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August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

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August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby ksouthall » Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:39 pm

I was rereading the August magazine last week (just in time, as the September one has already arrived!), and noticed a section on Page 10 about the British Library online newspaper archive. Later in the week, I was sorting through some paperwork and found some that related to an ancestor who was burgled and witness at a subsequent murder trial. Their stolen gun was the murder weapon.
Anyway, I decided to get a subscription for the website to see if I could get more information about the case. The subscription rates seem very reasonable: £6.99 for a 24-hour pass with up to 100 downloads and £9.99 for a 7-day pass with up to 200 downloads.
I opted for the 7-day pass so that I could find out as much as possible and have found loads of articles about the burglary and subsequent murder. There is even an account of my great-great-grandmother's witness statement.
As I still had loads of credits left, I have also researched other family names and have uncovered some births, marriages, deaths, a couple of bankrupts, a divorce and a couple of accidental shootings.
I still have some credits to use up by this Thursday and am struggling to use them!
I would recommend the website to people who are researching unusual surnames and have also investigated several branches of their family tree.
I did get several articles that do not relate to my family, particularly if searching more common names or when entering a county or place name. Sometimes the search engine returned incorrect results based on the quality of the original newspaper; e.g. 8th returned instead of 5th.
Has anyone else tried the website? If so, what did you think?
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Re: August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby paulberyl » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:15 pm

Hi Katherine,

I am lucky enough to have free access to this site through my Open University studies. When I am not using it for my course work I have used it for my family history research nad have turned up marriages, obituaries, inquest reports and charitable work. In addition to being a useful site for specific investigation it is also useful to see how our ancestors lived and the issues that concerned them.

Paul
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Re: August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby ksouthall » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:38 am

Hello Paul,
Out of interest, which OU course are you doing? I am due to start "Writing Family History" in October. Have you done that course yet? If so, any tips or advice please?
Katherine
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Re: August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby paulberyl » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:18 pm

Hi Katherine,

I am studying for a history degree which I started four years ago when I retired from work. To get myself back into a "studying mode" after 40 years of work the first course I did was "Writing Family History". The course is (or was) organised into 5 blocks: What is family history?; Turning family trees into family history; Writing lives: autobiography, biography and diaries in family history; Visual evidence: family photographs and Family stories and oral history. There were two assignments that had to be submitted based partly on your studies and partly on a family history you have been investigating.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course (although I have to say that I have enjoyed every course I have undertaken with the OU) and the best advice I can offer is enjoy yourself whilst completing the course.

Best of luck with the course.

Paul
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Re: August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby ksouthall » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:58 am

Paul,
Thanks for the advice. Another relative (very distant, admittedly) is also doing the course at the same time as me so I think we will probably compare ideas.
I've done OU before and really enjoyed it. It is quite a relaxing way to study plus they do offer a lot of guidance which is handy.
Good luck with the rest of your studies. You must be almost finished.
Thanks again,
Katherine
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Re: August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby Editor » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:30 am

Can I also suggest checking your local library to see if it has a subscription? My library lets me access the British Library 19th-century newspapers online site for free from the comfort of my own home. I just need to register and then use my library card number.

Sarah ;)
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Re: August Magazine - British Library Newspapers Online

Postby callbrian » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:33 pm

Well done Sarah!
I have checked out my library for online services (I had previously visited and paid for ancestry.com). Cornish libraries give free access to 19th British Libary Newspapers and the Times Digital Archives 1785-1985. Which, as you say can be accessed at home when entering your library card number. I would suggest some knowledge of the approximate date or name to be searched would be helpful, as I put in a general query and waited nearly 10 minutes for the download of over 2000 items.
Brian :)
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