Records - how do you count these?


‘Counting’ the vast number of records that make up our various collections is a complex process. How we measure the size of these collections essentially boils down to how a record is defined. Is it simply a mention of an individual person? A household? A page? If a birth record contains the names of multiple individuals, how many records is that?

For our indexed collections, record counts are defined as the information listed for each specific person included. For example, each line on a census is counted as one record as it contains information about one specific person. Un-indexed collections such as newspapers, periodicals and electoral registers are trickier as there is no underlying structure to determine the number of individual entries.  In these cases, pages are sampled in their entirety and an average is then applied to determine an estimated number of names.

Our total record count is worked out by combining the number of records for each person contained in our indexed collections with the estimated number of names in our un-indexed collections.

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