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By Matthew Hick on

The Alan Jackson Archive

Find out more about how volunteering can help us improve access to our archive.

Alan Jackson was an inveterate collector of information on all aspects of the railways and recorded his data on a series of index cards.  He left his collection of cards and supporting material to the Railway and Canal Historical Society and they have passed them to us at the National Railway Museum.  The cards have been digitised and a team of volunteers is entering the hand written data into Excel spreadsheets.  When this lengthy process is complete, the data will be transferred into the Museum’s systems, to form an invaluable archive, available to specialist and general users.

National Railway Museum
Help make a lasting contribution to the future of railway research

The Role

As one of our volunteers you’d receive batches of up to 50 digitised cards, together with a prepared spreadsheet and guidance notes on how to transcribe the information. Included with this is reference material to explain the codes Alan Jackson used.  A digitised card looks like this:

An index card from the Alan Jackson Archive
An index card from the Alan Jackson Archive

 and, when transcribed, the spreadsheet looks like this:

An example spreadsheet, used for transcribing data from the Alan Jackson index cards.
An example spreadsheet, used for transcribing data from the Alan Jackson index cards.

We need:

Many more transcribers, to help us move this project forward

Transcribers need:

  • A computer with a good sized monitor, Windows 98 or later, and Microsoft Excel
  • A broadband link to receive and transmit files
  • Reasonable keyboard skills
  • A willingness to sit at the computer for blocks of time, capturing data

…and some knowledge of railways can he helpful.

Does this project interest you?  If so, you can find a simple application form here

10 comments on “The Alan Jackson Archive

  1. I signed up to this quite a while back (November 2013) – will I be getting some material thorough soon? Many Thanks, Liz

  2. Having received information on this through the SW Cricle, I have now posted the request for volunteers on HMRS, SEMG and GOG web sites. Hopefully we might get a few more helpers that way. Regards, Arthur

  3. Using Excel is not a good idea – it’s a proprietary product.
    Better to use an open format such as ods which ‘everyone’ should have access to.

    1. Thanks for your comments, David. I appreciate that not everyone will have access to Excel, but we tend to use it as it allows us to upload material into our collections database.



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