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Acknown

THE TIMES ON-LINE

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Acknown

I may be the last person on this Forum to discover it, but I can get The Times digital archive on-line free in the privacy of my own home, rather than trudge down to the library. I'm too mean to purchase a subscription. I typed 'Times digital archive' plus my county and was simply asked for my library member number. It works in Dorset and Hampshire, but I couldn't find a link in the Wiltshire library website. Maybe it will work in other counties.

Apologies if this is generally well-known.

Acknown

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tullybrone

Thanks for the tip. It works on Lancashire library site but not on the 2 Merseyside local authority areas - Liverpool City and Sefton - where I am a member and neither does it work on Cumbria libraries - unless I’m doing something wrong on those 3 sites.

 

Steve 

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charlie962

OK for Surrey.

 

But I find the search engine rarely picks up anything from a casualty list. What am I doing wrong?

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TEW
Quote

But I find the search engine rarely picks up anything from a casualty list. What am I doing wrong?

 

Being too hopeful!! But seriously, the original scans that library versions of the Times had via Gale Database was very low-res. The likelihood of the OCR finding a man/number from the tiny font used must have been lottery odds.

 

As far as searching Casualty Lists and get maximum coverage is concerned you'd need to use FindmyPast and TheGenealogist. I say that because they have different coverage. Both have chronological voids in their databases which aren't advertised as such. There may still be chronological voids in both sets. Either way you're relying on OCR software and human transcribing to find the man/number you want.

 

I've been using FMP this morning and you can only search by Forename - Surname, the lists rarely contain forenames so a search for John Smith produces nothing but for J Smith produces thousands. No option to input regiment, rank or number unlike TheGenealogist.

 

You can browse The Times and the WO Casualty Lists on both and manually hunt through but EG FMP say they have Weekly List No. 22 for 1/1/1918 but in fact they only have the first 2 pages and then it jumps to 6th April 1918 which they don't claim to have.

 

In my experience libraries and library staff don't know what resources are available. My Devon library gives me free access to FMP and Ancestry but FMP is not listed as a free resource. I can also access the British Newspaper Archive for free with my own (unpaid) account while at the library which gives a third way of checking Casualty Lists. Again, the staff and Devonlibraies don't mention the above.

It's always worth ignoring what the staff say and trying FMP etc in your library to see if it works.

 

Acknown

I used to use The Times and 19th British Newspapers in the library frequently and then they got pulled when Devon Libraries became 'Libraries Unlimited' which limited what I could do.

TEW

 

 

 

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charlie962
5 minutes ago, TEW said:

the original scans that library versions of the Times had via Gale Database was very low-res

That would explain it. I do use FMP and Genealogist, the latter particularly good search engine, but both suffer from important unflagged gaps in their coverage.

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Acknown

Very interesting. Nevertheless, I managed to find one great uncle in a casualty list in 1916, and later his obituary. I found another's graduation from agricultural college in 1900. Mind you, they had an unusual surname. I just selected the time frame, typed in the surname and visited the results.

Acknown

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John_Hartley

Works on my Stockport MBC library number - which can be handy as none of the Stockport area newspapers are yet available on the British Newspaper Archive. Recently found a nice local murder mystery (1930s, so off-topic for here)

Edited by John_Hartley

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Moonraker

I've been consulting The Times on-line for years, courtesy of my local library - where, in the late 1990s I spent days working through microfilmed issues from 1897 to 1920 for articles about the army on Salisbury Plain (including early aviation). There were some very detailed descriptions, including maps,  of manoeuvres, with many references to named copses and the like that would mean little to anyone who was not local. Luckily the library had a quarterly index which led me to many articles. Rather too often, the microfilm had been rewound the wrong way and I had to get a librarian to sort it out. Then there was the scribbled note-taking.

 

Today it's all too easy!

 

I agree with TEW about the original type size and low resolution making it difficult to locate a name.

 

Moonraker

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seaJane

I use Hampshire's link but Somerset also connects.

 

By the same means it is possible to log in to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the Oxford English Dictionary (the latter is useful for first records of e.g. slang words).

 

sJ

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Phil Wood

I use local papers, the Times (Gale via my library) and BNA/FMP for casualty lists, but would welcome improved finding aids and wider coverage. I have investigated The Genealogist - which seems very expensive for just this purpose and I can't see much else they have that a} the others don't and b} would add to my research.  A key issue, of course, is how good their data is - they have made extensive use of OCR in other datasets - was their transcript done this way, has the Mk1 eyeball been used to improve accuracy? Is there anything else they do that is special apart from the Lloyd George Domesday (which I have already got for my area of interest)?

 

Edited by Phil Wood

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