Dear Future CURI Researcher,

First of all, congratulations! You’re working on a great project and have an exciting 10 weeks ahead of you. Now down to business. I’m writing to provide you with tips on managing our entry form and our spreadsheet.

We use a data entry form (that feeds into a larger spreadsheet) to get used to entering certain fields of data in a certain way (date, title, address, performers, repertoire, genre, etc. etc.). Entering into this extensive document is going to take a LONG time at first, and you may feel you are getting nowhere. Keep at it. It’s an important step.

Once you’ve trudged through a full week or two using the data entry form, let it go. You’ll know the fields, the options, you’ll maybe even have memorized the addresses to the major theatres. So skip it, and go directly to the spreadsheet.

From here, it’s just a matter of learning the tricks of the spreadsheet. Here are a few tips:

  • For familiar addresses, skip typing it out. Just do a “control f” search at the end of the day and enter the familiar addresses all at the same time.
  • For multiple performances of the same or similar program, enter everything once and then copy, paste, and tweak for the other entries.
  • If you don’t know a field, skip it. It’s better to record a concert without some information than to push it aside and forget or spend all day on one entry.
  • Edit periodically. Sometimes (about once a week), take an hour or two to edit and consolidate. There will be errors in the spreadsheet, no matter how careful you are. It’s good to keep up on editing as you go.
  • Stop and enjoy it. There’s something very enjoyable about combing thorough old newspapers and seeing what you find.

Good luck!