Georeferencing and linking digitized archival Documents
The PTT archive is increasingly digitising its collections with the aim of not only making documents more easily available, but also of making them accessible, linked and analysed in new ways. Many of these Documents can be assigned to one or more geographical points. Three such records are presented below, with the idea of trying out new approaches and concepts:
Poststellenchroniken: This OpenRefine dataset contains an extract of the archive database with metadata on the post office chronicles stored in the PTT archive. The post office chronicles contain collected information, partly also newspaper clippings, photos and plans of all historical post offices of the PTT. The archive database entries for each dossier were prepared in OpenRefine, assigned to a post office (there are sometimes several dossiers per post office) and then linked to the corresponding current administrative communities on Wikidata via OpenRefine's Reconciliation Service. This linkage is currently not yet fully completed. The aim is firstly to record entries for the post offices on Wikidata itself, and secondly to enable a rough geo-referencing of the post offices via the link to the municipalities, which would otherwise only be possible via a time-consuming, manual re-listing.
Postkurskarten: The dataset contains a selection of retro-digitized "Postkurskarten" of the Swiss PTT between 1851 and 1941, providing information on postal connections and the respective departure and arrival times. The older maps depict the entire network of postal connections (stage coaches and later also railway and post bus services), while the more recent maps are somewhat more schematic. The selection presented here gives an impression of the maps archived in the PTT archive. However, there is a large number of other maps (also on telecommunications) with a different geographical focus and covering the entire period of existence of the PTT. The file names correspond to the archive signature of the course charts. The "Postkurskarten" are to be digitally annotated. Where possible, this should be done automatically (e.g. via text recognition) or via easy to use public collaborative tools. Maps prepared in this way could then be used for assigning/linking other archive documents on them geographically.
Postauto Postkarten: The data set contains a selection of retro-digitized postbus postcards from the PTT archive. These postcards each show Postbuses on known routes, especially pass lines. They were produced by the PTT for advertising purposes. Also here, possible methods for georeferencing shall be experimented with. These references can then be linked and localized with the annotated maps.