Can I submit my own listening experience(s)?
Only if it is documented and unsolicited. We are looking for essentially private and personal experiences of listening to music that are documented, rather than professional music criticism or reviews of performances or recordings. By ‘documented evidence’, we really mean things like diaries, memoirs, letters and oral history – things that are already written down or recorded. The parameters of the project don’t allow us to ‘solicit’ responses specially created for the LED database, so – for example – we’re not looking for your own reflections about a piece of music you heard on the radio the other night or what you’re listening to on your iPod, or a childhood memory of listening to music.
Do I need to fill in every field on the form? I don't have all of the information to hand.
No. Given the nature of historical evidence, we do not expect you will be able to complete every field on the contribution form. The form is intended to give you every opportunity to record what you know, but only the fields marked * are compulsory (i.e. the listening experience and the source that it came from). Anything else can and should be left blank if you are not certain. Fill in only information that you are confident about – don’t guess or feel that you need to carry out any background research.
Some of the information is unknown. Should I write something like "unknown" or "unspecified"?
No. If you cannot provide an albeit vague description of something, don't enter it.
The listening experience I'm trying to submit doesn't have an official title. What should I do?
Much of the evidence being submitted to the LED will be from letters or diaries that are either unpublished or published as part of a collection of letters/diaries etc. In which case, they won't have an individual title. In this scenario, we ask that you adhere to the following format.
For letters, please use: ‘Letter from X to Y, date of letter [dd month yyyy]’. So for example, 'Letter from Anna Seward to Rebecca Cotton Baldwin, 27 October 1785'.
For diary entries, please use: 'Diary of X, date of diary entry [dd month yyyy]'. So for example, 'Diary of Benjamin Britten, 14 February 1929'.
For journal entries, please use: 'Journal of X, date of journal entry [dd month yyyy]'. So for example, 'Journal of Princess Victoria, 9 September 1835'.
For a memoir, please use: 'Memoir of X, date of memoir [dd month yyyy]'. So for example, 'Memoir of Private Waterfield, 1 March 1848'.
Does the title of a source book ever go in the source field or should it always be in the format 'Letter from X to Y, date xxxx', 'Diary entry by Y, date xxxx', whether or not the material has been published in book form?
If it's an individual diary-type entry (or letter) - i.e., something that can be identified as a discrete item - use a description such as 'Diary of Ada Galsworthy, 2 November 1878' in the 'Source' field on the main form. Then tick 'published' and 'as part of' in the source sub-form, and fill in the publication details.
If it's an extract from a continuous narrative that doesn't break down into neatly identifiable chunks, use the book title in the field on the main form.
It won't allow me to enter the precise location of the listening experience. What should I do?
When entering the location where the music was heard, try to be as specific as possible, e.g., a theatre, palace, or town/city/region/country. If the place is not recognized by the database, try entering a broader location; e.g., if a theatre is not found, use the name of the town/city/country instead. (You can always use the 'additional information' box at the bottom of the form to record details such as a precise postal address.).
Update: for the experience location only, this is no longer the case. You can type arbitraty text for the location, and the system will automatically attempt to extract known places as you type. Please ensure only the relevant locations are extracted and remove any ones that do not apply before finally submitting. Also, please try to include at least one recognisable location, unless the information in your possession prevents you from doing so.
When I click on 'Save' within the sub-forms, a red cross appears. Have I done something wrong?
No, not at all! The red crosses are merely there for if you have made a mistake and would like to cancel this part of the submission process. Clicking on them will delete what you have submitted for that particular field, allowing you to input the data again.
Is it necessary to fill in the original language field when it's in English?
There's obviously no harm in filling it in, but it's only really significant if the original language is something other than English.
Can I type a word with accents?
Yes. The data entry form accepts plain Unicode text, which means most diacritics will be recorded. Update: there is now a built-in text editor for the evidence text, which allows some formatting and special characters. It will also preserve content copied and pasted from HTML or Word documents, however, we strip some of the markup which could cause your text not to render correctly in LED. Our advice is now to paste external content as plain text, then use the built-in text editor to format only what is strictly necessary.
Can I use italics/bold, etc.?
Yes, but only in the evidence text. See the answer to the previous question for caveats on copying-pasting.