I have been scanning
stories from an issue of the Richmond Daily Whig and Advertiser
for a couple of weeks now. At first, I looked at the
masthead and used the date printed there: April 15,
1873. I usually do these one story at a time: scan, make up the
page for the image, index the names, upload to the server, and add to
the "What's New" page. Otherwise I'd get mixed up!
So it went for a few
stories....then, to my horror, I looked at the date again (this time on
the inside of the front page), and saw April 15, 1878! I
nearly fell out of my chair! I scrambled to change the dates on the
stories I'd already posted, and vowed to look at the dates more
carefully in the future.
Then this morning, I
glanced at the top of the masthead again, and there it was: April 15,
Well, I don't know
whether to be relieved that I hadn't been careless in assuming either
1873 or 1878, that both dates were indeed printed in the newspaper...or
whether I ought to be mad that I have to go back and change stories
I guess I'll be
relieved. Yes, it's annoying to have to go back & change dates
on previously posted stories (again), and other than posting this
notice, I have no way of notifying anyone who might be using a wrong
date in their research as a result of my confusion. And I'd rather
spend my limited spare time uploading new stories from other
regions of the U.S. and other time periods. But that's the way it is
While I'm focusing on
the logistics of correcting pages, I don't want to miss an opportunity
to point out something you should always keep in mind when reading these
or any newspapers: just because
it's in print, it isn't Gospel!
Use a critical eye,
whether you're reading about today's current events in one of our major
metro dailies, or reading something that's here in The Olden Times. No newspaper story, today or yesterday, is
without some bias, however subtle... and that's just one end of the
spectrum. At the other end of the spectrum is outright error of factual
reporting: wrong dates, wrong names, wrong events, etc. In
genealogical research we tend to be more concerned about the latter. But
in our daily "modern" media consumption, we should
remember to be more aware of the former.
I appreciate your
patience and hope for your good humor as you watch me learn as I go
along. I expect that you hope that one of these days, I'll get to your
home town newspaper, or your folks' old news. Obviously,
I can't find them all, nor could I afford them if I could find 'em,
but I promise: I'll keep at it!
Take care, and keep warm!