24 March 2016

Searching Chemist and Druggist: Beechams Pills - not quite the thing

A post Searching for a solution from the Wellcome Library blog describes the work-around found for searching the journal Chemist and Druggist digitized from 1859 through to 2010.

There are 535,000 pages of OCR data for the journal freely available. You can search within a particular issue, either through the Library catalogue, or on the Internet Archive website. The challenge was searching across the whole corpus. Google to the rescue.

I tried the search looking for a report on the trial of a great grand-uncle who admitted selling knock-offs for the patent medicine Beecham's Pills. In addition to information I already had from newspaper reports I learned details of the trial including that he had been trading at the same location in Shadwell for 20 years.

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