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Index Cards Transcription - Transcribathon July 2021 Volunteer Activity

Help LAGANZ correct the transcription of 5000 typewritten index cards describing our book, pamphlets and manuscript collections by correcting the optimal character recognition (OCR) text. It's good fun!

We are running an online Transcribathon event from 10 to 24 July for volunteers across Aotearoa New Zealand.

What's Involved

As part of our digitisation initiative we have scanned 7500 index cards from our card catalogue and now have 5000 ready to fully transcribe.

Digitisation is important to enable online database access to the descriptions of items in our collections; at the moment researchers must visit the Archives in Wellington or ask a curator to search for them in the card catalogue.

We are using an online tool called From the Page to make it as easy as possible for volunteers to type corrections of the transcription (OCR'd) text errors as they view the picture of each scanned index card.

All 4838 cards have had their OCR text corrected! An amazing effort, thank you!

We just have some QA and 'standardisation' steps to do now. Are you up for that? Let Gavin know at board@laganz.org.nz. We've shared our QA notes below and have made two YouTube videos focused on the QA tasks.

Key Steps to Getting Started

Here's how to sign up to From the Page and get started on correcting index cards:

  1. Sign up to create a transcriber account at From the Page: https://fromthepage.com.

    1. Use the Sign Up To Transcribe menu.

    2. You'll be asked to create a User Name as well as to sign up with your email address.

    3. Let us know your email address and From the Page User Name by emailing us at board@laganz.org.nz. We'll also send you the Zoom meeting invites and password.

  2. Find the LAGANZ Finding Aids project in From the Page at: https://fromthepage.com/laganz/finding-aids?page=1.

  3. Select a group of index cards to start transcribing eg the "LAGANZ-MS-Only-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0101-0200" group at https://fromthepage.com/laganz/finding-aids/laganz-octavos-pt-1-index-cards-0101-0200. There are 70 "works" or groups of cards, so you may need to click through to, say, page 5 to find a group of cards that has not been started.

  4. Look for a card that hasn't been started. You'll see a "This page is not corrected, please help correct this page" message. Click on the link to "help correct" a page.

  5. Read the transcription instructions (at bottom of the Correct tab).

  6. Have a go!

  7. Each card you correct will be checked by someone else and you can leave Page Notes if you want to draw something to our attention.

Transcribathon Events via Zoom and In Person 10 to 24 July

Over two weeks from Saturday 10 July till its conclusion on Saturday 24 July volunteers will help us transcribe as many cards as possible. The cards have been digitised, but we need volunteers to help fix the 10-15% of words that have not been correctly recognised during the optical character recognition (OCR) process.

Join LAGANZ organisers in three Zoom sessions on 10 July and 24 July to find out how to get started and stay in touch with progress.

LAGANZ organisers will answer questions from volunteers via Zoom and by email. The Zoom sesssions will also be a good opportunity to ask our trustees and curator about the Archives. Volunteers can do cards over the two weeks or join in the final big push to complete the QA of corrected cards over a few hours on Saturday 24 July.

Volunteers will be able to share their favourite cards describing collection items and join in discussions in Zoom chat about the language we use to describe collection items. LAGANZ's curators and trustees will share (via photos and videos) some items from the collections at the Zoom sessions on 24 July.

We're excited about the opportunity to connect with volunteers all over New Zealand, as well as many from the international From the Page user community who want to support LGBTI+ projects. Whether its 10 or 100 cards, all contributions are welcome!

Transcribathon Schedule

We've set up a series of Zoom virtual meetings/events and one Wellington in-person drop in session. We will not be receording the Zoom sessions (for privacy reasons), but a video link can be provided to help get you started. One-on-one Zoom sessions can be arranged: email board@laganz.org.nz and TXT Gavin on +64 21 0200 7913.

Transcribathon Schedule of Zoom and Other Events
Date, Time in NZT Details

Sat 10 Jul, 10am - 11am via Zoom

LAGANZ Transcribathon Launch
Thank you everyone who was able to join us via Zoom to find out what LAGANZ and its Transcribathon are all about, how to get started and how to stay connected over these two weeks.

This session was not recorded, but this material is available:

Sat 10 Jul to 24 Jul - Two Weeks

Transcribe/correct index cards at home, at your own pace and in your own time in From the Page
Once signed up in From the Page, look for cards needing correction at LAGANZ Finding Aids: https://fromthepage.com/laganz/finding-aids.
All contributions are welcome! All cards have been corrected, but you can still help with QA.

Sat 17 Jul, 10am - 1pm

Lilburn Rm, Lvl 1, Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library, cnr Aitken and Molesworth Sts, Wellington
Drop In Session for Wellington Transcribathon Volunteers
A small group joined us to help with checking the card catalogue and work together on correcting cards. Great to meet some new volunteers in person!
Sat 24 Jul, 10am - 11am via Zoom

Meeting ID: 913 5704 8277
Password: Email board@laganz.org.nz for the password and an invite email.

LAGANZ Transcribathon Final Day Opening
Given we have already met our index card correction target, this session will have a focus on the QA steps plus some show and tell collection items from the index cards.


