Misdated articles in Barron's from ProQuest and Boothill News in NewspaperArchive

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 4 14:57:51 UTC 2011

NewspaperArchive has a strange misdating problem with a newspaper
called Boothill News of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was examining a page
of Boothill News in the database with a date of July 29, 1849. That is
the date given within the scan and the date used in the database
index. But page four of the paper had an advertisement for the film
Suzy with Jean Harlow and IMDB says this film was released in 1935.

Boothill News appears to be a reconstruction or pastiche. The printed
dates are inaccurate. But I was given no warning by NewspaperArchive
when I found a match in Boothill News. (I think I mentioned this
problem previously but I couldn't find "Boothill" in ADS-L archive.)

When ProQuest digitizes a newspaper like the New York Times,
Washington Post, or Barron's they break it into individual articles
and ProQuest provides a label for each article. The label lists
information such as the newspaper name, article title, date, and page
number. This is quite convenient. In other databases such as
NewspaperArchive it is necessary to hunt for some of this information
once a match has been found, and the dates must be double-checked.

Yesterday I found an article labeled with the date December 6, 1963 in
Barron's weekly newspaper in the ProQuest database. I wanted to see
the surrounding articles so I downloaded the full page (page 17) and
discovered that the actual date was December 6, 1965 according to the
image scan. Further examination suggested that every article in this
issue was misdated.

When I looked at the front page I noticed that the printed year in the
date was easy to misread, and it did look like 1963. Hence it is
possible that a ProQuest employee looks at a single date on the front
page and then an automated process labels each individual article of
an issue with the identified date.

When using ProQuest it may be necessary to examine the full page that
a newspaper article is embedded within to double-check the accuracy of
the date label provided by ProQuest.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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