NYCOLUMB-L ArchivesArchiver > NYCOLUMB > 2009-01 > 1232743649
From: Cliff Lamere <>
Subject: [NYCOLUMB] Times Union Archives Free, including Obituaries
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 15:47:29 -0500
"We are developing a new archive system, which we will roll out in a few
weeks. On Sept. 29 our current archives were closed to new stories while
we build our new system... Our online archives are provided at no cost
to the user. The archives contain most staff-written stories published
in the Times Union from March 1986 through September 2008 (obituaries
I phoned Times Union to find out if the archives would be free after the
new system was put in place. It will be. They used to charge $2 for
each article that you viewed in the archives. They weren't selling
enough articles. They make most of their money from the online
advertising. I was told that a breaking news story got as many hits in
one day as the entire archives got in a full year. So, they want to
greatly increase the useage of the archives even if they have to give
free access to the articles.
Obituaries are included in the archives, but not the photo that might
have accompanied the obituary (today, about 20-30% of the obituaries
include a photo). As in the past, the obituaries will also be available
free on Legacy for one year. I was told that the advantage on the
Legacy site is a better search engine. However, I know you can only
search for the deceased person's name. The Times Union archives would
allow you to search for Valentine and Ralph and thereby get a hit for
the son of the deceased person who was listed only by first name.
Obituaries are easy to identify when you are looking through a lot of
hits. A person's name makes up the complete title of the hit.
Their new archives will be available about February 15. It will contain
all of the articles that were archived in the past, plus the ones since
September. TU is currently merging the old articles archived under that
old system into the new system. Once available, their search engine
will be different from the one available today. But, until then I would
like to make some suggestions for using the current search engine.
I used the free archives a great deal yesterday when I found it. When
you arrive at the site, the search engine is set up to use certain
default settings. Even if you know the year a person died, it would
also make sense to search for occurences of his/her name in deed
transfer notices and news articles (in other words, everything on the
site). For my own use, I did the following:
I changed the year to "All Years."
I changed the order of the articles to "from oldest to newest" although
that won't matter to most people. You might change it to "relevance"
although I couldn't tell what criteria were used.
I changed the limit to 250 articles. If you leave it at 25, that is all
the hits you will get, and you won't be able to see any of the rest.
The "connector" can be important. I did a search for a surname alone.
It got too many hits because a staff member had the same name, and he
wrote a lot of articles. I set the connector to "But not" and entered
the name Robert. That eliminated some of his articles, but he also
publishes under the name Bob. So... I tried something that sometimes
works with search engines even if they don't tell you about it. In the
"search words" box, after the surname and a space, I typed the following:
That allowed me to get rid of Robert and Bob in a single search. BUTNOT
does not have to be capitalized, but there can't be a space between the
words. Some search engines may require it to be in caps.
Unless you use your Back button to return to the search engine, all of
your settings will revert back to the default settings. Without knowing
it, you may end up searching for 2008 only.
Obituaries in the Times Union appear only if someone pays for their
publication. The following counties are generally included: Albany and
Rensselaer have the most, but also Columbia, Saratoga and Schenectady.
Greene and Schoharie are only occasionally represented. There also some
for people who died outside the area (like Florida) who formerly lived
News articles get a much wider local coverage than the obituaries, so
the site is worth using even if you are not looking for an obituary.
Sorry for the length of this email. Sometimes I just don't know what to
|[NYCOLUMB] Times Union Archives Free, including Obituaries by Cliff Lamere <>|