Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Historians Gain Own Search Engine

BBC News (03/23/10) Ward, Mark

European researchers are developing a project that will link up separate databases of source materials and allow academics or public citizens to search all the collections from one site. The project, called Connected History, will index digitized books, newspapers, manuscripts,
genealogical records, maps, and images that date from 1500 to 1900. Currently there are several electronic resources that universities and commercial providers have created, but they are all separate and some require subscriptions. "What we are trying to do is join them up to create an integrated search facility so you do not have to conduct more searches than necessary," says University of Sheffield professor Robert Shoemaker. Much of the work that goes into the Connected History project will be tagging and annotating entries so classification systems are
standardized. To date, 12 institutions have signed up to contribute their collections, including the University of Sheffield, the Institute of Historical Research, the University of Hertfordshire, and King's College, London.


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