Indexing Eliza’s Register

Eliza Smallwood is no stranger to the blog: we’ve highlighted her indenture of apprenticeship multiple times, found her entry in a Register of Apprentices and even traced her history through the censuses. Now “her” register has been chosen as one of the first pieces of Minton Archive material to be name indexed by one of our volunteers.

The name indexing process captures all the names found in a particular archive document and associates them with that document’s finding number, resulting in a searchable database of names and their sources. Volumes like the Register of Apprentices are ideal for indexing as they contain such a large number of names (1,303 including Eliza) as well as extra associated information which can be captured at the same time. As you might imagine this all makes for quite time-consuming work!

Despite the enormity of such a task one of our volunteers has (without coercion, we might add!) already begun to index the Register of Apprentices; once completed this will be available to search via the Archive Service’s Staffordshire Name Indexes website. We’ve also selected two special addresses from the staff of Mintons to members of the Campbell family for indexing, though as one contains 1,517 names and the other 1,792 names these might take some time to work through even after we get round to them!

We’re looking forward to sharing another facet of The Minton Archive with you and will keep you up-to-date with our indexing progress (probably with more Eliza Smallwood name drops!). We’d also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our volunteers – their work helps make it possible to open up the Archive in this way.