Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Watchdog Wednesday: GenealogyBank Advertises 35 years of Coverage, Provides 9 -- NOTE CHANGES BELOW

[CORRECTION TO HEADLINE: it wasn't an advertisement, it was a blog post. Precision in all things!]

[NEWS FLASH: The original post has now been changed with excellent added information.]

I love what GenealogyBank does in digitizing old newspapers from all over. I am a subscriber and will continue to be.

I don't love the way they promote it. Yesterday a post on the GenealogyBank blog proclaimed "Chicago Times (Chicago, Illinois) Newspaper Archives (1854-1888)." (BTW, the Chicago Times is a very interesting newspaper historically in addition to its genealogical value as a pre-Fire information source. During the Civil War, it was in many ways a Copperhead paper in Union territory, and was briefly suppressed by an overanxious military officer. Preserving it digitally is especially important because few people today know of it.)

I clicked on the GenealogyBank link to the newspaper and started searching. Many searches came up empty. Then I started conducting searches without specifying any search term except a range of years. With a little clicking I found out that instead of preserving thirty-five years of the Chicago Times, GenealogyBank is (as of the evening of 10 August 2010) in fact preserving, at most, nine.

An honest blog post from GenealogyBank would have announced that they have digitized at least some issues of the Chicago Times for the years 1854, 1855, 1856, 1859, 1864, 1879, 1884, 1885, and 1888. Not "1854-1888." . . . I hope they will soon have many more years posted.

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