Monday, 10 January 2011

The Daily Record Index Project - January 2011 Update

I thought it might be of interest if I posted an update to our Indexing of the Daily Record, as mentioned before.

The project is currently being worked on by myself and John Houston - I am working through the editions for 1915 and John is working on 1917. John had initially started from August 1914, but technical difficulties with the microfilm for the latter months of 1914 meant we had to put those months on hold for the time being. We are both putting off working on 1916 - we reckon that's going to be the hardest year to index due to the number of entries around July/August time...

So far we have indexed nine months of the First World War - there are many months still to go, but we're getting there! Already so far those nine months have yielded over 4,500 entries. This is an impressive figure, and when you consider that we haven't covered such periods as the Battles of Loos and the Somme (where the number of entries are expected to increase in number) there will clearly be a large number of entries when the project is completed.

I have been asked what exactly what information we're indexing - we take a note of the Name, Rank and Unit of the individual. If the date of his death is mentioned, we include that also. We note the date of the newspaper, and which page the entry appears on, and whether there is a photograph or not. Finally, we include any minor details such as if the man was killed/wounded/missing, or if they were awarded a decoration.

The entries we index are mostly short paragraphs giving information provided by families. We don't include either the official casualty lists or awards from the London Gazette - these are available elsewhere and there is no further information to be found in the newspaper.

The information can be found in various sections - usually there is a page containing several entries provided by families, but the sports section will also contain some entries as a local football player may enlist or be reported killed or wounded. There is also curiously a company selling a medicine which uses photographs of serving servicemen to advertise their product - since the advert has a photo and mentions the name and unit of the man, we include them!

Timescale? We haven't set one, and we don't plan to. We'll finish when we finish. Obviously, the more people working on the project would mean it was available sooner. Hint hint...

The intention at the moment is to complete the index up to and including November 1918, but we will check the next few months to see if the entries continue. If they do, we may continue until we decide to stop.

Going back to that hint from before, we are always looking for volunteers. It's not exactly exciting work, but it can be interesting, and you do get a sense of achievement when you complete a section. If you'd like to get involved, please do get in touch with us.

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