You may be wondering why we haven't posted here in our blog for a couple of weeks. The simple answer is that we have been engaged in the transcription of the 1916-1919 Keighley War Hospital register of patients. More...
The register contains details of 13,214 soldiers who were treated at Keighley War Hospital during the Great War.
As you might expect, this has been a mammoth task and in the first stage, around 40 volunteers have been transcribing information from page images from the twenty separate alphabetical sections of the register.
This has taken up a lot of our time and although we're coming to the end of that particular stage, there's still such a lot to do.
The second stage will involve the proof reading of all the transcriptions and the only rules are that nobody proof reads their own transcriptions, and it has to reflect an accurate copy of what's on the pages. This proof reading method allows a different set of eyes to double check the transcriptions, hopefully spot any minor errors and improve the quality of the excellent work done so far. This copy will then be saved as a complete transcripton of the actual register and a copy will go to Keighley Library.
The third stage is to develop the transcribed copy. This will involve checking service numbers, name spellings and regimental names. Some of the entries are in a kind of shorthand and we can improve on our understanding by writing names out in full. Also, details of where men were sent to after treatment here. Sometimes they were sent to convalsecent homes or other hospitals and we will write up information sources which tell the stories of these places wherever we can find this information.
The fourth stage will be to get the register available online, this may be done on this website in a shortened format (possibly just a list of names) or a full scale database either on here, or in co-operation with the Bradford Library Service. After all, there's no point doing this work if we're not going to share it. We're not in it for the money and in the meantime anyone requesting a look-up can contact us through our online form and ask about a relative they're researching, to see if they were treated here at Keighley during the Great War.
The fifth stage will be to obtain funding to have conservation work carried out on the original patients register. Our database will make it more accessible and it'll be quicker too, but the original register really does need some tender loving care, if it's to last another hundred years.