Talk:World Archives Project: Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22

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Hope Bev doesn't mind but I've copied her entry from the user boards as I think it may be of great help here:

This project has been going for ages and I have arbitrated on and off during the length of the project. This is easy to read but complicated in the rules. There seem to be a lot of errors creeping in recently in arbitration and I hope this will be of help. Be nice to get this one off the books.

Even if you have been keying or arbitrating the project for a while - it does no harm to refresh

There have been 2 biographical Dictionary projects, the other 'Chalmers' was finished some time ago but the rules were largely the same. To avoid doing all of the work again I have pulled up the original keying guide for 'Chalmers' - revised it in the 2 areas that only apply to DNB and added on a few other threads of interest. All of this advice came from WAP support and has not been amended as far as I am aware. If advice has been superceded by WAP please post here.

NAVIGATION FIELDS 1) Do not skip the navigation field or "blank" it. There MUST be an entry in the navigation field for every single entry.

2) If you have a page in a set that is continued from a previous page AND continued on to another page, always choose "CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS." The person who gets the next set will do the same, and these images will be married up later. (Note, you only use "CONTINUED ON TO NEXT IMAGE" when you have the very first part of a biographical entry in your image.)

3) If the entry you are keying has all of the biographical information in it, (i.e.: the entry starts on your page and includes all of the bio info up to and including the date of death), you will choose "COMPLETE ON THIS IMAGE" *even* if you can see that there will be some more written on the next page.

I think that people are worried that perhaps something will be lost if they don't "continue to next image," but remember that a researcher will be able to "flip" the pages and read the entire entry, including the pages before and after.

4) If your image begins with the tail end of an entry and does not contain any bio information to be keyed, do not hold the place with "continued." Just start with the next entry on the page.


1) As often repeated, do not type the name from the top of the page or take the name from the middle of a biography. ONLY key the name if it is in the header for the bio (if you have that page). Again, the images will be connected later with the page numbers.

2) Do not pull other names out of the biography. I'm seeing entries where people are keying every name on the page as a separate entry.

3) Prefixes and suffixes can be tricky. Here is an example pulled from earlier postings (I believe these came directly from Anna):

“His Majesty Napoleon III Charles Louis Under the Name of Earl of Pierrefonds” -

Prefix=His Majesty Given name = Napolean III Charles Louis Suffix = Earl of Pierrefonds


"Duchess of Montoro (Louise)”

Given name = Louise Suffix=Duchess of Montoro

          • Please note that even though you would often think that "Duchess" should be a prefix, in these cases it is not. If it is written as a stand alone title – it all goes into the suffix box*****

4) If there is more than one surname (alternate spellings for example), they are all keyed in the surname field separated by commas - NOT as an alias. As an example:


Given name: John Surname: Smith, SMYTHE, SMITHE

5) Aliases are only keyed in 2 instances as follows:

"SMITH (John) (see SMYTHE, Joseph)"

Given Name: John Surname: Smith

Alias Given: Joseph Alias Surname: SMYTHE


"SMITH (John)" also known (or commonly known) as John of Leicester

Given Name: John Surname: Smith

Alias Given: John Alias Suffix: of Leicester

The key would be, if it is just another spelling of what is the same name, key with commas. If it is an entirely different name, then it is an alias.

5) Please do not pull prefixes or suffixes from the content of the biography. Only key prefixes and suffixes if they are included in the header at the beginning of the bio.

6) When "de" is included in a name such as:

"GREY (Sir Roger de)"

Key the ‘de’ as part of the surname

7) When there is only one name, it is keyed as a given name

8) FLOURISHED DATES: If the dates in the header are written (fl. 1642 - 1662), these are NOT the birth and death dates. "fl." is an abbreviation for flourished. Please ignore these dates when keying.

9) PREFIX/SUFFIX IN PARENT NAMES: Since there is no prefix/suffix fields for the parents names, these must be included with the given and surnames. Example:

If the father's name is "Rev. J. O. Smith D.D.," this would be keyed:

Given Name: Rev J O Surname: Smith DD

10) BIRTH/DEATH LOCATION: Per the field help, ALL locations given must be keyed, not just the largest jurisdiction, from smallest to largest. Example from field help:

"Bellvue, near Paris, on Eldon Road"

will be:

"Eldon Road, Bellvue, Paris"


1) Initials in the name are keyed without periods and WITH spaces:


Given Name: J S Surname: Williams

2) Abbreviated prefixes and suffixes are keyed without periods and without spaces:


Given Name: J S Surname: Williams Suffix: MD

3) As always, please do not abbreviate months, even if they are found that way in the biography or in the drop down lists.

Happy keying


Geoff Eisenhauer