Known Issues [PDF Version]

The Scottish Post Office Directories (PODs) are rich and diverse resources however they do contain various quirks. The process of digitising the PODs has created legibility and structural issues as has the automatic formatting and linking of the PODs to contemporaneous maps. This list covers some of the known issues that may need to be considered when using AddressingHistory.

Directories included in AddressingHistory

It should be noted that AddressingHistory includes records from the General Directory of each POD. Additional POD data, such as the Commercial Directories, have not been included in the site to date. Please contact us (see below) if you would like to see these or any additional data added at a later stage of development.

Data Processing Issues

For a number of reasons including legibility and data structure automatic data extraction for the early PODs was more difficult than PODs from later eras. This has resulted in not all information being made available through the AddressingHistory interface. Access to the complete PODs are however available via the Internet Archive .

Formatting Issues

Occasionally even if all of the information in an entry is showing correctly the formatting may look wrong. In the case of People this may be a matter of qualifications or profession information appearing in the incorrect fields. In the case of businesses there may be business information in the address information, etc.

Transcription or OCR Errors

The PODs have been transcribed automatically using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and, although we have undertaken additional steps to improve the accuracy of this text, there are occasional errors due to printing quirks, unexpected characters on the page, historic lettering styles, etc.

Unexpected or Missing Professions Search Results

Professions were listed fairly inconsistently in the PODs so we recommend that users are flexible whilst searching in this field. We have tried to cluster together some of the key professions in the backend of AddressingHistory so that they are a little easier to search for but there will be times when it will be tricky to find the profession you are looking for. Here are some tips for finding a missing profession:

  • Try searching for the first few letters of the profession. For instance if you are having no luck looking for "joiners" you could try searching for "join" which will not only bring back any listings for "joiners" but also "joinery" and other similarly titled professions
  • Try a different term for a similar role. So, again using the example of "joiners", you could search for "carpenters", "woodwork" or similar.
  • If you know the UK Standard Industrial Classification (2007) for the profession you are looking for you could try using the AddressingHistory API and making a search using the relevant UK Standard Industrial Classification code (e.g. A is the code for "Agriculture, forestry and Fishing") as the value for the "category" parameter.
  • Add data where you know there is an omission or error. If you see either an erroneously transcribed profession please consider taking a few minutes to login and correct the entry - your fellow searchers will be hugely grateful as will the AddressingHistory project team.

Gender Disambiguation

As was traditional until relatively recently many women are listed in the directory under their husband's name - for instance you might see a Mrs John Smith. This is usually a true reflection of what is listed in the directory but can look confusing.

Qualifications and Similar Letters After Names

For some records the qualifications - of a doctor or teacher for instance - may appear as part of their address rather than as an extension of their name.

Unexpected or Confusing Business Entries

Business addresses often have unusual characteristics and this can cause display problems such as:

Multiple Addresses - The results may show multiple addresses. Where this is the case you may find that the entry relates to several map pins or you may find that it relates to a single map pin. It can be difficult to automatically detect multiple addresses so whilst we have made changes to try to ensure more addresses are mapped we also welcome your help in editing and correcting these map pins as appropriate. If you have any other questions or problems with updating an entry of this type we ask that you use the Contact Us... button.

Contact us

We welcome your assistance in making formatting corrections. Login and use the Edit this entry button to make such changes or use the Contact us about this entry button to suggest further changes or to let us know about other issues that should appear in this list.

Please note that this list of Known Issues was last updated in April 2012.

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