Talk:Oregon Historical Quarterly

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Finding aids, traditional and modern[edit]

When published in their original form (quarterly issues), the Oregon Historical Quarterly (at least in the early editions) didn't typically include finding aids such as tables of contents or indices. (See, for instance, Index:Oregon Historical Quarterly vol. 3.djvu, and the untranscribed pages at the beginning and end of the volume.)

When compiled annually, alphabetical tables of contents, contents-by-author, and indices were added. The purpose of these, of course, is to help the reader find the material they are looking for.

On Wikisource, we have the benefit of improved finding aids. Most significantly, the main Oregon Historical Quarterly page has a search box at the top, enabling the reader to search the entire contents of all OHQ editions transcribed on Wikisource (as well as title and author information of many articles that are not yet transcribed).

How frequently will a reader wish to make a search via a traditional table of contents or index, restricted specifically to one year's volume of the OHQ? I would guess that is a rare occurrence, given the ease of computer searching (which also includes the main Wikisource search function, as well as external search tools like Google and Bing.

Since the TOC's and indices are among the most painstaking and time-consuming pages to transcribe and properly link, I have not prioritized them, preferring to focus my efforts on the article contents themselves. I don't know whether anybody else will work on them or not, but I don't particularly recommend it.

Therefore, I expect these annual volumes will indefinitely remain "incompletely transcribed," insofar as these specific finding aids are concerned. The component quarterly issues, however, will be complete (and five years' worth of them, as of this note, already are). According to my understanding of Wikisource policy, this means that none of the full volumes will be listed under "new texts." More significantly, they will not be marked as "complete", which could have consequences for how external search engines prioritize Wikisource content.

I wanted to document my thinking on this topic, and I am open to suggestions about it. -Pete (talk) 03:22, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

An important point I didn't mention previously: There is a TOC for each issue (example), in the (more traditional) sequential order. For a modern reader, I imagine this, a consistent format for all years of the Quarterly which clearly reflects which issue an article appears in, would be more useful than the "Subject Index" (example) included in many volumes. Our Author: pages are a better device for tracking articles by author than the original author index pages (which only listed contents by author within a certain volume). -Pete (talk) 16:55, 1 November 2019 (UTC)