Who knows about Trove or uses Trove? Who’s heard of it but doesn’t know much about it? Who’s wondering what the heck Trove is?
So the first thing we’re sharing with you today is that Trove is not just about newspapers. Newspapers can be a great starting point for a story, but Trove can continue the story through other collections we bring in. So if I’m telling you that Trove isn’t just newspapers why have I started with a picture of a newsstand you ask? Well recently Trove launched a new blog. When we were searching for an image to use in the Blog to represent what it is we do we found this picture in the National Library’s collection. We love that Trove is the way people are finding out about our past through the digitised newspapers, and we love sharing them with the world, so this picture is very appropriate. If you look more closely, though, you find other windows into our past. If you look closely at the newsstand you will find an ad for Lustre Silktex stockings on the far right of the newsstand.
I searched Trove for those stockings and I found this picture of a window display advertising them. This picture is part of the Ipswich Library and Information Service’s Picture Ipswich collection. We have the picture collections from many local council libraries and historic societies, so when you’re researching your family and know they are from a particular area, it would be worth searching the pictures zone as well as the newspapers. How much richer our stories can be if we can see them as well as read about them.
The window display picture included some useful information I used to continue the story which started in our newsstand picture. The window display belonged to a department store in Ipswich, Queensland, called Cribb & Foote. From the record for this photo we learn that Cribb & Foote was created by the partnership of John Clarke Foote and Benjamin Cribb in 1854. Search Trove for Cribb & Foote and a small slice of Queensland history begins to open up before you. This history is told in the records we find in Trove. For instance, I found the Memorandum and article of association for Cribb & Foote in the State Library of Queensland. The National Library collection has a wonderfully detailed memoir of the company written by a former company director and documents like the “Address to shareholders”. The Ipswich Library and Information Service has this publication “Ipswich in the 20th century”. On this slide I’ve included an example of the sorts of advertising Cribb & Foote used to use. In Trove’s pictures zone there are many examples of ‘advertising fans’ they used in the ‘30s. The picture of the fan is also from the Ipswich Library and Information Service.
When I searched Trove for the names of the founders of the company I found the biography for Benjamin Cribb in the People zone. This record was submitted to Trove by the Australian Dictionary of Biography, a service run out of the Australian National University which describes the lives of significant Australians. The People zone in Trove also has records from services like Obituaries Australia, the Australian Women’s Register and the Encyclopedia of Australian Science. I found photos for the other found, John Clarke Foote in the State Library of Queensland’s collection. I searched the digitised newspapers for Cribb & Foote and found a picture of a long serving staff member, Mr George Perkins, who retired after 59 years spent in the packing section of the store. So from that photo of a newsstand we’ve had a small slice of Queensland history opened up before us and been introduced to a number of different collections available through Trove.
Finally, here’s another wonderful collection you might not think would be available in Trove which might help you with your research. 54 Radio National programs. This includes more than 190,000 records, including historical content dating back to 1997 New episodes are indexed within hours of airing The full text of episode transcripts are automatically indexed if available online Coverage of topics provides a unique overview of Australia’s recent social and political history You can find these records in the Music zone.
If you want to find some of these more unusual collections there are a couple of ways you could go about it. Run a general search from the Trove home page. As you’ll know, the search will be grouped into the different zones. On the left hand side of the screen you’ll see the facets you can use to refine your search. These facets can tell you what other formats have your keywords in them. From there you can click on them and explore! We also write news items in the Trove forum about any new collection which comes in to Trove, so it’s worth checking in there every so often to see if anything new has come in. Finally, if your local museum or historical society has collection records available on the internet please talk to us about the possibility of having your records searchable in Trove. Trove isn’t just about big libraries and large collections. We want unique material, be the collections small or large.
One of the most popular features of the digitised newspapers service is the ability for users to correct text that has been translated from the image of a newspaper.
OCR (Optical character recognition) – is the technology we use to convert images of newspapers to searchable text. This process is not perfect, about 80% of conversions are accurate. There’s a number of reasons for the inaccuracies. OCR is produced from old newspapers or microform which may be faded or have defects. Also, the process of creating the scanned images is automated, and there are limitations in the technology and software we use. Text corrected through OCR is indexed and searchable through Trove. Corrected text does not overwrite the original text of the article. Both the corrected text and the original text are indexed and searchable. Correcting the text improves the accuracy of the text, every correction improves search results for all users.
