Monday, December 24, 2007

Vevay Newspaper Indexing Initiative

Unbeknownst to many Switzerland County researchers is the Vevay newspaper images from the 1800s that are hosted on the Switzerland County High School website. This invaluable resource provides an insight into our ancestors lives and the burgeoning United States. I have found several references to our ancestors in the papers including the untimely death of James Wakefield.

Although an extremely valuable resources there is a lot of difficulty finding information since there is not an index to the names listed in the papers. To remedy this travesty I have decided to take it upon myself to spearhead an indexing effort. I have already begun the indexing but it will take quite awhile for me to complete the effort alone. If you can spare just a few hours of your time we can make finding information on our Switzerland County ancestors a joy instead of a chore.

Contact me and I will provide you with the paper to index, directions, and the database to enter the information into. I will coordinate the volunteer efforts and the integration of the names identified during the indexing efforts. All we need is your help to make this a reality. Please help. Your contribution will make a difference that will be fealt for decades and generations to come.

The Indiana State Library also has a collection of Vevay Newspapers. Again, no index is available. Once we get the SCHS papers indexed are you ready to tackle the State's collection?



Chris Hart said...

This is a comprehensive article on newspaper indexing efforts:

The author points out that there are many considerations that must be made when considering what to index. For our initiative I am keeping it simple:

1. Index only names.
2. Index all names.

Short and sweet. If we were to expand our index to encompass anything beyond names the indexing will become too time consuming. If we introduce restrictions on what content is indexed (i.e. do not index ads, national articles, etc) then we introduce confusion into the indexing process since indexers will have to take time to evaluate what to include and exclude. In addition, mistakes could be made by indexers and valuable content excluded. My goal for the indexing effort is to make the process as easy to understand and execute as possible so that the fruits of our labor can be quickly made available to others.

Chris Hart said...

Also, I am not indexing every instance of a name. I am trying to limit entries of name to a specific paper, page, and column. The resulting index will allow researchers to pinpoint individuals down to the column on a page for a given newspaper.

What I am indexing for each name is as follows:
1. Date of Newspaper
2. Page of Newspaper
3. Column of Page
4. Name Prefix
5. First Name
6. Middle Name or Initial
7. Last Name
8. Suffix

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