One of the most common problems collectors of old time radio series face is that of multiple episodes floating around under various titles. The problem is compounded by the fact that many groups do distributions of the same series and because there is no hobby-wide accepted agreement on naming episodes that have no 'official' titles, many of these round robins contain many duplicates. To add insult to injury, some dealers sell series with many duplicated episodes, but try to pass them off as different episodes.
Thus, it can be a real pain when you find out that you have nine copies of the same episode, all with a different title!
Some series announce the title of an episode in the beginning of a show, while others mention it at the end, and others don't mention the title at all. Some shows don't even have official titles, with collectors and distributors creating one on their own. One way to help identify episodes that cannot be easily identified is by the first line of dialog. To this end, some great work has been completed by various enthusiasts and collectors, some of which has been posted on our website, on the First Line Page. The downside of this method is that it may take months for someone to go through the episodes and record the first lines, and that is only after time is spent ensuring that their shows are correctly named and dated, and so on.
To help speed up the process, The Old Time Radio Researchers Group have set up this wiki. For the benefit of those unfamiliar with wikis, a wiki is a webpage that is editable by anyone. A good example of this is Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [As an aside, Wikipedia has some very interesting entries about various OTR personalities, including George Burns, Jack Benny, Orson Welles, and others.] The coolest thing is, if you find any mistakes or wish to add information, you are free to do so. Just edit the page.
The idea is that instead of having one person work on an entire series by themselves, distribute the work amongst anyone interested. Hopefully, this will enable people help out even if they can't commit to a whole series (due to lack of time, etc.). People who have not spent years researching and collecting Old Time Radio can still help out. All they have to do is listen to an episode, record the first line, and post it on the wiki.
The wiki will help this out in a couple ways:
2) We are setting up templates for the information entry, based on the Otter Database Logs. All episodes will be listed on the page, whether they have been "First Lined" yet or not. This is different than the way it has been done till now (for the most part), with people adding episodes to the list only after they have recorded the first line for the show. By letting people see which available episodes have not yet had their first lines recorded, they will easily be able to pick up where someone has left off.
Please Read Stewart's Message regarding first lines. He brings up some very good points that should be taken into account before adding First Line information.
In order to make it easier to tell which episodes were already edited, please edit the color of the episode. If you are sure you got it right, use blue. If you have any doubt about the information, use red. Instructions to do so can be found on the bottom of this page.
Feel free to add any information to the episode that you feel may be of value. AKAs and Guest Stars come to mind.
Editing Text Color
To edit the color of an episode, put %COLOR% at the beginning of the episode [The %COLOR% must go right at the beginning of the paragraph], where COLOR is either RED or BLUE (they must be capitalized).
Basically, the blue or red colors are an indication of how you feel about the information you provided for the program. If you are satisfied that your information is correct, change the color of the episode information to blue. If, for whatever reason, you are not 100% sure that your information is correct (for example, you couldn't quite hear all the words in the first line or you aren't 100% sure that you have the episode correctly named), mark the episode information in red. This will make it easier for other people to know which episodes are already done so they can work on other ones.
For an example of this, take a look at the Pat Novak First Line page. The episodes that are definitely correct are marked in blue and the episodes that are questionable are marked in red.
[To color a specific line (instead of the whole paragraph), use lowercase colors instead: %color%]
Here is an example from the Archie Andrews First Line page:
by adding %BLUE% before the episode entry:
To make an entry red, put %RED% before the entry:
To do any other color, use %block color=color%, where color is any other color. Look Here for some example.
There are many more colors you can use:
Or see this page for a rainbow of colors you can use.