Helping us to Correct Errors in Old Bailey Online

We provide a simple form for logged-in users of Old Bailey Online to report errors they find in our transcripts, wherever you can see the ‘Add a Correction’ link in the summary box.

Add a Correction

We encourage site users to report errors they find using the form. But there are some quite significant limitations to this facility.

Firstly, we cannot change errors that were made in the original text. Old Bailey Online strives to reproduce the original printed texts as faithfully as possible. They often contain misspelt people or place names: we have to reproduce these as they appeared in the original. In the case of original errors in personal names that impede searching, we may be able to apply a fix for search purposes (though the visible text will not be changed).

Secondly, all corrections have to be verified and applied manually and we have limited resources to do this. So we give priority to certain kinds of errors:

  • Marked-up information (eg, person and place names, ages, offence/verdict/sentence categories) – primarily, where errors have a negative impact on the accuracy of statistical searches, or impede searching for people.
  • Missing pages or large chunks of text.
  • Missing images and errors in links to images: we regard this as important because it prevents readers from checking the accuracy of transcriptions
  • We give low priority to small typographical errors in the text such as ‘f’ for long ‘s’.

Thirdly, this facility is intended for one-off errors and fairly simple issues. If you think you’ve identified a more widespread, repeated problem or a complex issue that can’t easily be described in 1000 characters, it will be more appropriate to email us.

When reporting errors, you can help us in a number of ways which will enable us to work through more corrections more effectively:

  • Please be clear and precise about the nature of the error or omission: specify both the error and what you think it should be corrected to
  • Please check apparent errors against the original page images to ensure the error is in our transcription and not the original.
  • If you’re reporting a name that’s misspelt in the original text, we need to be as certain as possible that the proposed correction is correct! So in this case, please explain.

Finally, please be patient: we usually do a batch of corrections about once a year, and may not be able to work through all the new corrections in the time available. So it may be quite a long time before we get to yours. Please don’t submit the same correction multiple times.

We’re grateful to everyone who takes the trouble to help us improve our resource!

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