, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
We are working on revamping instructions to make this more clear.

Have these instructions been revamped yet? Lusitu3

A: This has been updated, Seanbmc (talk) 15:04, 28 December 2015 (MST)

Q: Thanks. Yes, those are reference numbers. So when in an article [not image] the only reference top or bottom to the date is something like 17/9/5 do I key 5 as seen as the year, or leave blank? Thanks.

A: Yes, if the year is only given as 1 digit please use the context of the other records and if possible determine the decade. In the example below you would key "65" vs "5".

Q: Also could someone define a bit more clearly for me " Do not key officials such as police, court personnel, etc. unless the letter is specifically about them" please? Thanks.

A: Articles often mention the arresting officer or to provide information to a specific officer - these would not be keyed. However if there was a letter/article stating that an officer had been a victim of the crime or committed the crime, was accused of committing a crime, etc they would be keyed. Some article relate to promotions - for the sake of not making things too complicated the officer being promoted would be keyed since the article is about them. Annafechter 18:43, 14 September 2015 (UTC)
To add more clarification - we should be keying the individuals involved in the crime -victim, perpetrator or accused. Officers who are arresting, judges presiding, or witnesses are not "involved" in the crime.

Q: Thanks again. And if the officer is being accused of an offence against the rules or against a prisoner? Or has been making a complaint against another officer? Or has been asking to be moved etc? I'm just not sure what 'about them' in the instructions means. Thanks.

A: Please see the updated answer to the prior question. If you are not sure err on the side of not keying the officers name. Annafechter 15:45, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Q: Just realised there are 4 examples of Cover Pages that are microfilm targets, shouldn't these examples be in the Image No Data examples? If not why are they Cover Pages?

A: There are often times where we want to see the Targets - and many times where there is a Target form type. For this project the Content Manager wanted to keep them in the collection.

Then "Image no Data" description should be amended, deleting the reference to microfilm targets.

A: We are working on trying to get the image with no data form type amended, but it is more complicated than just changing the description, as it is embedded in the tool. Hopefully we will have this resolved soon.Seanbmc (talk) 10:00, 20 January 2016 (MST)

Q: Keying example 7 - Shouldn't the event city for the orange example (bottom right)be Bathurst?

A: Following the directions Sydney would be the Event Location. Annafechter 06:19, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
"The event city is the place where the letter was sent/received. ...[and] is typically found at the top of a letter near the event date." For this example the location would be Sydney.

Q: Having come back to this project to review I would like to readdress the event city if not for the balance of this Pt 1 but for future parts of Sheriff's Papers as I disagree with the keying samples with the instructions state "The event city is the place where the letter was sent/received typically found at the top of a letter near the event date". Sydney as in keying examples #1, 6 and 7 is the location of the sheriffs office (letter signed by the sheriff) where the letter is written or sent FROM not to where it is SENT/RECEIVED. As in my previous question regarding keying example #7 the second page the letters were SENT to the police magistrate at Berrima and the gaoler at Bathurst which should be the "event city" keyed. Either the wording or the keying examples needs to be changed.- Kerrie.

A: Please note that this field has been updated. Thank you. Seanbmc (talk) 14:57, 26 May 2016 (MDT)

Q: the image set I have has NO event cities at all. The only locations I see are the gaol names. I'm presuming those are locations. Do I key those at the event city? Ex: Berrima Gaol.

A: Berrima may be keyed as the city. Seanbmc (talk) 10:38, 7 June 2016 (MDT)

Q: I have been seeing records that name cases, such as Seaton v Mitchell. Shouldn't these names be recorded? (Usually the correspondence has to do with settlement disbursement -- but it would seem to me that they would be keyed as this would capture the perpetrator and the victim of a crime.

A: As a general rule, please capture these names, as they do fit into the "victim or perpetrator of a crime" category. Thanks! Gigivs (talk) 09:58, 15 February 2017 (MST)


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.

This sentence from the Project Instructions does not make sense and needs rewriting: "We are only keying the names of individuals for whom the correspondence is about." --Katerimmer (talk) 07:07, 30 November 2015 (MST) I agree with Kate. This sentence needs to be re-written, it is in direct conflict with the question and answers above re Warders and officials. Not everyone reads the discussion page. Mariom, Lusitu3

Update: I have amended the keying instructions to say the following: We are only keying the names of individuals for whom the correspondence is about, i.e. We should be keying the individuals involved in the crime (the victim, perpetrator or accused). We should not be keying officers who are arresting, judges presiding, or witnesses who are not "involved" in the crime. Some articles, e.g. articles relating to promotions, for the sake of not making things too complicated, the officer being promoted would be keyed since the article is about them. Names are often found in the margins of the records, but may also be found in the body of the letter itself. Some images contain lists of names to key.

I would suggest, if not too late, an alias field, alot of alias names popping up. Perhaps for part 2 if there is one. Marion

We will keep this in mind for Part 2 - unfortunately once we have started a project we are not able to add fields. Annafechter (talk) 23:54, 21 January 2016 (MST)

Keying examples #3 and 4 the name William Henry Bacchus the younger, the younger needs to be highlighted as suffix as it is the equivalent to junior.