Australia Newspaper Vital Notice instruction UPDATE

Many of you have come across image sets in the Australia Newspaper projects where family members and loved ones have submitted multiple notices of an event, most often it’s a death notice.  The resent discussion has lead to a Project Instruction update for both projects.  Please check out the instructions for both Australia Newspaper Vital Notices both Part 1 & Part 1c.

What Names Should I Key? Although many persons are mentioned in a newspaper, you only want to key the names of individuals who appear in “Notices” announcing births, deaths, engagements, funerals, marriages, memoriams and obituaries. The section of the newspaper with these notices should be headed by what type of notice it is followed by the individuals underneath. In each notice, key the primary individual (the person for whom the notice was written) and then if applicable, her/his spouse, parents and spouse parents. Do not key any other person mentioned in a notice.

Often you will find family members submit multiple notices of an event (frequently death notices). If an image has multiple notices of the same event for the same person, index only one notice.

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Reader Comments

At last some common sense!

How do you arrive at the 90 day average?
In July I was working on the Kansas City Project averaging about 1031 posts a day. The end of July Kansas City was completed so I switched to Belfast Northern Ireland Project-Birth, Marriages & Deaths. These were more complicated so I could only complete 300-500/day. On July 18th my 90 day average was 215,535 for a grand total of 3,339,856. On 9/27/2017 I was at 54,900 for a 90day average = total 3,356,576. Today, 9/30 I dropped to 48,977. How could my 90 day average drop from 215,535 to 48,977???? I added 18,830 posts in that time frame and 2 months later I dropped 166,558 from my 90 day average to 48,977. That does not make sense to me. At that rate I will be at 0 in another month!!!
Please explain
Thank you ‘

I understand the logic in the new project instruction, but I also think there’s merit to keying all of the notices. Being that they are filed by different people, we miss the opportunity to key a relative’s name that someone might be searching for. To me, it’s not a big deal to key three notices vs. one in the interest of being thorough.

I agree with Paula Steinkuehler, in being thorough, we should key all notices no matter what they are to capture everyone around that particular event, even to include the vicar/padre/rev etc who conducts the service.

The only thing we’re capturing on these notices are the primary person, spouse, parents and vital. If the children each post a notice we do not capture their names or additional information. So realistically you can have 10 notices with nothing more than the name, gender and vital date. If this is an index project they will not see the other names. If they’re able to see the image, they can get the children’s names from the image.

Donna – I agree with you in most cases. I think a better instruction would be that we omit records where only ALL of the information is identical to the first. I’ve had death records where one was filed by the spouse, one by the parents, and one by the mother-in law. Each contained unique information to be keyed other than the primary person. If I only key the one with the spouse, someone conducting a search for their relative (the mother-in-law, for example) might never even know this record exists…and it might point to a relationship that the searcher was otherwise unaware of due to different surnames, remarriages, etc. I understand this is not the normal scenario but I think, in manually key records to make them searchable, we should capture all we can.

I think that the only time more than one notice should be keyed is if the second contains extra information. eg the first one may not contain the first name or the death age but the second does.

In the past we have combined data to create the most complete record. So if one notice has their parents and another their spouse and his/her parents we would be keying all of the data but in one record. This way we don’t have to key multiple records but also capture all available data.

Anna, when you say that is what we have done on previous projects, can you please confirm that you mean that is what we should do on this project?

I tried to post a reply on here before with an extract from the instructions for the Ottawa Journal project which said to combine the information from the multiple entries into one, as I wanted to suggest the wording from that should be used for the update to the Australian projects instead of the current wording, but my reply didn’t go up because I included a link to the sample image which was used for the Ottawa Journal.

Yes, that instruction is correct.

“If there are more than one notice for the event type, on the same image, key one record including all relevant information from the various articles.”

I am totally confused now. I am agreement that when there is unique information to each notice, then you type both notices as separate lines. However, if the information is the same then you only type one notice. In Anna’s comment (#8) it seems that she is saying we are to combine all the information to have one line with all of the information from the various notices. In my private e-mail to Anna I was told this is incorrect. Anna, can you please clarify again for me. I agree with Marion and Paula that we only repeat a notice when there is different information, i.e. age, spelling, etc. Please clarify for me.

I agree this is confusing as to what the new instructions are. I also think we should have one entry with information from any of the notices collated in one entry, unless there is contradictory information then there should be 2 entries.

Updated project instructions read: “Often you will find family members submit multiple notices of an event (frequently death notices). If more than one notice appears for the same person for the same event type together on an image, key these notices as one record, combining any information given.”

This aligns with Anna’s #8 & #10 comment and I interpret it the same way Donna and Stephanie do. I hope Anna has a chance to confirm.

I think we’re in accord with the new instructions. However, as a reviewer does that mean where people have keyed separate lines for the different notices do I now have to change them and put all the information into one.

From what I have read I think we are all in consensus regarding the new instructions.
Where there are multiple notices regarding the same individual combine all data into one record.

For review you will need to continue to review both ways.

I understood when keying these types of records (funeral and memorial) that if there were different details you typed more than one. I believe that the purpose is to have people look up the original record for themselves. The multiple records tell the reader there may be much information to be gleaned. Also combining records is questionable from an accuracy standpoint.