We held the ‘transcribeathon’ on 9th June.  Pat Coffey, headmaster of Fethard Patrician Presentation Secondary School kindly allowed us to use the computer room.

Fourteen volunteers came along to help transcribe the information from the paper atlas into digital format so that it could be uploaded into a geographical information system (GIS).

The day began with a talk by Sarah Gearty, cartographic editor of the Irish Historic Towns Atlas project at the Royal Irish Academy.

Sarah explained to us how the atlas information was compiled, and by demonstrating how to use it, the team learned just how much information about Fethard is contained within the atlas.

After this each volunteer took a different section of content from the topographical information section of the atlas and started transcribing it.

To keep up the momentum, we drew a list of all the information that had to be transcribed on the whiteboard, and when each section had been completed we marked it off.

The transcribers were fantastic – by the end of the day not only had all the content been transcribed, but it had also been checked twice for accuracy.  It wasn’t all work though, there was a real community feel as we took tea and coffee breaks, and ended the day with a dinner in McCarthy’s.