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Volunteer agreement - Local Recall Digitising Project


This letter sets out what we each expect from your volunteering role with Archant Community Media Limited (the Company) as part of our project in collaboration with Google, to digitise our archive. We are very grateful that you will be volunteering on the project and we are committed to providing volunteers with a supportive environment. We hope that you will find your volunteer experience enjoyable and rewarding.

Volunteer role

Your role as a volunteer is as a Local Archivist and will start when you initially log in. We hope that you will be able to volunteer with us throughout the duration of this project (which we expect will be ongoing until December 2019) so that we can each get the most from the volunteering experience. However, since you can undertake your volunteering from your home or any other location where you have computer access the arrangements are very flexible; you can decide how much reviewing/editing you would like to be involved with, and the days and times when you do this. We do expect you to perform your role to the best of your ability and to follow our procedures and standards, including health and safety and equal opportunities and to have read and understood our privacy policy. You can expect us to deal with you in accordance with our equal opportunities policy. Details of these and other relevant policies will be available on the Local Recall volunteer page or will have already been sent to you when you first expressed interest in volunteering.

Induction and training

We will provide an induction pack explaining more about the Local Recall project and how volunteers will play a role and fit within it. We will also provide training if needed to help you meet the standards we expect from volunteers, and to ensure your health and safety.

Sensitive content

It is possible that you may find an article containing potentially offensive or sensitive content. This could reflect the nature of the story, or the journalism or language of the time. Should you encounter this then please feel free to ‘flag’ any such article to send it back to the project team for further action and review.

Supervision and support

Your main point of contact during your volunteering with us is Christian Amos, the Project Manager. Please give Christian Amos as much notice as possible if you are going to be unavailable to volunteer for a period of time or decide no longer to volunteer. Christian can be reached by email christian.amos@archant.co.uk


We do not pay any expenses.


In the course of providing your volunteering services, you may have access to confidential information relating to the Company and its customers and clients. You must not disclose this information to any person either during your volunteering experience with us or at any time afterwards.


We ask that you to tell us if you want to stop volunteering on the project so we can update our records. Please notify Christian Amos if you wish to stop volunteering with us.

Status of these arrangements

This agreement is binding in honour only, is not intended to be legally binding and may be cancelled at any time at the discretion of either party. Neither of us intends any legal relationship to be created by these arrangements, whether an employment relationship, a contract giving you the status of a worker, or any other kind of contractual relationship.

Health and Safety Advice & Tips for using Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

Getting comfortable
  • Your forearms should be approximately horizontal and your eyes should be the same height as the top of the screen.
  • Make sure there you have enough work space to accommodate all documents or other equipment. A document holder may help avoid awkward neck and eye movements.
  • Arrange your desk and screen to avoid glare, or bright reflections. This is often easier if the screen is not directly facing windows or bright lights.
  • Adjust your curtains or blinds to prevent intrusive light.
  • Make sure there is space under your desk to move legs.
  • Avoid excess pressure from the edge of seats on the backs of legs and knees.
Keyboards and keying in (typing)
  • A space in front of the keyboard can help you rest your hands and wrists when not keying
  • Try to keep your wrists straight when keying.
  • Good keyboard technique is important – you can
Using a mouse
  • Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with a straight wrist.
  • Sit upright and close to the desk to reduce working with the mouse arm stretched.
  • Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used.
  • Support the forearm on the desk, and don’t grip the mouse too tightly.
  • Rest fingers lightly on the buttons and do not press them hard.
Reading the screen
  • Make sure individual characters on the screen are sharp, in focus and don’t flicker or move. If they do, the monitor/equipment (DSE) may need servicing or adjustment.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast controls on the screen to suit lighting conditions in the room.
  • Make sure the screen surface is clean.
  • When setting up software, choose text that is large enough to read easily on screen when sitting in a normal comfortable working position.
  • Select colours that are easy on the eye (avoid red text on a blue background, or vice versa).
Changes in activity
  • Break up long spells of work to help prevent fatigue, eye strain, upper limb problems and backache.
  • Plan breaks, so you can interrupt prolonged use of monitors/computers (DSE) with changes of activity.
  • Consider organising or scheduling rest breaks.
These tips may also help
  • Frequently stretch and change position.
  • Look into the distance from time to time, and blink often.
  • Change activity before you get tired, rather than to recover.
  • Short, frequent breaks are better than longer, infrequent ones.

Further health and safety information and tips can be located at the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) site on the following link:


If at any stage of the Volunteering process you feel unwell, or are unsure about any of the above points, you should discontinue any work you may be working on and seek professional medical advice.

How to edit content: an interactive guide for volunteers

Getting Started

Hello and welcome to the Content Editing Suite specifically designed for our volunteers. As you are reading this, you have volunteered to help us on our exciting Local Recall Project – welcome aboard, we are delighted to have you with us!

If, at any time, you wish to stop volunteering that’s no problem at all. if you can kindly let us know at the following mailbox localrecallproject@archant.co.uk we would greatly appreciate it.

