Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Graphing Trove - Papers Past newspapers

Firstly, we have to say thank you to Tim Sherratt for building QueryPic. What is Querypic you ask? It builds a graph to display how your research keyword appeared in Australian and New Zealand papers over time.

QueryPic accesses data from either Trove [Australia] or Papers Past [NZ].

You can also explore the results of your query in more detail by clicking on any point of the graph and you'll you being given a list of the first 20 matching articles. We've found it a very useful way of summarising our research in old newspapers. For example, in a conversation with NZ History, we saw how powerful the system can be in describing the buzz in society around a certain subject or event. Gallipoli was chosen and produced the graph below.

You can see the spike in discussion of Gallipoli during WW1 but what was even more interesting were the two smaller spikes in the 1800s, probably showing the 1953-56 Crimean War and 1877-78 Russio-Turkish war, and the rate at which the mentions of Gallipoli dropped away after the war.

We can't recommend enough that you use Trove and Papers Past as two of your primary family history research tools. They are our first port of call for Australian and New Zealand research respectively. Find out more at:

Papers Past has 74 publications from 1839 to 1945 in it's online collection and Trove Australia is continuously adding new publications to its collection - click here for more info.

Get updates on Tim Sherratt's work on twitter at @wragge and on his blog - http://discontents.com.au - I'm sure there's more in the pipeline that makes history even more fun!

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