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Thread: Scanned UFO newspaper clipping archive - Progress Report

  1. #1

    Scanned UFO newspaper clipping archive - Progress Report

    I have recently been working with Clas Svahn and Anders Liljegren at the AFU in Sweden on the creation of an online collection of scanned UFO newspaper clippings - including:

    (a) combining a few collections of newspaper clippings (with differing file name formats etc), with the permission of relevant groups/archives, into a master chronological folder;

    (b) making tentative plans for making this initial set far bigger. For example:

    (b1) : the AFU alone has scanned several hundred newspaper clipping scrapbooks and publications into PDFs with titles along the lines of "Scrapbook 1" which have the name and dates of each article on the relevant pages within those PDFs but not in the filenames. One relatively simple step would be for volunteers (which I think I can recruited via, say, various discussion forums and/or Facebook) to take one or two such large PDFs and split them into individual pages/articles and give them filenames in a format that allows them to be assimilated into the master chronological folder.

    (b2) : There is, of course, also the possibility of other UFO groups / researchers adding some clippings that they have scanned, if (shock, horror) people within ufology are prepared to work together...

    Just as an initial indication of the sort of thing envisaged and to see if there is interest from other groups/researchers now that things have moved from the theoretical to more concrete steps, here is a PDF simply giving an extract (of the post-1950 items, currently about 35,000 clippings but growing rapidly) from a list of the items in the combined chronological folder that is being created:

    The basic idea is for the relevant folder to provide a common framework for researchers to build up a collection of UFO newsclippings in English - which others can add to (and get credit by my adding the name of the relevant scanner and the relevant archive to the file name for each clipping that they contribute - as illustrated by the file names in the above extract from the current list of files).

    While some people have sent me emails querying my wasting space in the file name by giving the name of the relevant scanning group and relevant archive. this has been (I think) significant in terms of getting agreement from at least one of the initial archive-holders for its major contribution to the test sample.

    I still have to reach agreement with our friends at the AFU (particularly Clas and Anders) on the best way forward on this archive (including whether their relevant work should be made available online without charge), but I think that an indication of the level of potential contributions of newspaper clippings to the collection from other researchers/groups may affect relevant decisions by them...

    (NOTE: The current test has so far basically just been in relation to items in English. There is no reason in principle why the same file name format and system could not be applied to material in other languages as well - including using software such as the Bulk.Rename Utility to put existing files into the relevant file name format for assimilation i.e. Day_Relevant newspaper/publication_Group or person that did the scanning_Source Archive_Keyword e.g. "1968 07 20_South Wales Echo_AFU scan_Dave Sankey archive.pdf")

    As always, please let me know if anyone else has already done work along these lines so that I don't waste my time (or at that of our friends at the AFU) reinventing the wheel...

  2. #2
    A most impressive body of work.

  3. #3
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Here, not there
    Isaac - I donít know of any other work going on that even comes close to your efforts. Thank you for taking on this prodigious task. All of us in this field of research are indebted to you and your colleagues!

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