Photograph of Dunbar fisher lass, c1900

GUIDANCE FOR FILLING IN THE RLS/SCRAN DATA CAPTURE TEMPLATE

Please read before commencing data entry


  1. Each record must have a unique ID number. If you already have a numbering system (accession nos. etc) use these. If not, make up a system. You can use numbers and letters. If you use a running number system , use leading zeros to give them all the same number of digits, e.g. 0001, 0002, 0003, etc. They will then sort correctly if required.
  2. Fill in the CD number and asset file name, and check that these are entered accurately. The file names must be exactly as seen in a directory listing on your computer, e.g. OO01.tif. Any omissions or mistakes here make it difficult or impossible for us to link your assets to your text data. You can check and edit these fields in a spreadsheet view by opening the “CD and Asset Checklist” from the Main Switchboard. If there is more than one asset per record, use the additional repeating fields below.
  3. Enter a simple name for the object and a brief description, as you might find on a card index system.
  4. Ignore the classification fields unless you use a formal system with controlled vocabulary, such as SHIC, or AAT.
  5. Enter any available info on the material and dimensions of the object. Dimensions should preferably be metric.
  6. The next five fields comprise the “caption” for your multimedia asset. The Title can be based on the Simple Name, but should avoid beginning with “Photograph of”, “Movie showing” etc, as this is usually implicit and/or stated elsewhere. Bear in mind that our master system sorts retrieved records on their Caption Title or Simple Name, not on ID. The Subtitle is optional. A separate document covers caption writing, but we expect around 40 words per paragraph, and a minimum of two paragraphs.
  7. The next 4 sections are for associated places, names, dates and events. These must be entered here where they are mentioned in the caption or basic description above. Other associations can also be added if necessary. These fields are required so that our master database can be searched on these kinds of data in a structured manner. Place names must be entered “general to specific”, e.g. Scotland, Fife, Kirkcaldy, St Clair Street. The “Nature of Association” is used to explain, preferably in a word or two, why the places, name, etc has been mentioned, e.g. found, made, used, painted, born, died, depicted, locatity, exhibited, etc.
  8. Every record should have at least one reference. Please inform your SCRAN project officer in writing (e-mail is fine) if you wish to have any global references, i.e. ones that appear in every record. We will add these so that website in the 'Title' field, e.g. Scottish Cultural Resources Network, and the URL/address of the website in the 'Title Link/URL' field, e.g. www.scran.ac.uk
  9. Finally add the name of the text copyright holder and your name. Again, if these are the same across all or most records, we can add this info for you after completion. Be sure to let us know in writing, though.

General Data Points:

  1. When naming files do not use spaces or symbols such as slashes, percent signs etc. Use alphanumeric characters and underscores only.
  2. Please be aware that the template is only a vessel for getting your data to us. We will decant it into our master system (not Access) on completion. This system sorts retrieved records on their Caption Title or Simple Name, not on their ID field. If you want sequences to appear in a certain order, preface the Titles with numbers. As with IDs, use the same number of digits each time (leading zeros).
  3. Do not enter text all in UPPER CASE!
  4. The place, date, name, event, reference and other asset sections of the form are all repeatable, i.e. they allow you to enter multiple associations, references and assets. Please use this facility and DO NOT enter multiple associations etc on a single line.
  5. Only those fields that contain sentences should end with full stops, i.e. Brief Description and the 3 Caption Text fields.
  6. Don't just enter a century/period name where there is a specific date available. Always enter the Earliest & Latest Dates too.

Handy Tips on Microsoft Access:

  1. The arrow buttons at the bottom of the form (and sub-sections) allow you to move between records, and create new ones. Also, pressing CTRL±PLUS SIGN (+) starts a new record. Access saves records as it goes. The “save” commands on the top menus are only for saving the layout, filters, sorts etc. Avoid these. Never use “Save as”.
  2. To copy on from the same field in the last record, press CRTL+APOSTROPHE (').
  3. Right-clicking on the grey bars on the left allows copying & pasting of those sections. Only paste from a grey bar, though!
  4. To move from the last field in a sub-section to the next section press CRTL+TAB.
  5. By default, the template sorts your records in the order you have created in the field you want to sort by and then on the A-Z or Z-A icons located at the top of the screen.
  6. will be happy to provide a Filemaker data template for those using Apple Macs. This is virtually identical to the Access template.

If you have any queries, about the above or any other aspect of your project, please do not hesitate to contact your SCRAN project officer.

Back to Guidlines page

 Skip to Navigation