Romania SIG #Romania business directories newly searchable #romania


Logan Kleinwaks
 

I recently added the following business directories with ROM-SIG
coverage to my search engine at http://genealogyindexer.org, >from the
series of global directories published by Leuchs:

1844 Hungary and Transylvania Business Directory (Leuchs vol. 14) {d412}

1862 Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, Dalmatia
Business Directory (Leuchs vol. 18) {d397} *includes Bukovina and the
Banat*

1844 Bohemia, Moravia, Galicia, Krakow Business Directory (Leuchs vol.
12) {d410} *includes Bukovina*

1845 Greece, Turkey, Asia, Africa, Australia Business Directory
(Leuchs vol. 23) {d420} *small part of Turkey section is relevant
(largest coverage for Bucharest)*

1845 Poland and Russia Business Directory (Leuchs vol. 18) {d416}
*tiny Bessarabia section*

I made the directories searchable by using Optical Character
Recognition (OCR) to convert the scanned images to text, a process
that is not 100% accurate (but is much faster than manual
transcription). Because of the relatively poor quality of the scans
available for these directories, I also added a complete manual
transcription of the Galicia and Bukovina section of the 1844
directory as an experiment to compare OCR accuracy with manual
transcription accuracy. This manual transcription appears on
http://genealogyindexer.org as:

1844 Galicia and Bukovina Business Directory (part of Leuchs vol. 12) {d382}

This transcription includes individual business owners for the
following towns in Bukovina (as spelled in the directory): Czernowitz,
Radautsch, Sereth, Suczawa, Wisnitz.

All of the above are included if you search at
http://genealogyindexer.org with the default options. You can limit a
search to one or more of these directories by appending the codes in
{} after your search, like this: kohn {d397, d412}. It is not
currently possible to search only the ROM-SIG areas of these
directories, but search results will often indicate the sections where
matches occur (e.g., results >from the 1844 Hungary and Transylvania
directory d412 might include "Section: Transylvania"). Unfortunately,
for the 1862 directory d397, the Transylvania and Banat entries are
mixed together with those >from Hungary, Croatia, and Slavonia, so you
will have to examine the matching directory pages to know whether
matches are >from Transylvania, the Banat, or elsewhere.

All search results link to scans of the matching directory pages. The
Leuchs directory scans are hosted by the Bavarian State Library, which
has impressive online holdings that I expect will yield many more
genealogically useful sources upon further exploration.

For the OCR'd directories, the accuracy for town names is especially
low. If you are interested in all the entries >from a particular town,
I suggest refering to the place index ("Orts-Register") at the end of
each directory, rather than (or in addition to) searching for the
town's name. If you are interested in all the entries >from a
particular town in the 1844 directory d382 that includes Bukovina, you
can search the manual transcription by the town name, like this:
czernowitz {d382}. Note, however, that the manual transcription only
includes towns for which individual business owners are named -- for
Bukovina, just the five towns listed above (search by these
spellings). Many other towns appear in the directory, but only
include general information about the types of businesses present,
without naming individual business owners (if you are interested even
in that, refer to the place index beginning at http://bit.ly/JzJX0R).

These directories are certainly not comprehensive, so not finding
someone listed in a town's section definitely does not mean (s)he did
not have a business there at the time. For some towns, a relatively
high proportion of the entries are likely Jewish, judging >from their
names only, and, sometimes, Jewish merchants are identified as such,
but, in general, I do not know how well represented Jewish merchants
are.

Should you wish to examine these directories without searching, you
can find links to their scans and their original German titles at
http://genealogyindexer.org/directories.

I frequently add directories and other sources to the search engine,
but I usually do not announce additions here. To receive
announcements, follow @gindexer on Twitter.

If you have any research successes with these directories, please let me know!

Best regards,

Logan Kleinwaks
kleinwaks@...
near Washington, D.C.

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