Monday, December 17, 2012

The British Newspaper Archives on Find My Past

I have added a discussion on using the British Newspaper Archives  via FindMyPast to the end of my earlier report. I list the many problems and restrictions and conclude:
Despite my very critical comments the facilities provide a wonderful lucky dip facility - and if you are lucky you may find out things about your ancestors you could never have found in any other way. It could well be that the easy to use (at the lucky dip level) interface which lacks the tools to ask serious questions is deliberate - to ensure that any serious research is carried out on the British Newspaper Archive web site. However a number of the failings also apply to that site as well. Factors such as the size of indexed blocks seem to be more relevant to minimizing the amount of manual work the firm scanning the newspapers has to do - while having the effect of maximizing the time wasted by searchers using the system.

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