A little thing called TIM
Spending time with Trove's identity matching software
23 June 2016
The names that appear in Trove’s People and organisations zone have been brought together from over 70 different bibliographic sources. Often a variety of entries relate to the same person or organisation. When pulling these names together we check for existing matches using the Trove Identity Manager software, otherwise known as TIM. TIM allows for new identities with no existing matches to be loaded straight into Trove. When there are different forms of names and sources for the one identity they can be matched, making searching much simpler.
The identities which pass through TIM range from national and international icons to people who have authored works, run for office or, have just contributed to their community.
To give you some idea of the characters behind the names in Trove I’ve chosen three records—one each from the Australian Women’s Register and Obituaries Australia as well as another record with entries from both Australian Music Online and Ausstage.
Australian Women’s Register
The Australian Women’s Register (AWR) provides information about Australian women and organisations. The input from the AWR is particularly valuable because they are the only source of bibliographic records available for many women.
Senora Spencer (1871-1940)
Born Mary Stuart Huntly, Senora Spencer was one of the world’s first female projectionists. She is credited, with her husband, for introducing films with popular music scores and ambitious special effects to the Australian public.
In the process of researching Senora Spencer’s story I found that one of the silent films presented at the Spencers’ Lyceum Theatre in 1911 was The Romantic Story of Margaret Catchpole. The story of a convict, pioneer, midwife and nurse, who was transported to Sydney in 1801. More research unearthed a record from the National Film and Sound Archive for the surviving part of the film. I followed the name of Margaret Catchpole in Trove and found that she also has her own record in the Trove People zone, with entries from Libraries Australia, AWR and the Australian Dictionary of Biography. So this particular search starting with Senora Spencer led me to two amazing women, living a century apart and connected through film.
Australian Music Online and Ausstage
Australian Music Online (AMO) is a web-based initiative funded by the Australia Council which aims to advance the marketing and promotion of new Australian contemporary music.
Ausstage is building a data set of live events with dramatic content covering all of Australia.
Curiosity about who was behind the intriguing name ‘Tug Dumbly’ sparked my interest in this colourful character. Tug Dumbly has entries from both Australian Music Online and Ausstage. He is an actor comedian, playwright, poet, performance artist and writer.
One of his most amazing activities was the creation of an 8,000 word epic ode to meat, Barbeque Bill and the Roadkill Café! For this he won the Banjo Paterson Prize for comic verse. Trove includes the record for this 1997 self-published work, as well as an event description supplied by Ausstage, with details of a performance of the work at the Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney in 2003.
A review of another of his performances, written for The Chaser in 2004, is representative of many other discussions of his extraordinary work:
Obituaries Australia (OA) reproduces obituaries relevant to the history of Australia, published in newspapers, journals, magazines and bulletins. It includes life stories of Australians from the colonial era to the present.
Hannah Barnet (1843-1921)
Hannah Barnet seemed to me to be an example of a very strong woman, running a business and rearing her 7 children in the late 18th and early 19th century. She worked alongside her husband, William Barnet, in Gawler, South Australia, as a printer then a newspaper publisher of The Bunyip. She became proprietor of the business at the age of 52 when her husband died in 1895. Following Hannah Barnet’s obituary led to more information in Trove about The Bunyip newspaper and its earliest incarnation as the chronicles of the Gawler Humbug Society. The first issue, published in 1863, included the subtitle ‘Flam! Bam! Sham!’ and a wonderful outline of the philosophy of the Humbug Society (aka the Honourable Fraternity of Humbugs).
Researching people and organisations
The People and organisations zone is a wonderful starting point if you have a name and not much else—opening a range of research options in just one search. Trove will continue to update and add to the zone to make it a more comprehensive resource through our helpful, handy TIM.