Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Lockdown Update (Doesn't Time Fly?)

I've just realised that it's two months since my last post.  In the UK we are half way through week seven of our first COVID-19 lockdown.  But that's only a small part of the reason why I haven't posted anything.

It's mostly down to lots of fiddly jobs around the house, painting display models for Fighting15s, and dealing with the year-end accounts for my wargames business.  Not to mention the April weather; it was marvellous, atypical and didn't exactly encourage sitting indoors.

The one thing I did finish was Volume II of the Hobilar Archive for the Lance & Longbow Society.  I started this project in 2016!



My role, as Society Archivist, has been to manage the project (part time), prepare the digital content and produce the various indices via a custom built database. Here's an example output from the indexing illustrating the work involved.

Pre-lockdown I just couldn't face indexing the remaining issues.  I don't know why.  It's a somewhat tedious process even with a custom database.  It became a job for another day which never seemed to arrive.  Somehow, again don't ask me how, the UK lockdown gave me the motivation to index the last 40 issues and get the CD duplicated.  I've learnt my lesson. I now index each new issue as it is released.

For those of you who don't know about the Lance & Longbow Society, the Society's journal, Hobilar, was first published in August 1991. It features articles on wargaming, medieval warfare and heraldry from the early 11th century to the early sixteenth century, as well as many full colour flags and banners of the period.

To preserve the wealth of information presented in Hobilar over the years all the issues have, where necessary, been scanned, lovingly restored, converted to pdf format and written to CD.  If you'd like a copy you can order one from the books page at vexillia.com.

It was great relief to see this project completed and rest assured I haven't completely abandoned my wargaming projects.  I have half-finished some medieval Russian light horse for my Lithuanian army.  I have also completed another batch of men at arms for the War of the Roses. I just need to base them.  There should be a return to normal service by the end of the month.

6 comments :

  1. I received the Hobilar CD Martin and it does not disappoint. That's my collection complete but the real advantage is having them all on a CD to which, of course, one has instant access without having hunt a particular copy down :)

    Recommended folks!

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    Replies
    1. Excellent. Thanks for the recommendation.

      User feedback always important when launching a new product. So many things can go awry.

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  2. Martin, what software did you use for indexing purposes? I've been looking for such a product for sometime to index my Airfix magazines. Cheers.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Greg. I wrote the database in MS Access 2003 but it's only two tables really: issues & articles. You could do this in Excel easily enough.

      Having said that I did put lots of effort into setting up the indexing fields by custom built pick list etc. Of course the report writing in Access helped with the final output.

      However, someone has already done a lot of the work for you! See http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/mags/magazine-details/airfix-magazine.htm and follow the contents link to the bottom of the page.

      Many scans are freely available too - https://archive.org/details/magazine_rack?and%5B%5D=airfix&sin=

      Hope this helps?

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    2. Many thanks for that Martin. I'll check out the links. Cheers.

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