Day 5 – Ticehurst

Day 5 of data week really concentrated our minds as we knew we didn’t have long left. It turned out that one good way to get more done was to have more people working on our project. We put out a call amongst Wellcome Library staff to help us for half an hour or so using our Image annotator tool (described on Day 4). The task of transcribing page numbers is pretty straightforward, and quick, so it was easy enough to explain to our helpers to get them doing a bit of page numbering. It was really gratifying to receive help from across the Wellcome Library (Frankie coined this ‘staffsourcing’), and our thanks go to Danny, Tania, Lalita, Hannah, Chloe, Juulia, Philippa and Jonathan.

Frankie did yet more tool optimisation, this time for our second tool for transcribing the case book indexes. We can now delete items that have been added, rather than have Frankie have to amend the database, which makes for more streamlined working. The case books page also now have tables of contents showing patients and which pages their case notes are on:


We’d talked about doing some data visualisations on our first day of data week and did want to get some done even though we were running out of time. Frankie pulled out the case books’ spine images to make a clickable display which looks like books on a shelf:


Although this isn’t how the case books look in the archive I like to think that they may have looked like this whilst in use in the 19th century.

Frankie also did a useful visualisation with the stay dates of the patients. Stays are plotted for each patient between 1792 for the first stay to 1989 for the last. These are colour-coded showing their status upon leaving, e.g. ‘cured’ or ‘not improved’. Frankie also gave the patients list clickable column headings so you can sort by name alphabetically, length of stay, and stay dates:


And that brought us to the end of data week. I think we’ve all found it very interesting and gratifying to try out so many new things in a just a week. If you get the right mix of subject and technical knowledge around a table a lot of good work can be achieved very quickly. Another Wellcome data week would definitely get my vote.

Written by Natalie Pollecutt



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