Dr Gavin Robinson is sole director and shareholder of Different Hand Ltd:
I currently do most of the transcription and all of the project management and quality checks for Different Hand Ltd. A typical contract will appoint me as Supplier's Manager, making me responsible for managing the work, ensuring quality and liaising with the client.
I have over 20 years of experience with early-modern palaeography. I gained my PhD from Reading University in 2001 with a thesis on horse supply in the English Civil War. This required very detailed research in manuscript financial and administrative records (especially SP 28 in the UK National Archives). Since then, I have published a book with Ashgate, and articles in War in History and Journal of Military History.
For my own academic research, I have read and transcribed early-modern account books, pay warrants, letters, diaries, wills, inventories, and petitions. I have also done family history research using censuses and First World War military records.
I have produced a TEI digital edition of a regimental history relating to the First World War (published HTML version, project page with source code). This has given me experience of managing all stages of a small digitisation project, and made me familiar with TEI P5 XML markup and oXygen XML editor.
I have extensive experience with MediaWiki and have taken part in several crowdsourced projects, including Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders, Lives of the First World War, Marine Lives, GB1900, and Six Degrees of Francis Bacon. I am currently an admin at Linking Experiences of WW1, where I have developed a semi-automatic process to generate and import pages for WW1 military units, saving lots of labour. I was also a moderator and regular contributor at Your Archives, the experimental wiki set up by the UK National Archives, and helped Ben Brumfield to test his From the Page transcription software.
Before setting up Different Hand Ltd, I did freelance transcription work for several important projects:
- 2012: 1624 Parliament project (History of Parliament Trust). I transcribed the diary of Richard Dyott MP into Microsoft Word, and enhanced the page images to make them more legible. This source was extremely difficult to read, even after image enhancement, because of water damage to the original manuscript.
- 2012: Mortality and Epidemiological Change in Manchester, 1750-1850 (Newcastle University and Cambridge Population Group). I entered parts of Manchester Cathedral sexton's register and Manchester Collegiate Church baptism register into an Access database for the pilot of this project, providing timings that helped the researchers to plan the project and complete their successful funding application.
- 2011–12: The Origins of the Modern Demographic Regime: Infant Mortality by Social Status in Georgian London (Newcastle University and Cambridge Population Group). I entered 18th- and 19th-century parish registers from St Martin in the Fields into an Access database.
- 2008–09: Life in the Suburbs (Centre for Metropolitan History and Cambridge Population Group). I entered 16th- to 18th-century parish registers from St Botolph Aldgate into an Access database, and checked data entered by others. I also calendared 17th-century indemnity bonds and tax records into Excel spreadsheets.
- Horses, People and Parliament in the English Civil War: Extracting Resources and Constructing Allegiance (Hardback: Ashgate, 2012; paperback: Routledge, 2017).
- 'The Military Value of Horses and the Social Value of the Horse in Early Modern England' in Peter Edwards, Elspeth Graham and Karl Enenkel (eds), The Horse as Cultural Icon (Leiden, Brill, 2011), pp. 351–76.
- 'Equine Battering Rams? A Reassessment of Cavalry Charges in the English Civil War', Journal of Military History 75/3 (July 2011), pp. 719–31.
- 'Horse Supply and the Development of the New Model Army, 1642–1646', War in History 15/2 (April 2008), pp. 121–40. (Open Access PDF with new preface.)
- PhD in History, Reading University, 2001. Thesis: 'Horse Supply in the English Civil War 1642–1646'.
- MA in Military History, Leeds University, 1996.
- BA first class honours in History, Reading University, 1995.