When indexing newspaper obituaries if there is a death date penned in on the newspaper clipping can we assume that to be the death date if no death date was mentioned in the obituary?
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Thanks for sharing the batch. The article below is linked to the Project Instructions. It states:
Many obituaries do not include an exact death date. Do not try to determine the date meant by statements such as “He died last Wednesday.” If a death date is not stated, you typically should use the most recent date on the document other than a birth date.
Is this what you need to look at? I have never communicated like this before so teach me if it is wrong.
The PDF also says that you can use a penned date. Both of these links in the Project Instructions are going to be very important to new indexers of obituaries and those who need a refresher course since it has been a while since we've seen these!
Don’t Calculate Dates. If the death date was not specified, use the most recent date on the document, such as the date of the newspaper article.
I noticed on the Indexing Instruction Sample Images that they used the penned in date as the burial date. What do you think? Is it the burial date or the death date or should I use the date for both since it is the most recent date on the document?
Thanks you so much for your comments and help. I have wondered this question for over 10 years.
In the first Obituary Indexing PDF (the 44 page one), this was the instruction:
If a specific death date was not recorded, index the most recent date in the document as the death date.
When it came to indexing someone missing in action the instruction was:
Use the missing in action date as the death date, unless more information is available that shows that date is incorrect.
We didn't have two date selection fields then - now we do.
EVHLHM has a good point since they show the penned date as the burial date, but, on that example it also has a death date.
Frankly, I think the original PDF and the attached PDF, and the instructions in the link to the knowledge article all suggest that the most recent penned in date is the used as the death date when no other information is available. If the death date was not specified, use the most recent date on the document, such as the date of the newspaper article.
The example is clearly intended to show the penned in date as a burial date. If it does not show a death date then mark that field blank.
Oh yes. Let me fix my original post back to what I said...LOL