Publishing Monumental Inscription Transcripts

Uniformity in the Typed Copy

In order to get some uniformity in typed copy of the monumental inscription transcripts in preparation for publication, it would help if the following format was followed.

1st Page
This is a heading page with the OFHS logo, the name of the church etc. and any acknowledgements. It is set up using ‘Jetsetter’ and will normally be supplied by the Overall Projects Officer, Dr Hugh Kearsey.

2nd Page
This is a Title Page’, un-numbered, and can optionally contain the contents of the following two pages.

3rd Page
should give page numbers and contain headings such as:
Inscriptions in the Churchyard
Inscriptions in the Cemetery
Inscriptions in the Church
Inscriptions in the -------------Chapel
Index to Persons Names

4th Page
Description of the Church, churchyard and churchyard plan, and your method of recording etc. Photographs, if taken, of the exterior of the Church, the font and chancel should come here too. It is also a good idea to photograph the oldest stone, and any unusual or ‘listed’ memorials.

The pages of Inscriptions follow next.

These should be numbered at page 1 and continue throughout the rest of the text.

Each inscription throughout the rest of the text should have an unique reference progressing through the text in a logical manner, and should obviously refer to the plan of the grave-yard.

The finished transcription will be micro-fiched, or put on a CD, so a preferred system is a line by line copy of the inscriptions in normal text. Add an oblique line to indicate the end of a line of transcripts as it appears on the stone, with a double oblique to show the end of the inscription. The description of stones etc., should appear in italics above the transcription. Poems etc., can optionally be in another typeface from the main text, e.g. Sans-Serif. Where there is doubt over the name or date, reference to the Parish Register Burial should be sought and under the transcription can be written in brackets [BR shows: etc. etc.]

If the transcription is an original copy, done many years ago, and the stone or stones are still there and you are able to read these, but you do not agree with the original transcription, either in a differing font or italics where the difference lies. If the Burial Register does not agree with your transcription, please enter in italics beneath the transcription. Examples of the types are shown below:

L 7
Type of memorial: tomb, flat slab, headstone, or footstone; the geological identification of stone if known [– but mostly we are not geologists – so if in doubt – leave this latter out], the type of decoration on the memorial; name of the mason or undertakers.

In Memory /of/ AVERY WOODLEY/who died/Oct 24 1808 Aged 31 Years/
The Grave is eloquence it’s Lectures teach/In silence louder than Divines can reach/
Hear what it says ye Souls of Folly---- / It speaks to you---- ---d and----//

[Bur.Reg. says.’ Avery Woodley buried 14th Oct 1888]

If you are transcribing a very small chapel graveyard, there is room to use this second layout.

L 6
Headstone description as above

In Memory
who died
Oct 24 1808 Aged 31 Years
The Grave is eloquence it’s Lectures teach
In silence louder than Divines can reach
Hear what it says ye Souls of Folly---
It speaks to you------ -d and---//

[I have this urge to fill in gaps like this and Google has found this verse for me:]
The Grave has eloquence; it’s Lectures teach
In silence louder than Divines can Preach!
Hear what it says - ye Sons of Folly hear,
It speaks to you, lend an attentive ear.//

L 8
Cross on three plinths. (In this case number the plinths, 1 [under cross] to 3 [base])

If necessary the Projects Officer will edit into the required formats and print.

There should be only one for each place, i.e. one for the parish church transcription and one for the Baptists Chapel yard transcription.
The index should preferably be prepared using a database programme, and after sorting, formatted in a word processing programme. The data can then also be used to add to the main county index.

Fields should be:
SURNAME in upper case [12 characters max.]
Year of Death
Age at Death [in whole number of years only] 0 if baby of months, blank if no age at all.
Grave/Inscription Reference

A footer can explain any reference prefix if necessary.