Saturday, July 16, 2011

Searching for Mac, Mc in Digital Databases from Demography and the Imperial Public Sphere

In this post M.H. Beals at Demography and the Imperial Public Sphere before Victoria shares some insightful tips for searching for Mac and Mc surnames in digital databases.  Some of the problems she describes aren't such a problem when using Ancestry because they return all sorts of results if you turn off "exact spelling" and they also (I think) use humans in their indexing process. I wonder if using a * would help with searching databases created by OCR? To expand on one of Dr. Beal's examples: Ale* McAuley. I know it works in library catalogs and Google. She also provides a handy list of fairly standard abbreviations for given names.

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