Finding Front Page News

After the week of heavy snow we’ve had here on Prince Edward Island, I wanted to search IslandNewspapers.ca for references to “snow storm” that appeared in The Guardian newspaper.

Entering “snow storm” as a search term produced 1,434 results, and many of these were references in articles deep inside the paper, like this one from page 4 of the January 30, 1952 paper:

Snippet from January 30, 1952 edition of The Guardian.

An interesting story, no doubt, but what I really wanted was “front page news” blizzards. News likely to be contemporary and local rather than reports from the bygone days.

But there wasn’t a way to limit my search by page number.

So I asked Don Moses, who manages the project, and his quick reply – on a snow day, no less – was:

We do index the page number of the page.  I’ve added a facet “Page Number” to the search results page.  So if you do your search … you’ll see the facet for page at the bottom of the facets listed and can apply that as a limit.

And, sure enough, repeating the search now shows this handy facet in the right-hand sidebar:

Page Number Facet

By clicking on “1”, I can limit my search to the 322 occurences of “snow storm” that appeared on the front page of the paper.

And by further filtering my search by clicking on “February” under the “Month” facet, I can see only the 64 front-pages containing keywords “snow storm” that ran during that month.

Like this story, with photo, reporting on the crash of a BOAC airplane at Charlottetown Airport during a snow storm on February 25. 1946 :

And this story about 15 inches of snow falling over two days from February 8, 1956:

And the cover of the February 10, 1948 edition, reporting on several snow-related incidents, including the death of a Skinner’s Pond man:

And this bracing story from February 22, 1932 reporting on a train collision near Tignish that happened in “blinding snow storm and zero weather”:

This new ability to filter by page number is a terrific addition to IslandNewspapers.ca, and that Don was able to quickly implement it is a testament to the flexibility of the Islandora platform.