Archaeology in East Oxford

Tracing continued

I’ve been back to the Oxford History Centre twice since my last blog – the first time to take the photos, more about the second visit later on.
I turned up early to do the photos; I had earlier agreed to meet Graeme Salmon there, as he wanted to take more photos as well. We started on the rolled-up map (Ref P432/2/M1/1). I was taking lots of pictures, all pretty close up as I was interested in capturing the text and the fine detail while Graeme was more interested in larger, overall views.
Having done that – 154 frames in all on the camera which Jane had lent me for the occasion (a big Thank You for that, Jane) we got out the bound version of the map (Ref QS/D/A/book24) – it is a book which contains the awards; the description of who farmed (or rented/owned) the old strips and how that related to the new enclosures. This has a copy of the map, folded up and bound into the back of the book. Graeme photographed that and then left to go home for lunch while I went out and had a cup of coffee (they do excellent coffee there). Then back to do the infilling of the gaps left in the tracing by the overlaps and creases in the rolled up map.

You can see the overlap where the sections join (just left of centre) and the damage caused by cracking.

Courtesy: – Oxfordfordshire County Council/Oxfordshire History Centre/Ref:P432/2/M1/1

Finished doing all the tracing and thought ‘That’s a wrap!’.

How wrong can you be!

Over the next few days I did some general preparations for the next stage and one in the future: for the next stage – scanning (which I’m going to do at Rewley House, the Oxford University Continuing Education site and where the Archeox office is, as the project has an A3 scanner) – I separated the tracings into individual sheets; 18 in all. Then I checked them to make sure that they all joined up with no missing spaces. Then I used a copy of the whole map which Graeme had emailed me to show where I had missed bits. Talk about counting your chickens!
The other bit of preparation which I mentioned was marking up another copy of Graeme’s map with all the photos which I had taken – a sort of visual index – as a reference for when I start to do the digitisation. When I get down to the drawing the individual strips in the GIS package I’ll be simultaneously building up a database of the strips which can then be added to with other info as and when. Also I had to rotate all the photos through 180 degrees, but we’ll pass over that! I did the marking up of the map when I was up at my Mum’s early on this week, and then left it up there! Luckily we are going up to see her tomorrow, but I think I’m going to have to come up with some method of permanently attaching things to me with elastic or something.

However, I have now been back and gone over all the joins (and some other bits which needed tidying up) so hopefully it’s all ready for next Wednesday when I do the scanning. Busy week, next one – 2 meetings, 1 talk (see Archeox web site), a finds washing and sorting day and a go at washing human remains. Something tells me that apart from the scanning, the enclosure map will have to wait for a while!


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