Transcription Tuesday 2017: Join the Waterloo Lives team!

By Deputy Editor, 10 January 2017 - 7:33pm

Claire Vaughan, deputy editor of WDYTYA? Magazine, explains why you should join her as she takes part in the Waterloo Lives: In Their Own Words project for Transcription Tuesday 2017

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Sarah Williams is editor at Who Do You Think You Are? MagazineMonday 9 January 2016
Claire Vaughan, Deputy Editor
Read more blog posts from the magazine team


The Waterloo Lives: In Their Own Words project is an exciting celebration of 2015’s bicentary year of the momentous battle.

The project is very close to my heart because my 4x great grandfather, Joseph Pope, fought at Waterloo and I’d love to find out more about his experiences in the field. This project is a chance for me, and anyone else interested, to get involved at a much deeper level.

Unlike many War Diaries from later periods, this material includes the personal journals and correspondence of soldiers and officers who took part in the campaigns, as well as regimental order books, lists of casualties, gallantry awards, reconnaissance reports, maps – and even poetry.

You can get a real insight into the lives of fighting soldiers at the time – and who knows, I might even spot Joseph’s name among the entries!

The museum holds a unique archive of Napoleonic material and this project is set to help the archivists better understand the detail within that collection. Recent Heritage Lottery funding has allowed them to digitise a selection of the records to preserve them for future generations and allow wider access to the general public.

By joining me on the 17 January as I help transcribe and tag the documents, you will be contributing to this process – and you might uncover new information within the dusty diary pages that colours what we know about the soldiers from that era.

Most of the material is handwritten with varying degrees of legibility. Individual documents have been classed depending on their level of difficulty. Most are in English but there are some that contain French and Dutch and in one case Scots Gaelic.

You can see the current status of the project on its home page (see address below). There are 207 participants (including me) with 3,938 out of the 5,824 scans of pages available already entered (that’s an amazing 75.9 per cent). I’ve already signed up – to add your name to the list, click here and follow the steps I've written below.

I hope to see you on 17 January – happy transcribing!

Getting started

Step 1
To sign up, click on the blue 'participate in this project' button on the right-hand side of the page. This will bring up a page allowing you to either log in (if you have participated in previous projects) or register. You can also sign in via a third-party login (if you have one) including Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

Step 2
I have never volunteered before so I clicked on the 'Register' button. This will take you to the registration form where you can fill in your details – including name, email address, date of birth, home town and why you want to participate. Click the register button at the foot of the form when you have completed it.

Step 3
Once your account has been created, an email notification will be sent to you. You will need to click on the link within the email to confirm your registration and email address.

Step 4
If you have not chosen a password to login with, simply click on 'forgot password' on the home page and enter your email address when prompted and a new password will be generated and sent to you. To login, type your email address into the field and the password sent out to you.

Step 5
For information on how to participate in the project, click on the 'Project info' tab on the project’s homepage, and on the left-hand side you will see a PDF of the data entry instructions under the heading 'Getting Started'. Download this for all you need to know.

Step 6
If you have any queries or comments, you can post them under the 'Messages' tab and to see how the project is progressing click on the 'Statistics' tab.


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Transcription Tuesday 2017: Join the Welsh Cynefin team!
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