What’s in a name

One of the challenges of the LBC/IRN Digitisation Project is to aurally transcribe personal names without supporting documentary evidence to help in checking difficult or unusual spellings. They fall roughly into three areas:

  • prominent personalities in international affairs. Just to take one example, the Rhodesia / Zimbabwe Independence struggle. Key players frequently referred to in the news included Abel Muzorewa, Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe – who course remains in the news today;
  • less easy to check are minor personalities – famous for 15 minutes, trades union officials, MP’s, local government officials, celebrities and sports persons;
  • and staff working for LBC/IRN as reporters, presenters and journalists.

The LBC/IRN team has access to good reference tools, Keesings Contemporary Archives, The Oxford Dictionaries of National Biography, The Times Digital Archive, a number of reference databases and the internet. Where electronic sources are not available they have created lists of names from contemporary directories, for example list of MP’s from the early 1970’s. The team have been able to use contacts with LBC/IRN to create authority lists of LBC/IRN staff working from 1973-1990.

Next time you listen to the news – see if you can summarise and transcribe names accurately.

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1 comment so far

  1. […] work has required additional investigation to verify, for example, the spellings of names (see post What’s in a name?). Included here is LBC / IRN a short bibliography of key articles, created by one of the […]


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