Carrying Out a Graveyard Survey - Guidelines



What to Record

Some Tips

Record Sheets

Drawing a Plan



Worn Stones

Creating a Database from the Information Recorded

The primary record is of course the set of record sheets and photographs, if taken, but if the data is entered into a computer database it can be accessed quickly and easily, searched and further processed in a variety of ways depending on the interests of the user.

One field in the database should be created for each item in the record sheets, and extra fields can be used to hold details of, for example, surnames (useful for later indexing), dates of death, occupations, causes of death and place names mentioned in the inscriptions. It can be advantageous to use layouts for the data which replicate as far as possible that of the record sheets (one layout for each side), with further layouts or views which display other aspects of the data as required. You can look at some example layouts from the Prestonkirk survey database.

It is a good idea to keep a copy of the data in a simple file format, e.g. a comma separated value (CSV) file, which can be accessed by basic software such as a text editor which should be available on any computer. Then, if for any reason the more complex database file were to become inaccessible, the raw data could still be read and used to recreate the database.

Keep multiple copies of the data, preferably in different locations, and don't rely on long term integrity of any magnetic medium - create a copy on CD or regularly make new copies onto hard or floppy disc.

With a reliable archive of the raw data, stored in a format which can be read on any computer system, it can at any time be loaded into whatever database management system provides the facilities required to access and analyse the data.

Page last updated 28th May, 2012
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