Breaking the browsing barrier for historic search of newspaper texts
Keegan, T.T. (2001). Breaking the browsing barrier for historic search of newspaper texts. In Proceedings of Digital Resources for Research in the Humanities, University of Sydney, Sydney Australia, 26-28 September 2001.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3898
Traditionally, to find information in a newspaper collection it has been necessary to painstakingly browse through the individual issues hoping that relevant words will catch your eye. Researchers of New Zealand’s encounter history received a boost when, in 1996, the Alexander Turnbull Library produced a collection on microfiche totaling almost 18,000 pages and covering a printing period from 1842 to 1933. While having all the newspapers in a single collection was a large step forward, browsing or searching for information in this microfiche collection was still time consuming. By incorporating the collection into a digital library with an Internet interface, and by enabling full-text search, we have broken this browsing barrier. Making the information available this way is even more significant as the majority of the collection is written in the Māori language; we have created a Māori language resource that is sorely needed by education and research institutes, and one that provides quick and accurate access to the previously obscure source. The process involved in developing this unique digital library collection, the advantages of traditional newspaper stored in this medium, and the possibilities that we intend to investigate in the future, will be discussed in this paper.
This article has been published in Proceedings of Digital Resources for Research in the Humanities, University of Sydney, Sydney Australia, 26-28 September 2001. Used with permission.