Tuesday 18 June 2024

Newspapers.com's Stories & Events Indexes cross the pond

Ancestry recently repurposed some material held in its sister database Newspapers.com into a number of geographically arranged collections tagged as Stories and Events Indexes. One is called Ireland and Northern Ireland, Newspapers.com Stories and Events Index, 1880s to current.

Each index holds brief details of published news items, features and advertisements loosely sorted into groups that include crime, arts and culture, military, politics, sport, accident/emergency, health and disaster. A full list is provided under the 'General collection information' heading on the search page. It is possible to search by topic or by individual but I had mixed success with narrowing down the index. I tested it with the place as Dublin, the topic as Accident, and used the keyword 'quarry'. I received 880 search results; all had the surname Quarry. Who knew Quarry was even/ever a surname?

On the other hand, a search for Ted Coakley, Waterford, Crime returned a Ted and an Edward who fitted the bill, but also several others that didn't.

The indexes have been created using artificial intelligence. The spelling of surnames and places is pretty dire.

In addition to the collection covering the island of Ireland (it holds 24,406,691 records), similar collections have been created for England, Scotland and Wales. I'm including these links for those with shared heritage.

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