BNA Newsletter 4 (January 2012): New Features and Your Top Searches

Posted on February 1st, 2012 by Amy

The British Newspaper Archive Newsletter: New Features and Your Top Searches

Two months have passed since the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) was launched in late November 2011. How time flies! We’re delighted to announce some new site features.

New Features on the BNA Website
Search Term Highlighting

Our development team have been working hard to add extra features to the website. One of   these new features is highlighting the first 10 occurrences of the words in your search term   within the article. So, for example, if your search is ’Charge of the Light Brigade‘, the words ’Charge‘, ’Light and ’Brigade‘ will be highlighted in light blue (small words like ’the‘ and ’a‘ are not included), thereby helping you to read the relevant section of the article more quickly.

 

Viewer Minimap

Another new feature on the site is the ’Viewer Minimap‘. Next time you view a page, check out the expandable box in the bottom right-hand corner called ’Where am I?‘

If you click this, you‘ll see where you are on the newspaper page within the viewer. So if you ever lose your bearings when viewing a large page, this is a great tool for quickly getting an idea of where you are. In short, you could describe this feature as being an interactive ’You are here‘ map. We‘re always looking for ways to improve the website and plan to add more features in the near future.

   

The British Newspaper Archive Print Shop

It‘s now possible to buy high quality prints of the pages that appear in the British Newspaper Archive. You might want to buy a print as a special birthday or anniversary present, or maybe because the page contains an interesting story about a family ancestor, major event or a local sporting triumph. With so many pages and regional papers on the site, there are 100s of reasons why people might want to buy a historical print.

You can choose to have a handmade frame for your print, or you can just opt for the print by itself. Sized A1 (841 x 594 mm / 33.1 x 23.4 in), the prints are presented on heavyweight, satin finish paper, and the special archival inks used ensure that your print will last for generations. To find out more about what‘s available and how to order, click here.

Your Top Searches (and what they reveal. . . )
It‘s fascinating to learn what you have been searching for on the website. Your searches are certainly a mix of ’Life, the universe and everything‘.

What the searches appear to reveal is that people visit the website for many different reasons. For instance, the searches for names, surnames, firms and places tend to suggest that numerous family historians visit the website. There also seem to be many military historians who carry out research in the archive, as well as football/cricket fans, Titanic followers, spotters of Victorian trains, students of the Great Exhibition, Jack the Ripper researchers, literature lovers and, interestingly, many people who are simply interested in reading stories on crime and punishment.

The list goes on . . . ! Keep searching, there is so much to discover in the Archive!

Twitter – On This Day
We love the stories you‘ve been telling us in response to the ’On this day‘ tweets we‘ve been posting. Our current favourite is the tale about the gg-grandfather who edited a newspaper and, one morning, decided to employ a promising young lad called Edgar Allan Poe (and his pet raven too, we hope).

It‘s great to see these stories come to life on Twitter. Thank you!

Facebook – New Story Galleries
We‘re still creating story galleries on our Facebook page, consisting of interesting content from the archive. Listed below are some of the story galleries we‘ve created since the last newsletter:

– ‘Stargazing‘ – Discoveries in Astronomy in the 18th and 19th Centuries
– Captain Scott and the ’Terra Nova Expedition‘ of 1912
– Longitude: How John Harrison Solved ‘the Longitude Question’
– The Songs of Robert Burns Translated Into Latin

To view the BNA Facebook story galleries, click here.

The stories that you have been telling as a result of visiting the website have been fascinating. Please let us know what you find!

We hope that you‘ll continue to share your stories with us, and will keep posting comments about the content you find (and your research) on our Facebook page.

The BNA at ’Who Do You Think You Are? Live‘
Some lucky members of the BNA team will be casting aside their ’Sunday Best‘ clothes and donning their Victorian news-vending togs for ’Who Do You Think You Are? Live‘. The biggest family history event in the world, the event takes place at the Olympia Centre in London, from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th of February.

We will be attending ’WDYTYA Live‘ to give people demos of the website and to show people how they can get more out of the website. You‘ll be able to find us at Stand Number 501. It will be difficult to miss us, as we‘ll be dressed in our scruffy Victorian togs, will be standing beside the BNA branded news-stand and will be shouting ’Extra! Read all about it!‘ It‘d be great to meet you at this event, as we‘re sure you have lots of interesting stories to tell.

Best wishes
The British Newspaper Archive team

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