Interesting facts 121 million lines corrected Over 100,000 users Range from 1 correction to 2 million+ corrections
For those of you who haven’t tried correcting text: Text correction is free No need to register But registered users can See their correction history and appear in the Hall of Fame.
Here are some tips to keep in mind: Fix the OCR text so it matches what was published Match the line of text to the same line in the image Correcting names of people, places, organisations and dates are the most useful corrections because that is what people usually search for.
What not to do: Add text not in the original newspapers Change the text from what was originally published Move text so that it does not match the line it was originally in
Comments are annotations added by users, they are used to help users add and find out more information about an item. Comments are commonly used to add the names of people in a photograph, or to provide a review of an item. They are also used to add corrections to newspaper articles, which is different to correcting the text of an article. Sometimes newspaper articles will be factually incorrect, they may have referenced the wrong place, person or date, in these cases you can add a comment to an article with the correct information. You can define your comments and tags as public (visible by everyone) or private (visible only to you). The other differences between public and private comments is that public comments can only be updated by you, but anyone can comment on them or tag them. One creative user has made recordings of musical scores they’ve found in Trove, they then uploaded these videos to YouTube, and then added a comment to the item in Trove, with a link to the YouTube video. Users can now listen to the music they have found, rather than just viewing the score.
Tags are keywords or labels users can apply to items in Trove. A tag can be anything you want it to be; for example, it could describe a topic, a place, an event, a person, a feeling, or your research progress. Some users will tag content that they have already read so they can exclude these items from future searches. You can view all articles that have been associated with a particular tag by clicking on a tag from any screen where the tag appears as a link. Tags are indexed which means they can be searched. An example, a user noticed that the record for a book called ‘Fatal Days of August’ was missing metadata about the subject and theme of the book. The book is about a famous race known as the Dole Air Race. Without the addition of the tag, users searching for ‘The Dole Air Race’ would not have found this book.
• National Library’s discovery service about
Australia and for Australians
• Almost 2000 organisations and over 300
– Not just libraries! (National Museum of Australia,
research repositories, Monument Australia, Dairy
Australia, Powerhouse Museum, ABC Radio
National, etc, etc, etc!)
Cribb & Foote Department Store window display of Silktex
Ipswich, 1920s. Picture reproduced courtesy of Picture Ipswich.
Memorandum and articles of association.
Pins, petticoats and ploughs : Cribb &
Foote, universal providers to Ipswich and
district from 1849 to 1977 by Keith Jarrott.
Address to shareholders delivered by the
Chairman of Directors ... at the annual
general meeting of shareholders of the
Company, Cribb & Foote Limited.
for Cribb &
Image courtesy of
Ipswich in the 20th
by Robin Buchanan
Queensland Times (Ipswich)
(QLD. : 1909-1954) Saturday 13
John Clarke Foote (1822-1895)
John Oxley Library, State Library of
Queensland, ca. 1870,
Benjamin Cribb (1807-1874)
Australian Dictionary of
Why correct text?
• Text created through OCR is searched by
• OCR is not always accurate
• Correcting the text improves accuracy of the
• Every correction improves search results for
• 121 million lines corrected
• Over 100,000 users
• Range from 1 correction to 2 million +
• Text correction is free
• No need to register
• Registered users can:
– See their correction history
– Appear in the Hall of Fame
What to do
• Fix the OCR text so it matches what was
• Match the line of text to the same line on the
• Correcting names of people, places,
organisations and dates are the most useful
What not to do
• Add text not in the original newspaper
• Change the text from what was originally
• Move text so that it does not match the line it
was originally in
Power searching in the Digitised
• 123+ Million articles
• 12+ Million pages
• 660+ titles
• OR search
– Search for articles containing either term
e.g. “tom smith” OR “T E Smith”
• AND search
– Search for articles containing all terms
e.g. (“tom smith” OR “T E Smith”) AND brenede
(“T E Smith” OR “Tom Smith”)
“Tom Smith” AND brenede
Finding common words as names
• Near search
–Use an honorific with the name
e.g. “Mr White”~1
–Can add additional terms, such as place