How to

Did I hear you say you wanted to help? The intuitive way to do it is to go to the underlying source code for one of my pages (probably Alt-V-R in your netbrowser): with a bit of study you will figure it out, provided you have some knowledge of HTML. These web pages are quite simple, and the HTML code inserted for formatting purposes is minimal.

The other way to do it is to work in word-processing mode. Try to give me the information I need as reflected in how the online records are set up. Once you have done your bit, send me the proposed record as an MS Word file, and I will see that the appropriate HTML tags are added.

Here are a few pointers in addition. Generally speaking, a record is a "no frills" or plain vanilla reproduction in ASCII characters of what appears in the book. Hence we are not trying to imitate the appearance or formatting of a table of contents page. We simply reproduce everything as is. For example, if we see
written on a title page as the autor of a book, we resist the urge to add his first name. We may not like the fact that his name is written in all capital letters, but we make no change in this regard. If, in another case, we see him listed as
we resist the North American democratizing urge to strip away his professorial and doctoral titles.

The only exception to this general pattern is the search name (sn) provision, which is intended to make this index more user-friendly. Even here we take nothing away: we reproduce what is there but simply add something. It is safe to leave the addition of the search name to me: I will look after it in the final editing process. If, in a Dutch book, there was an essay by
Ds. W. v.d. Zwaag
you would just reproduce the name exactly as it appears. "Ds." is an abbreviation equivalent to "Rev." in English and would need to be retained, just as any other title or designation before or after a name is retained. I would then undo the abbreviations, so to speak, in the process of adding the search name (sn)
[sn vanderzwaag]
A search name includes lower-case letters only; it eliminates spaces within last names and strips the accents off letters.

We don't make much use of accents in Engish. Often we call them special characters, and they represent a bit of a challenge when you are working in HTML mode. They can virtually all be represented properly via HTML code. It is my responsibility to make sure this is done, but you can help me by drawing attention to them in records you submit. Thus if you needed to include the name of the French philosopher René Descartes in a record you were working on, you could write
Ren[e with an up accent] Descartes
and I would know what to do from there.

There are basically four ways to enter text in the process of making a record. One is to type it in. A second is to dictate it, using some such program as Dragon Naturally Speaking. A third is to make a photocopy of the pages whose contents we need, then to make images of those photocopies via a scanner, and then to run an OCR program on those images, which process will give you text (still in need of proofreading and correction, however). Most of the records to date have been made via scanning followed by OCR. A fourth method is to ask the author or editor of the book you are doing to provide the material you need in computerizd form, either as a word-processing file or files or in PDF form. Or perhaps you are yourself the author .....

Theodore Plantinga