Research breakthrough

I decided to do a bit of a blunt search for the term for a specific craft in the hope I might, might, break through the big gaps in OCR of so many of the digitised books online have. I didn’t realise entire pages were missing in the I think 1600 pages I have on trades, let alone all the dictionaries (cries). It may not seem like I need to search the documents about, say, fishmongers but sometimes the documents are wills or letters, in which clothing items can be found. But also it’s fascinating to read the quantities and types of fish sold.

My hope is to find documents about where their product went, and how many crafts it took to reach it’s final form. There are some obvious uses, but I’m trying to be able to get the specific document archival names so no one else has to fight this OCR mess.

Luckily the index of my main trades resource does reveal when a trade was mentioned in the records of another trade, also when it’s a surname. So I’m pretty sure I have everything that can be found in it.

Online options to strip the OCR layer have failed, my only option is to pull out all images (ie the top layer) then get google to transcribe and translate page by page.

Anyway, back to being excited because yes I found a couple more books about trades that didn’t show up in more general terms for trades and crafts.

In one instance I have a timeframe needed and number of journeymen needed to embroider a garment: 6 weeks and I think 8 journeymen. Apprentices not counted, I suspect due to the nature of the work which was for a Duke. It’s fantastic as it reveals just how fast these pieces were made but also how many people were involved for each piece. I’ve always suspected this, but in part because of other references like how the heck did you make all of those costumes for the parades and festivals. Maximilian used his own tailors to design and make the Freydal costumes. I think also some of the clothes of the partners of those in the dances as usually the all wear matching clothes too.

There are also massive amounts of fabric ordered in the North Rhine for festivities like this that could also be for these same kinds of clothes worn to denote loyalty.

It’s all very cool, and I’ve started to save files in named folders in my downloads now to avoid what I’ve done in the past which is to accidentally lose important documents due to naming conventions of the digitisers.

Given the leap in progress yesterday I can face at least renaming some more books.

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