Saturday, January 14, 2012

World Vital Records/Family Link and Newspaper Archive Search Problem

Has anyone had trouble lately getting results from searches for newspaper articles using World Vital Records, Family Link or Newspaper Archive? 

I subscribe to WVR and was thrilled last August when I found articles about my family in Abilene, Brownwood, Kerrville, Llano, San Antonio, and San Saba, Texas newspapers ranging from the late 1930s to mid 1970s.  Last Friday I tried some newspaper searches and couldn’t get any results.  I called the support number and thought the answer I got was the solution, but it wasn’t, so I called again.  This time another person answered and said she would send me an email with suggestions on searching.  When I received the email, the tips were to start with surname, then try including first name, then keep narrowing.  There were also tips on using “Soundex” or “Double Metaphone” instead of “Exact”.  I tried using the “new” card catalog.  I tried using the “Search Again” feature to narrow it to the “newspapers and periodicals” category.  I tried going to the specific newspaper and used the surname and year and still got zero results.

By this time I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, so I tried all of the above to pull up two different records I had pulled up in August and, luckily, saved.  I knew I had the name, newspaper, date, etc. correct because I was looking at them.  I could not do a search that would let me view them again.  I had seen that the WVR information is pulled from Newspaper Archive and tried searching that way, but no luck.  I do not subscribe to so I couldn’t try on their site.

On Monday I sent an email to WVR support, saying I had called twice but was still very frustrated and that I thought something was wrong with the search engine.  I did not need the two articles I sent as examples because I had saved them in August, but if someone could get the articles and tell me how it was accomplished maybe that would help me figure out how to get to others I did want. 
(Here are my examples if anyone wants to try and let me know if they get results or not.)
Texas newspaper, Brownwood Bulletin on May 19, 1966 - the heading under DEATHS is Mrs. Nora Conley, 77
Llano News – Llano, Texas - June 4, 1959 – some names in the article under “News From Cherokee” are Nora Conley, Jim Robbins, James Robbins, and Mitchell Broyles

I want to see if others are experiencing any problems and share the response I received from WVR Customer Support yesterday.  I have copied and pasted it below without editing.

We would like to thank you for the time you took to send us your feedback on our website. and work very hard to improve the experience our users have every day.

We apologize that you are currently not getting the full results for the Newspaper Archive Collection. We are aware of the issue and working to resolve it. The newspapers in question, derive from Newspaper Archive. While the newspapers display on our website, they are hosted through our affiliate, Newspaper Archive. At this time Newspaper Archive experiencing technical difficulties which is why you are unable to view their collections. They have described that a more specific search will lead to greater success as the error occurs when too many search results are returned for their system it becomes overloaded and does not return any results. Again, we assure you that they are working to resolve the issue.We hope that the error is resolved shortly and thank you for your patience in the meantime.
 Hopefully you will begin to see improvements soon. Until then, we hope you can continue to enjoy using our website.

Thank you again for taking the time to let us know what you were thinking. We really do appreciate it and realize the value of your opinion.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.”

No comments:

Post a Comment