  • Welcome and thank you to volunteers
  • How we met our correction target!
  • Show and tell items nominated by volunteers:
  • What's next for the index card data?
  • Open question and feedback time.
  • OPTIONAL live demo: QA steps for those helping with QA today

Sat 24 Jul, 4pm - 5pm via Zoom

Meeting ID: 966 7822 0770
Password: Email board@laganz.org.nz for the password and an invite email.

LAGANZ Transcribathon Final Day Wrap-up
Let's celebrate our achievement and the mahi of our volunteers!


  • Welcome from Kevin Haunui, Chair of LAGANZ and thank you to volunteers
  • Acknowledging Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund support
  • Show and tell items nominated by volunteers:
  • Future transcription projects: The Pink Triangle Index; inventories of key MS Papers.
  • Open question and feedback time.


YouTube Videos: Getting set up | Correcting cards | QA steps

We've recorded short YouTube videos - to help you get started in From the Page and perhaps help with QA. These are available in LAGANZ's Index Cards Transcribathon playlist. You might like to Subscribe to be alerted to future videos.

Quick Links to Cards Ready to QA

Table updated 6.30pm, Wed 21 Jul. 100% of cards have been corrected ! So our focus is shifting to doing QA on the cards.

Use the links to target a group of cards that needs your attention if you can help with QA!

Notes on the QA steps

  • Key steps are set out in this PDF: transcribathon-qa-cards-v1.0-18-jul-2021.pdf [PDF, 456 KB].
  • Please only do the steps you are comfortable with. It's OK to leave cards alone if you are unsure.
  • Read the instructions at the bottom of the Correct tab for each series you take on - that way you can avoid overwriting something the initial correcter has done well eg leaving unrecogisable text in [square brackets].
  • The final step (no 21) is for Gavin and the LAGANZ curatorial team.
LAGANZ "Works" or Groups of Cards in From the Page
Open in From the Page Status No. of Cards" % Corrected QA Tasks Allocated
LAGANZ-MS-Only-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0401-0500Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-MS-Only-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0501-0600Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-MS-Only-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0601-0640Open40100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0401-0500Open100100%Transpower [1-30] + ? [70-100]
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0601-0700Open100100%Transpower [1-36] + ? [37-100]
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-1-Index-Cards-0801-0900Open100100%Transpower [1-79] + ? [80-100]
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-1-Index-Cards-1101-1157Open57100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0001-0100Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0101-0200Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0201-0300Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0301-0400Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0401-0500Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0501-0600Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0601-0700Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0701-0800Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0801-0900Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-0901-1000Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-1001-1100Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Octavos-Pt-2-Incl-Quartos-Index-Cards-1101-1110Open9100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0001-0100Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0101-0200Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0201-0300Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0301-0400Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0401-0500Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0501-0600Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0601-0700Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0701-0800Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0801-0900Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-0901-1000Open100100%Not yet
LAGANZ-Pamphlets-Pt-2-Index-Cards-1001-1064Open64100%Not yet


Stages of Index Card Image Transcription/Correction

This might help you visualise what we are trying to achieve, with your help!

We have loaded images of index cards into From the Page ...

LAGANZ MS 82 Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) index card.

The optical character recognition (OCR) of the text in the image is not perfect.

There are corrections and formatting changes required to the text that the OCR process has extracted ...

Jlf&Lf-Ltf 1

RELIGIOUS Society of Friends (Quakers).
Public Questions Committee.
Submission to the Statutes Revision
Committee concerning the Homosexual law
reform bill. Christchurch: The Society, 1985
21, MS note attached.

1. Sexual law reform - New Zealand. 2.
Homosexual law reform bill, 1985 Submissions . 3 . Christian attitudes to gays
- Quakers. I. Title.
Acc. No MS 82

.. so that we end up with corrected text looking like this:

RELIGIOUS Society of Friends (Quakers).
Public Questions Committee.
Submission to the Statutes Revision Committee concerning the Homosexual law reform bill.
Christchurch: The Society, 1985
2l, MS note attached.
1. Sexual law reform - New Zealand.
2. Homosexual law reform bill, 1985 - Submissions.
3. Christian attitudes to gays - Quakers.
I. Title.
Acc. No MS 82.

Your help with checking that what you see on the card is transcribed correctly will make a tremendous difference!

See what we do next with the index card data - transposing it into structured data (XML and CSV) - on the page for our earlier Posters Index Cards pilot.

Contact for Assistance

Feel free to make personal contact with Gavin Hamilton - board@laganz.org.nz, +64 21 0200 7913 - to find out more about this activity or to ask for guidance.

If you are not already signed up, we encourage you to sign up to both of these mailing lists:

Funding Support for Digitisation from the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund

We have received in August 2020 a grant from the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund that has enabled us to fund the digitisation of our index cards and a subscription to From the Page and other tools. We are very grateful for the Fund's support.




Last updated: 21 Jul 2021

Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) | Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa
PO Box 11-695, Manners St, Wellington 6142
Alexander Turnbull Library, 70 Molesworth St, Wellington 6011

Curator Tel: +64 4 462 3972 | Trust Secretary Mob: +64 27 444 3961

curators@laganz.org.nz | facebook.com/lgarchivesnz | instagram.com/lgarchivesnz