A guide for digitising manuscript climate data
Hand-written or printed manuscript data are an important source for paleo-climatological studies, but bringing them into a suitable format can be a time consuming adventure with uncertain success. Before digitising such data (e.g., in the context a specific research project), it is worthwhile spending a few thoughts on the characteristics of the data, the scientific requirements with respect to quality and coverage, the metadata, and technical aspects such as reproduction techniques, digitising techniques, and quality control strategies. Here we briefly discuss the most important considerations according to our own experience and describe different methods for digitising numeric or text data (optical character recognition, speech recognition, and key entry). We present a tentative guide that is intended to help others compiling the necessary information and making the right decisions.