While the projects we carry out may seem a bit daunting to newcomers, everyone involved in our events carries out a vital role which is highlighted by some past attendee experiences.
As part of our commitments to making Data accessible for all we were looking to digitally archive many 19th and 20th century records that were only available physically or were missing information online. This was the main focus of our 19th and 20th Events known as ‘History + Data = Innovation’ and ‘History and Culture’ respectively. These primarily involved uploading data on a multitude of subjects to Wikidata such as Listed buildings, convict registers and March Stones, which signified the boundary of crofts in Aberdeen primarily in the 16th century.
Heather Black initially found out about the project through the Aberdeen memories Facebook page and got involved transcribing part of the Aberdeen harbour logbooks; specifically the names, registered countries, the name of the captain and what cargo was being shipped.
Having a keen interest in local history the project immediately drew her attention, and when asked about her thoughts on the event, she stated that “It was a good distraction while being on furlough from my work at the time, and very interesting too”, and is looking to participate in future events that catch her interest.
Sheila Watt was similarly involved in this project, and despite not having too much interest initially ended up having a great experience. Her daughter joined Code the City after looking for a volunteering project to take part in for a Duke of Edinburgh Award last year. Eventually Sheila joined as well after hearing about the Aberdeen Harbour Arrivals project and due to her interest in local history ended up greatly enjoying her experience, describing it as the perfect project to keep her interested during the first lockdown last year.
Taking on the role of a volunteer transcriber, she enjoyed her experience so much that she took part again for the Returned Prisoner Project and similarly had a great time in the same role. She now regularly checks on our projects through the slack channel and will hopefully be involved in future projects.
Despite some participants being apprehensive about the tech-side of things, there are lots of ways to contribute to each event, and you’ll definitely find something that plays to your strengths and skills. If you’re interested in any of the event topics you’ll find the work engaging too, and get to talk to some friendly like-minded people.
Check this post to learn more about the Harbour archival process as well as the wider project.
Our next event is CTC24 Open in Practice where we will have several projects that will appeal to non-coders, offering the opportunity to gather more data and open it up for public benefit.