The National Archives of Singapore (NAS) has many records that have not yet been adequately described to be put on our online catalogue, Archives Online. For the Citizen Archivist Project, we're asking for everybody's help in making these records more discoverable. At this moment, the ways to contribute would be to describe photographs, transcribe documents, transcribe and translate records labels, or transcribe oral history recordings.
Contributions are actively monitored and will be removed if deemed inappropriate. Users will be removed if they have been found to repeatedly submit inappropriate text. Users can also click the Flag icon to report inappropriate contributions (must be logged in to flag an item).
For image description, after a photo has been judged to have sufficient information that it would be able to be searched by someone looking for its subject matter (a bit subjective, we know), NAS staff will collate all the information into the description and add the image and its new description to Archives Online.
For transcription, once transcription is complete (barring some unknowns/comments), contributors can press "Submit For Review" and a staff at NAS will check to see if the transcription is reasonably accurate and complete. If it is, it will be marked as complete. If it's not, it will be put back up for contributions. When the entire collection is completed, the whole volume in PDF will be uploaded to ArchivesOnline.
In both cases, the display names of all the contributors will be added to the metadata on Archives Online.
Logging in as a specific user will enable you to track which items you have contributed to. Moroever, you can mark items as Favourites. You can view these lists in your personal profile, accessible on the top right of the page. Contributors may also be invited for special events and asked to test new features of the site.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions/comments about this project.
Contribute what you know. Part of the beauty of crowdsourcing is that even if you don't know something, someone else might. Perhaps you know the place is at, and someone else will know who the person in the photo is, or in which year it was taken. The tone should be factual, not flowery.
You can also imagine what words you would use if you were searching for this photo, and put them in your description.
NewspaperSG and the existing Archives Online database can provide more clues about the item. For example, if you know the name of the event but are not sure which year it was in, try searching the NewspaperSG database to see which year it took place.
It is probable that there will be some errors in the text provided.
Only the images on Archives Online with the appropriate Conditions Governing Access may be ordered. Once an image on the CItizen Archivist database has been well described, it will be moved to Archives Online within three working days, and you can follow the procedures as outlined on the Ordering page.
1. What is the book about?
This edition of the early 20th century classic, Song Ong Siang’s One Hundred Years’ History of the Chinese in Singapore – an annotated edition was commissioned by the National Library Board and annotated by the Singapore Heritage Society.
The original book, published in 1923, is currently out of print and contains historical and biographical snippets. The annotated edition takes this classic text and updates it with detailed annotations of sources, notes discrepancies where they appear and includes more recent scholarship on the lives and times of various personalities and events mentioned in the original version..
2. How can I contribute?
Contribute annotations or any relevant materials such as information and photographs from trusted sources that you may have. You may include hyperlinks or attach photographs.
3. How do I annotate?
a. Login to the Citizen Archivist platform via your Google, social media, MSN or myLibrary accounts.
b. Select the text or phrase that you want to annotate. The selected text or phrase* will be highlighted.
c. Click on the “+” icon to start annotating.
d. The editing field will open up. (You can click on the “x” icon to deselect the text or phrase)
e. Insert your annotation. You may also attach photographs, include additional hyperlinks and video links.
Notes: You may only delete/edit your own annotations and not those of others.
*Please note that you can only select a word at a time on mobile platforms.
4. How do I search for specific text to annotate?
a. Click on the “Read” button on the landing page of the ebook that you would like to annotate. The ebook will open in a new tab in a flipview mode.
b. Click on the search icon on the top right of the page.
c. Input your search term into the search box.
d. The results of your search will appear on the left of the page.
e. Click on the search result you would like to see and note the page number of the text you would like to annotate.
f. To annotate the text, return to the landing page of the ebook on Citizen Archivist. Enter the page number + 41 (to accommodate the 41 pages of introductory notes) into the navigation bar (for instance, to go to page 30, key in 71 in the navigation bar).
g. Annotate as per (3) above.
5. How do I search through annotations and comments?
To search annotations or comments that have already been made, please use the website search bar located at the top right of the page of the ebook to be annotated.
6. What will happen to my annotations/contributions? Will my annotations be published?
The annotations/contributions will be reviewed by the editor of the annotated edition, Kevin Tan. Material or information deemed useful may be considered for inclusion in the second edition.
7. Will the rights of images I submit still belong to me?
The rights of images will still belong to you. But should the editor decide to use the image in the second edition, we will need you to grant us the permission to do so.
8. If I wish to add on to someone else’s annotations, can I do so?
Yes, you may. Just highlight the phrase and contribute your annotation.
9. Must I annotate in any particular format or style?
No, there’s no particular format or style required. However, information or explanations should be written in a clear and concise manner.
10. How long will this project last?
This project will be for up for six months on Citizen Archivist.