2. Examples of edited Ship Histories - HMS Eclipse, HMS Eskimo, HMS Gloucester, HMS Kennet, HMS Knight Templar, HMS Newcastle, HMS Parramatta, HMS Pegasus, HMS Saxon, HMS Snipe - there is no one ideal way
4. Editing Guidelines (below) - based on experience to date
To make the sets of log book scans available as Ship Histories to naval and family historians together with the transcribed information or 'events', suitably edited.
Minimum transcribed information should normally be Date and Location (From/To or At).
Editors can, if they wish, add other significant events from the scans - ships encountered, port and anchorage arrivals and departures, personnel coming and going, action and battle details, and from time to time, descriptions of shipboard and voyage routines, sick lists etc.
IF IN DOUBT, REMEMBER, RESEARCHERS HAVE ACCESS TO THE ORIGINAL LOG SCANS.
ALSO THAT THE EDITING SHOULD BE AN ENJOYABLE AND INTERESTING EXPERIENCE.
Some of the abbreviations used: ' - miles; "anchor shape" - anchored; a/c - altered course; as reqte - as requisite; as reqd - as required; brg - bearing; cos or co & spd - course and speed; incd or Incr - increased; recd - received; red - reduced.
Perhaps add the occasional personal observation - Another day swinging round an anchor in Scapa Flow, Orkneys in February.
Possibly follow editing with proof-reading.
Include as much as you want from the logs to build a story that interests you.
You will need to have or acquire some knowledge of naval terminology e.g. "Commenced as reqd for chasing AE1" should have read "Course & speed as reqd for closing AE1".
If the ship is continually at sea, it can be helpful to add the True Bearing and Distance at noon.
You may have to check the spelling of some locations, ships, naval equipment - Google often helps, but in some cases, old maps, charts and atlases, Seamanship Manuals etc. might be useful. If in doubt, make a best guess and add (?).
Some days may have two log book scans e.g. one with Notes pasted on to the page. In other cases, one log page may cover two or even more days. When the ship is out of commission, the log books often cease.
With the largest files - you might want to share the work with other editors.
By working on the same ship, you get used to the writing in the log book.
Use 12 hour clock specifying am or pm.
If the time is not given for an event, you can read off 'am' or 'pm' from the left column of the log page.
If you happen to know or find out the type or class of ship that is encountered, a particularly obscure location, what a strange piece of equipment is used for, don't waste it. Add the information in brackets. The same goes for links to relates sites and books.
You will sometimes find transcribed information that does not make sense, and cannot be found in the log book scan e.g. Visited Roman Catholic Church - while in the middle of the Atlantic!
The Old Weather forum can be used to share other editing experiences like this.
Thank you and Good Luck.
Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net and the Old Weather Team