Questions from #ancestryhour with the BNA | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


#AskBNA on Twitter

In May, The British Newspaper Archive participated in #AncestryHour, a Twitter event which takes place every Tuesday 7 pm BST organised by @Ancestryhour.  Each week, the community gathers to discuss the latest news in the genealogy world, give expert advice to novice researchers, and share stories of their recent genealogy discoveries.

In a special #Ancestryhour, @BNArchive  answered questions live on twitter about our site using the hashtag #AskBNA.  We had a wide range of questions and responses.  If you didn’t get a chance to participate, you can see some our tweets below or search #AskBNA on Twitter.

New changes

Things have been moving fast around here! Since our first webinar, the homepage has undertaken a makeover.  All your favourite search functions are still there, and you can still use all the tips revealed in the webinar.  To take a closer look at the changes read our blog.

Our new look

First question

Our first question was about a particular title, the Hamilton Advertiser.


To access our full list of newspaper titles, go to latest titles on the homepage and select ‘Search all’.  This will bring you to a full list of titles.  Each title has its own designated page, which gives you a free sample issue, plus the planned years for digitisation by the Archive.

Scottish titles


Access the first list of Scottish titles here:  Scottish titles

List of our titles, narrowed by the country.



Tips for searching

To search for a specific year or time period, you can use the filters on the left side of the search results page.  Or, alternatively, use the advanced search option from the home page and input a specific year range.

Advanced search options
Advanced search options



How to edit the OCR text.


OCR refers to Optical Character Recognition.  This is the method we use to create the searchable text when we digitise newspapers.  However, there are times when the computer software cannot recognise specific words or letters, and this leads to mistranscription.  With your help, we can improve our transcripts.  On the article’s page, on the left side, you will see all the articles listed.  Selected the one you want and you can edit the OCR text.  We will expand more on this topic in another post.

Unknown spelling of surname

How to search for an unknown name.


Advanced search options


You can access the advanced search screen from the homepage.



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Shared stories

Along with questions, customers shared some of their favourite discoveries from the BNA during our #Ancestryhour event. We always love to hear from you – keep sharing.




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