If you have any questions we have not covered in this guide, you can either access our Frequently Asked Questions available in the Volunteer email or email Chris Amos (the Project Manager) using the mailbox above.

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Access to a computer (Mac or Windows PC, laptop or desktop, at home)
  • Basic computer knowledge
  • Access to the internet
Health and Safety Tips

As a Volunteer, you are in complete control over the time you decide to spend helping out. We have no expectations or minimum requirements. We’re just happy to have you on board! We would like to remind you to take regular breaks. Long stretches sitting at your computer could harm your health.

The use of computers, laptops and their screens is known to have some potential health related drawbacks if used for protracted periods of time and not properly set up.

We have put together some handy tips for you to help you plan how you volunteer your time. You should have received them via email along with your Volunteer Agreement - alternatively information is available from the government supported Health and Safety Executive (HSE). If you have not received the Health and Safety tips please let us know.

If at any stage of the volunteering process you feel unwell, or are unsure about any of the above points, you should discontinue any work and seek professional medical advice.

How to Register

Access the Local Recall system here

  • Before you can login and begin to edit you will need to register your account.
  • Click the “Register” button (1)
Completing your Registration
  • Enter your name and email address (1 and 2)
  • Enter a password (3), and then enter it again to confirm it (4)
  • Use the dropdown menu to pick your area of interest (5)
  • View the Volunteer Agreement (6), and check the ‘tick-box’ to say you have read, understood and accept the agreement (7)
  • View the Privacy Policy (8), and check the ‘tick-box’ to say you have read, understood and agree to the policy (9)
  • Click Register (10)
Selecting an Article to edit
  • When you hover over an article it will turn pale blue. Click on the article you want to select (1).
Choosing an Article (cont.)

A larger preview of the article will popup. You can now click “Continue” to continue with your choice and enhance this article or click “Go Back” to cancel and select another one.

Editing an article

When you have chosen an article, an image of the original paper appears on the left-hand side. The specific article you are working on will be presented in a blue overlay (1).

On the right hand-side is the text we managed to extract from that image. This is where you come in! Some of the text on the right will not match with the original on the left. Click into the right text block (2) and change any wording that is incorrect (2).

When you have checked the whole article and you are satisfied that the whole article is now correct, press the button marked “I’m Done” (3).

Editing an article (cont.)

After clicking “I’m Done”, you will see the following screen:

Click “Submit Changes” if you are happy or “Go Back” if you want to make further edits.

Once you submit your enhancement, you will then be taken back to the main edit page with three new articles to choose from.

Zoom Feature

To ease your reading experience, we have implemented a zoom feature on the original article (left).

Auto-save Feature

Our platform automatically saves your work every 10 seconds to make sure you do not lose any progress should anything happen. Notice the button in the bottom right will display ‘Saving…’ every 10 seconds.

Reporting a Problem

Reporting a problem is a big part of your role as a volunteer. We need to know when there is an issue. Reporting issues is as important as enhancing content.

    Issues you may run into include:
  • The ‘article’ you were presented with is not actually an article but an image or a smudge.
  • The article is not readable.
  • There is no content.
  • The article is too long (i.e. our machines picked an entire page instead of an article).
  • Any other issues, where you aren’t able to follow the review process.
Reporting a Problem (cont.) This will

If anything seems off, click the ‘Report a problem’ link at the bottom left.

This will bring up the following screen - click on the blue arrow to see options.

Select the reason for the problem.

(Optional) If you feel like more information would help us understand why you reported an article, you may enter text here.

Once you submit your report, you will be taken back to the article chooser page where you can select a new one to work on.

What to do if you get stuck

If you are ever stuck, unsure on how to proceed with any actions on the platform, or encounter a bug, please reach out to Chris Amos (project manager) using the email address below.


Someone will be in touch as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Local Recall?

Local Recall is a new and innovative Archant project, backed by Google. The aim of the project is to make the old, dormant paper archives currently tucked far away from the public eye accessible to everyone. Those archives are a goldmine of information; we want the community to have full access to it, in the easiest way possible.

How does it work?

This project is simple: make the inaccessible Archant archive accessible again. To do that, we have decided to turn these old papers into the latest technology medium: a chatbot. We know, we know – sounds complex! The truth is, it is (very) complex. But don’t worry, we won’t go into details here. Here’s what you need to know.

The Archant paper archives are currently being scanned by two specialised companies (one in the UK, one in New Zealand). Once each sheet of paper has been scanned, it is digitised and sent to a local Norwich technology company, ubisend.

ubisend are world leaders in artificial intelligence and are our partners on this project along with Google. They excel in turning content and data into conversations using natural language (typing on your phone, using your voice with Amazon’s Alexa etc.). ubisend’s job is to process each digitised sheet of paper and make the information available to us via voice.

