Friday, February 26, 2010

Adding Treasure to the Trove

I have read numerous blog posts and tweets extolling the virtues of the NLA's Historic Australian Newspapers, 1803 to 1954 on Trove.

Just last night @HicksShauna tweeted 'Having such a good time on Historic Australian newspapers forgot the time & now after midnight'

I am a regular user of this site,
the information found there adds some flavour to the rather dry facts in my family tree. I have found birth and death notices, sickly sweet in memoriums, saucy divorce proceedings and articles that give places and times to ancestors.

As Geniaus, a registered user of Trove, I can contribute to this wonderful resource. The newspapers are scanned by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software that does not produce particularly accurate records. As the original newpapers do not have particularly sharp print the OCR transcriptions sometimes read as gobbledygook. Many words are therefore not indexed correctly and this results in fewer hits for searchers.

Users of Trove can correct lines of the OCR text. I recently edited this entry:
"WOODI1I VI) (nu Florence Gowans)-Februar) 15,
it War M.innnil Hospitil, Wnvcile), to Mr and Mrs
1-1, I Woiellieid, oí Burwood-j bon (Itomld Wil-
li jmj_"

WOODHEAD (nee Florence Gowans)-February 15,
At War Memorial Hospital, Waverley, to Mr and Mrs
Eric L. Woodhead, of Burwood-a son (Ronald Wil-

Now that this text has been corrected future searchers looking for Woodhead, War Memorial Hospital or Ronald William will be able to retrieve this article.

My contribution of 242 lines of corrected text is a drop in the ocean compared with the top five contributers:

1 jhempenstall 364,776
2 John.F.Hall 338,123
3 fwalker13 303,797
4 annmanley 273,427
5 maurielyn 246,304

who between them have corrected around 1,500,000 lines of text.I am ranked at 1657 on the league table of users who have corrected lines.

I exhort those who use Trove to consider adding to the treasure there by correcting lines of text in articles you read.

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