Re-Reading Lists in Historical Newspapers: Digital Insights into an Overlooked Text Type


  • Nina C. Rastinger Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Austrian Academy of Sciences



The paper presents an ongoing doctoral project dedicated to periodically published lists in historical newspapers between 1600 and 1850. By employing approaches from Corpus Linguistics and Digital Humanities, the project aims to locate the studied ‘small’ texts within existing digital resources, analyse them with regard to their textual characteristics and evaluate their potentials and challenges for automated information extraction. The article primarily focuses on two key aspects: firstly, on search strategies for locating lists in digital newspaper corpora and collections, and secondly, on a case study into lists of arriving persons published in the Wien[n]erisches Diarium between 1703 and 1725. These empirical investigations reveal that periodically published lists form a central and frequent component of early modern newspapers and offer numerous potentials for Digital Humanities research due to their textual features, such as periodicity, repetitiveness or inherent (semi-)structuredness. In this regard, the paper identifies the overlooked newspaper text type as a data treasure awaiting discovery and underscores the need to investigate ‘small’ newspaper texts on a large scale.