The Olive French manuscript came in the the Museum’s possession many years ago. Over the years it has been utilized for a number of different projects. Throughout this time it became disorganized and unusable.
In the summer of 2008, the Museum embarked on a project that would have the manuscript fully transcribed. This proved to be a difficult task, as much of the manuscript was in various stages of editing. Many pages were repeated upwards of six times, thoughts often trailed off with no trace of what was coming next and pages were sporadically numbered.
By late 2009 a good portion of the manuscript had been transcribed by summer students, volunteers and staff; but there was still much work to be done.
In late 2010, Museum programming staff set about the task of finishing any transcription that was left as well as organizing the manuscript in to a usable working document. This included comparing many drafts that had previously been typed, dividing the manuscript by subject and time frame then reorganizing the document on the computer and in the archival file box.
Currently the manuscript has been typed into a Microsoft Word document; divided into three time frames, 1800 – 1870, 1871 – 1920 and 1921 – 1967; and and its information is being used in the redevelopment of the schoolroom exhibit in Robinson House.
You can discover more about the Olive French manuscript by reading this blog or visiting the Oshawa Community Archives.