From ArchivesWiki
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This is the main 'help' page on ArchiveWiki.

The process of adding material here generally falls into two parts: first, the cataloguing and digitization of archival source materials; and second, the use of these materials to write biographies and place histories.

Archive items

This section is based on the Wiki-based archival description and storage Wikibook, which contains lots more detail about this system.

The first part is illustrated by an example focusing on a letter from Aubrey Hall to his daughter Margaret:

  1. The letter is removed from its envelope and flattened carefully.
  2. The target wiki is selected: for public items that is this one, and for private items its the one that is most relevant. For example, if this letter contained sensitive material or mentioned anyone who is still alive, it'd go to the closed-access H.M. Wilson Archives wiki.
  3. A unique identifier is chosen, in this case "Letter from Aubrey Hall to Margaret Hall, 1935-12-25". The format of this is not important, but it should be reasonably descriptive. We don't attempt to create a nomenclature because there's no need, and it's too hard to know what will be added in the future. Note that identifiers can be changed at any time, and previous ones will redirect to the new ones.
  4. All parts are scanned to 600 pdi 16 bit colour PNG files, named with the above identifier (and a descriptive suffix per file). Multiple cropped or modified versions of each scan may also be created, e.g. to better highlight certain parts (such as the postmark in the above letter).
  5. A page is created (via the 'Create content' section on the Main Page of the relevant wiki) titled with the identifier.
  6. All files are uploaded and added as a gallery to that page.
  7. The item's metadata is entered, mostly focusing on metadata that can only be determined while in possession of the original material (this is just to save time, because metadata that can be determined from the scanned representations can be added later).
  8. Above the metadata, one of the {{archive-nav}} templates is added, e.g. {{hmw}}.
  9. The physical parts of the letter are placed into clear polypropylene (Albox brand) sleeves, and added to currently open folderFolder (definition: A folder is a type of storage location.). For this letter, that's H.M. Wilson Archives/Folder 1. Note that while there's no requirement for any particular ordering of the stored items,
  10. The identifier of this folder is added to the item's metadata. This is the crucial link between the item's page here on ArchivesWiki and the actual storage location of the physical original.
  11. The letter is transcribed, and any person or place names are linked to their own pages. Illegible text is marked as such, and scans of individual pages are placed next to their respective transcriptions.


The second major part of content here is the biographies. These each focus on a single person, and link to their relations and any items that concern them.

Page names

  • Generational suffixes: Jnr (preferred) and Snr if only two people and they're directly related
  • Or any parenthetic information, with only enough to make it unique, e.g. Jemmima Bowler (1873-) or John Whithers (teacher).


URL shortening

To create a short URL for a page, first create a redirect from the shortcut, and then use the {{shortcut}} template on the target page.


For more information about MediaWiki templates, see Help:Templates.