Perth and Fife newspaper indexes made available online for the first time by Ancestry.co.uk
Scots can tap into 150 years of local history with the online launch today by Ancestry.co.uk of the Fife Newspaper Index Cards, 1833-1987 and the Perth Newspaper Index Cards 1809-1990.
Key name and event information chosen from millions of pages of 22 local papers across Perthshire and Fifeshire will allow family history researchers to delve into the history of the two areas at the touch of a button.
Perth’s collection dates from 1809 to 1990 and includes details from the Perthshire Advertiser, the Perthshire Courier and Strathearn Herald, all indexed by the AK Bell Library in Perth.
The Fifeshire collection, indexed by the Cupar Library in Fife, consists of more than 200,000 records taken from newspapers including the Dundee Courier and the Fife Herald News, dating from 1833 to 1987.
Both libraries have painstakingly scoured their historical newspaper collections over several decades to compile a variety of interesting, relevant and historically important information.
The result is two collections rich with details of births, deaths, retirals, wedding anniversaries, personal achievements and personal tragedies, as well as a wealth of information on historical events, probate and legal notices, business advertisements and local news.
Historical events of note include the Cholera epidemic that gripped Perth in the 1830s, and death of the botanist and local hero Sir Patrick Geddes in 1985, both of which appear in the Perthshire collection, while in the Fifeshire collection are details of the Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879 when a gale caused the bridge to collapse, taking with it 6 train carriages and killing 75 people.
These ‘filtered’ collections are searchable by a person’s name, event type, event place, and date of newspaper, including the page number. This information can be used to order back copies of the relevant papers from the libraries or to arrange a visit to view them on microfilm.
Ancestry.co.uk Managing Director Simon Harper comments: “Newspapers contain a vast wealth of information useful to those researching family history and Ancestry.co.uk is thrilled to be able to offer Scottish history enthusiasts online access to these two collections as they have been extensively organised so that only key information is included and all information is searchable.”
Sara Ann Kelly, Local Studies Librarian at the AK Bell Library, comments: “These records are a vital resource for anyone with an interest in Perth’s local history, giving details of everything from bankruptcy and job adverts to the births and deaths of many of Perth’s ordinary citizens, as well as local heroes such as Sir Patrick Geddes.”