Day 4 – Ticehurst

After manually pulling together the records for our five selected patients (which took a couple of days), we’ve spent the remainder of our time investigating ways to speed up doing this work for the remaining 1,641 patients.

To try and achieve this, we’ve built two tools.  The first is an Image annotator. This lets us perform the simple yet crucial task of identifying what types of page each image contain (from Front Cover through the Index to the Back Cover).

The interface we built for this is fairly simple. It shows a full image, which helps us identify the type of page it is, e.g. cover, title page, index page, content, etc. It also shows the top left and top right hand corners of the image. This zooms into where the page numbers usually appear, making our reading and transcribing quicker:


Frankie added some nifty optimisations to this tool to help us speed through the work. When index pages are indicated with a letter, e.g. ‘a’, ‘b’, the ‘Index’ page type gets automagically selected. When a number is indicated, as above, the page type is filled with ‘Content’. Sequences of letters or numbers can be zipped through just by tapping the space bar. This fills in the page numbers, the page type is dealt with as previously described, and you just have to keep an eye on it to make sure the images and numbers don’t get out of alignment. I was amazed at how much quicker we can progress with these small but crucial improvements.

The second tool of the day built on the output of the first. As we’ve now identified which images are the index pages, we want to transcribe the names from the index pages and assign images to them. Doing that will start to fill up the patient pages with images of their records. The tool shows an image of the index page to be transcribed along with fields to transcribe into. A very helpful dropdown list of all the names with their associated dates makes it easy to find the person – if you can read the handwriting on the page! With the person picked, you add the page number from the index page:



Saving this name information along with the page number makes the person’s case notes appear on their patient page:


Another nice feature completed on day 4 was adding brief biographies of our five selected patients to their patient pages. You can see these by selecting the top five highlighted names on the patients page.

Frankie & Natalie



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