At the end of the entire process, consumers will be able to ask ‘What happened on this day in 1945?’ to their Amazon voice device. Thanks to ubisend’s processing of the enormous amount of data gathered through hundreds of millions of news articles, Alexa will be able to reply with the the top headlines from that date. Any particular headline grab your attention? You can then dig further and get insights into the news that shook the world on that day.

This is a simplified explanation of the way Local Recall will work. The important part is this: Local Recall will give us all access to over 150 years of local news. Impressive!

How can I help?

The process briefly described above is not perfect. Machines do things pretty well, but sometimes nothing beats the human eye. Some of the digitised papers come back to us (and ubisend) with errors the machines could not pick up on.

This is where you come in. We need volunteers like you to help us fix these errors and make the content perfect. While we do our best to get there and have people helping us, the help of the community will be invaluable in achieving our ambitious goal.

We recently scanned 15,175 pages of various local journals (EDP and Norwich Mercury, mostly). Out of the 15,175, we extracted close to 300,000 unique articles. Most of them came out great, but we need the help of you, our community archivists, to make the rest perfect.

Are you interested in history? Do you have some time to help out on this project? If so, we would love to have you on board! Fill out the form at https://localrecall.archant.co.uk/volunteer and we will be in touch.

Which editions are you turning into a super-smart machine?

The plan is to take 300,000 pages of the Eastern Daily Press, get them scanned, digitised, and processed by ubisend. Initially we are trying to pick the years and periods our community will find most interesting and relevant. In time we hope to scan the entire archive, estimated to be 600,000 pages.

What exactly will you need me to do?

Local Recall is a huge project with many moving parts. It is also an innovative project (no one in the world has done this before!). We are figuring out exact processes along the way. For now, all we need is to gauge the interest of the community in helping us.

If you are interested, please visit https://localrecall.archant.co.uk/volunteer and fill out the form. At some point in the next couple of weeks, you will receive a guide with more precise, step-by-step information on how to use the software.

How much work is expected from me?

Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated. There are no minimum requirements, and we will never insist you do anything at any point throughout your involvement as a community archivist. More information on all of this will be available in due course.

How much time do I have to improve an article?

Editing and improving articles will require a keen eye, a little bit of focus, and time. We want to make sure you have the time you need to make the articles perfect.

By the same token, we need to make sure community archivists who decide to help on a piece of content actually make progress. As such, there will be a limit to the amount of time you have to improve the articles. But don’t worry, we will make the time limit more than comfortable enough for you not to feel rushed!

What do I need to be able to help?

You don’t need much to contribute to the project:

Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Access to a computer (Mac or Windows PC, laptop or desktop, at home)
  • Basic computer knowledge
  • Access to the internet
  • An interest in local and world history!
How do I submit my work?

We will provide an editing suite for you to work on. We strive to make it extremely easy to use. You will also receive all the guides and ‘how-to’ you need to understand exactly what to do. It’s going to be an easy, clear, and fun to use platform.

What happens if I can’t read the original article?

Great question! We thought of that, and our developers are working on a system that will allow you to add comments to articles where any problems may arise. If the original article is completely illegible, you will be able to flag it to Archant employees.

Will I be able to track my contribution?

We are working on a dashboard area, which will present data and statistics, show how many articles have been edited to contribute to the overall project, and more.

When will Local Recall become available to the public?

Local Recall is expected to go live at the end of March 2019. Due to the innovative nature of the project, this timeline may change slightly along the way. As a community archivist, you will be the first to know every step of the way.

Can I only work on articles or topics I enjoy?

We understand that there may be some articles that you’re not interested in. You will have the opportunity to ‘pass’ on articles that don’t appeal to you.

It is important to note that, at some point, we will need all articles done; even the boring ones! While you will have the option to skip articles a few times, we may ask you to bite the bullet now and then, and enhance one that may not necessarily fascinate you.

What if I want to stop volunteering?

That’s completely fine. You are volunteering, and this isn’t a formal contract! We will be grateful for any time you spend helping us out.

We would be even more grateful if you could let us know when you decide to stop helping us out so that we can learn from your experience, understand what made you leave us, and improve the experience for our future community archivists.

How can I be sure that you won’t use my data?

Archant, like all other organisations, is responsible for ensuring adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was introduced in the UK on the 25th May 2018. You can find out more details on our website, or by clicking here.

What does being a volunteer entitle me to?

As this is a volunteer role we will be unable to offer any benefits for taking part, however we are sure that you’ll enjoy getting access to our rarely-seen archive material.

I want more info!

Local Recall is an active project. We are making leaps of progress every day. If you fill out the form on https://localrecall.archant.co.uk/volunteer, you will be among the first to be informed, every step of the way.

What if I have other questions that aren’t on this page?

If you have any questions that aren’t covered by the above then please feel free to email Chris Amos, Local Recall Project Manager, at LocalRecallProject@archant.co.uk


Thank you so much for taking the time to consider volunteering for such an exciting, unique, and innovative project. Archant believes Local Recall will really benefit our local community.

We look forward to having you on board!