28 Mar

An unexpected increase in research source material

SearchResultsIn our original methodology we suggested that we would be examining and logging 192 pages of digital results of the Liverpool Daily Post from the British Newspaper Archive. This amount of source material was quite a job in itself so imagine our surprise when earlier this week one of our eagle-eyed Volunteer Archive Researchers spotted that the number of pages of search results had almost doubled to 340!!! Upon further investigation our team discovered that this was in fact the case and that the number of articles mentioning ‘Toxteth’ had indeed increased. So why was this?

Well, the British Newspaper Archive is a growing (and currently incomplete) archive and new digitised versions of newspapers are being added periodically in batches. So what has happened is that a new batch of Liverpool Daily Post newspapers have been digitised and formatted for the site, and uploaded right in the middle of our research phase. This is one of the problems with using archives that other people and organisations are curating and producing. In hindsight, we should have asked the British Newspaper Archive if any significant updates were planned during The Good, The Bad and The Scouse’s research phase, this may have made us aware earlier of the growth in source material. This is one of the lessons we have learned whilst working on this project.

The growth in source material doesn’t really impact on our method as continuing to order the search results via ‘earliest first’ will maintain the original order as the new uploads are all from later newspapers from the ones that were in our original search results list. However, the question the Splendid Things team are currently contemplating is do we add this new batch of research results to our project or do we stop at page 192? We’ll keep you posted on what we decide…


6 thoughts on “An unexpected increase in research source material

  1. And now there are over 400 pages of results…it is the never-ending mountain of research!!! On the plus side though, the more source material = the more chance of finding the very best quirky tales from Toxteth’s past…wish us luck!

  2. Oh no! An embarrassment of riches! Must be a rare problem, but well worth remembering! Also, I assume that the results are somehow ordered, meaning your 192 pages are now full of different results as older stuff gets pushed down the list? Probably still worth getting in touch with the archive just in case. Thanks for sharing – I hope I remember this on my next project!

    • Hi Martin. We were ordering the search results from earliest to latest. The recent updates are all later publications of the paper, so are just added onto the end of the original 192. This means that the original 192 pages we were examining are still the same as when we started (I’ve done a few checks to make sure). If we would have order the results ‘from newest’ then we would have been in a little bit of a mess! :) We have also decided that we can handle the new data load as part of our research…so all the more stories to be logged and to be chosen from for the later animations!

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  4. We’re just logging all the results now and when back on the online archive to check some stories and a large number of the Daily Post stories have disappeared and all of the Echo’s stories have also disappeared…when we find out what’s going on we will let you all know!

  5. In regards to some search results now being missing, we have had the following response from the British Newspaper Archive:

    “From time to time, we receive requests to temporarily remove material from the site so that we can investigate copyright issues, and the title which you are looking for has temporarily been removed for this reason.”

    So for now, we will have to use the micro-film collect at Liverpool Central Library.

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