A couple of weeks ago, I went to a workshop about ScotlandsPlaces’ new transcription project.
ScotlandsPlaces is a website that allows you to get information about a Scottish place (a village, a town, a bridge, etc) from different collections.
Currently this includes the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, the National Records of Scotland, and the National Library of Scotland, and together they have a huge range of tax records, name books for the Ordnance Survey maps, as well as maps and plans.
The tax records include the hearth tax (many of which we’ve already transcribed and published in our monumental inscriptions books and CDs), tax rolls for the mid-18th century window tax, the late-18th century taxes on carriages, carts, clocks, dogs, domestic servants, horses, shops and watches as well as land taxes from 1645 to 1831. Eventually, you’ll be able to find out who in Galashiels (or anywhere else in Scotland) owned which of the above items that were considered luxuries at the time, how many of each they had and how much tax they paid, and the name of their house or farm.
You can see any content that has been transcribed (if any) without a subscription by scrolling down past the images.
The transcription project permits anyone with internet access to help by looking at a record image and transcribing detail from one or more pages. The advantage to you is that you get free access to the images as well as lots of other information; if you want to see the images without transcribing, there’s a hefty subscription of £15 for 3 months. Why do I mention this in apparent competition to our own transcription projects ?
On the ScotlandsPlaces’transcription project, they’ve built the website to support you, there’s transcription guides, handwriting guides, you can do as little as you have time for and when you come back the system reminds you where you stopped and there’s a forum for support. On the other hand, there’s no credit for your support. On our projects, your name will be included in the list of contributors, and you’ll get a copy of the publication that you can show to your family and friends and say “I did that”.
If you would like to volunteer for our projects, please contact Elma Fleming on our Contacts page using the contact type 'Offers of Help'.