[PW] Request help tracing Agatha Christie quotation in The Sunday Times (London) and Reader's Digest 1952

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 22:08:49 PDT 2016


The following discussion is tailored to a specific task, but I think
it illustrates strategies and ideas that will be helpful to other
researchers who are using the Google Books database.

Dana Dalrymple kindly replied to me off-list (the message to the full
list bounced). Dana was unable to locate the target Agatha Christie
quotation after checking several page 107s in the 1952 issues of
"Reader's Digest".

Sometimes the page numbers supplied by Google Books (GB) are
inaccurate. Here are some error types I have encountered:

1) Off by 100: For example, page 108 is really page 8 or page 208.

2) Wrap around: Suppose you are searching in a volume containing
multiple issues of a magazine. Each issue starts with page 1. Further
suppose that the January issue has 210 pages, and GB specifies page
218. The target may appear on page 8 of the February issue. This error
occurs because sometimes the GB pagination algorithm does not reset
properly when it encounters pages from a succeeding issue.

I do not think these two errors are applicable here.

When you are having trouble locating a passage on paper it is often
useful to attempt to extract more text from GB and try to find
landmarks visible at the top or bottom of a page within snippets. I
have extracted more text and found a snippet that shows the following
article title:

THE SLOW DEATH COMES TO HUNGARY

The target quotation is probably located somewhere near this article.
A Google search identified a "Reader's Digest" cover showing that this
article was published in the March 1952 issue starting on page 105.
Dana, if you would be willing to retrieve the March 1952 issue and
look at the pages of the article and the adjacent pages then I believe
that you will probably see the target quotation (attributed to Agatha
Christie).

Garson O'Toole

On Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 6:28 PM, Dana Dalrymple
<ddalrymple at spokanelibrary.org> wrote:
> I tried sending this to the list but got a filter rejection for some reason.
>
>
> Dana Dalrymple
> Managing Reference Librarian | Spokane Public Library
> spokanelibrary.org
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dana Dalrymple
> Sent: Thursday, July 7, 2016 3:13 PM
> To: 'list at project-wombat.org' <list at project-wombat.org>
> Subject: RE: [PW] Request help tracing Agatha Christie quotation in The Sunday Times (London) and Reader's Digest 1952
>
> I checked our 1952 issues of Reader's Digest and did not find that quote on any of the page 107s. However, we are missing October, so there is a chance it is in that particular month.
>
> Dana Dalrymple
> Managing Reference Librarian | Spokane Public Library spokanelibrary.org


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