Different Hand Ltd

Historical manuscript transcription, XML markup, data cleaning/processing, research assistance.

Gavin Robinson

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.

Previous Employment

Before setting up Different Hand Ltd, I did freelance transcription work for several important projects: