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Census Transcribing For Wiki

Transcribing in General

The object in transcription is to reproduce as nearly as possible what you see handwritten in the original. That means, as I am sure you know, that you should not correct things in the original even if you know for certain the original is wrong. However, it is easy to read things as you know they should be without being conscious of correcting the original. For example, in one census the family name Eighner is spelled Eighnier. This is an unusual variation in the name, not one of the ones that you may be used to. You have to be very alert to see what is actually on the original (actually the image of the original).

Wiki Tables

Markup for wiki tables is described in the Documentation Index. A link to it is found near the bottom of the left sidebar of every page here. But to summarize the high points: (most of this stuff is already done for most census; you only have to copy and past the wiki code).

  1. Table markup begins with a double bar (||) in the first position of a line.
  2. A newline in a table indicates the being of a new row in the table.
  3. Two newlines indicate the end of the table
  4. Long lines will wrap automatically in the editing page; when you want a newline really, press your enter key.
  5. The first thing in a table is
    1 is what we use here. Other values such as 0 are possible.
  6. The caption (title) for the whole table is in one long line beginning with ||! and ending with !|| like
    ||! This is the table caption !||
    Space after the first ! and before the last !
  7. The line break symbol [[<<]] can be used within the caption (or anywhere else) to indicate a desired line break, but using enter for a line break will break the table.
  8. Header cells begin with ||!
  9. In census transcriptions, header cells are all in one row with a header cell for each column of the table. In other kinds of transcriptions, there may be a header cell in the first column of each row instead (or in addition to a row of header cells at the top.
  10. Wiki code for a row of header cells looks like
    ||! Head 1 ||! Head 2 ||! Head 3 ||! Last ||
    notice the last cell is closed with ||
  11. Regular data cells begin with || so a row of data looks like
    || data 1 || data 2 || data 3 || last ||
Entering Data

The caption and header cells are set up for you in wiki code if there is a page like Census 1880 for your census. Just copy the wiki code and paste on the page you are editing to set up the table.

  1. The (:div style="overflow; auto;":) is what makes the scroll bar for the table. Without it the table will be cut off or run out of bounds on the page. It must come before the table.
  2. The (:divend:) that comes after the table resumes normal word wrapping for stuff that comes after the table.
  3. First edit the caption between the ||! and the !||. It easy to forget this if you save it for last.
  4. Every row of data cells must contain exactly as many cells as there are header cells in the header row. You cannot skip empty cells. You can use a cell with a period in to indicate an empty cell if this helps you count.
  5. Wiki will try to make columns as narrow as possible. This means it may wrap text in cells wherever there is a space. To keep this from happening, you can use the html code &nbsp; instead of a space. You only have to do this in the cell with the longest text. Cells with shorter text will not word wrap if the longer text has provided a wide enough cell.
  6. If you put data against the left side || and a space before the right side ||, the data will be flush left in the cell. This is recommended for names and words.
  7. If you space after the left side || in a cell but do not space before the right side ||, the data will be flush right in the cell. This is recommended for numbers, especially number such as money amounts or ages which might be added or compared.
  8. If you space after the left side || and before the right side ||, data will be centered in a cell. This may be suitable for cells that have only single-letter entries.
  9. Where the original has ditto marks, enter the double quote with the double quote key.
  10. If you are only transcribing a few lines, you may have cells with ditto marks indicating data from lines above those you are transcribing. In this case, put the data being carried down in single curly brackets {} instead of ditto marks on the first line you are transcribing. Use ditto marks on following lines if they occur in the original.
  11. Save and look at your results often. Review the above if data are not lining up within cells as you think they should.
  12. It is often convenient to us one data row as a template for the next, using cut and paste to duplicate lines. Be sure you have replaced all the data in the duplicate line according to the original.

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