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Accessing the content of nineteenth-century periodicals: the Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical project

Topham, J. (2007) Accessing the content of nineteenth-century periodicals: the Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical project. Serials, 20 (1). pp. 20-26. ISSN 0953-0460

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Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1629/20020


Nineteenth-century periodicals significantly outnumber books from that era, and present historians with an immensely valuable set of sources, but their use is constrained by the difficulty of identifying relevant material. For many periodicals, contents pages and volume indexes have been the only guide, and the few subject indexes that exist usually provide only an indication of the subjects mentioned in the article titles. By contrast, the Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical project (SciPer) indexed the science content of general-interest periodicals by skim-reading the entire text. The project’s approach to indexing is described and the relative merits of indexing and digitization in aiding researchers to locate relevant material are discussed. The article concludes that, notwithstanding the more sophisticated search interfaces of more recent retrodigitization projects, human indexing still has an important role to play in providing access to the content of historic periodicals and in mapping their data structure.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 UKSG. Reproduced with permission from the copyright holder.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds) > Division of the History and Philosophy of Science (Leeds)
Depositing User: Leeds Philosophy Department
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 17:02
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:55
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1629/20020
Status: Published
Publisher: UKSG
Identification Number: 10.1629/20020
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3368

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