In my research of the settlement of Upper Canada, I have been able to access microfilm images of historically important, handwritten documents from the Archives of Ontario, the Library and Archives of Canada, the National Archives in the United Kingdom, and other repositories. These digital surrogates for original documents are, in fact, the primary data for most researchers of the early nineteenth century.
Along the way I have acquired a certain facility in transcribing the correspondence of the major participants in my particular area of interest – the assisted emigration of Irish paupers from the south of Ireland to Upper Canada in 1823 and 1825, under the superintendence of Peter Robinson. I have arrived at a point where one of my main concerns is to share the results of my labours – which includes establishing a foundation for others to pursue related interests – a foundation resting on some new technologies I have been investigating recently.
The first project on Peannairi.com adopts the Scripto plug-in for WordPress to enable a collaborative or “crowd-sourced” transcription of digital images of the survey responses of 180 Irish emigrants in 1828. How I settled on using Scripto+WordPress is an interesting enough story that I’ll relate later on.
My focus right now is in outlining the requirements for linking manuscript transcription and layout description to the Semantic Web. This project is properly speaking a part of OntoGenealogy.