The underlying organizational philosophy of ACNS is that each of the four database participants are required to contribute data on advertisements for commodities and services, but that each is also free to include information on other types of newspaper advertisements and announcements as long as it is suited to the database field structure. The kinds of information that each provincial project has appended to ACNS has been determined by the research priorities and internal needs of the local sponsoring agency. As well, variable content has been influenced by the autonomous status of each project. The content contributed to the database by each member is as follows:
- NEWFOUNDLAND: Commodity and service advertisements from select Newfoundland newspapers (principally St. John’s), 1811-1899. The earliest Newfoundland material added to the database must be used cautiously because the recording methodology predated the current database field structure and vocabulary controls.
- NEW BRUNSWICK: Commodity and service advertisements except those for mail-order goods, commodities available “at all fine stores”, and shipments expected daily, and not including services advertised for places outside New Brunswick. The New Brunswick data also includes some business announcements and references to manufacturing. Data has been extracted from select Saint John newspapers for extant issues for the years 1800-1833, 1840, 1842, 1850, 1860, 1862, 1863, 1879, 1880, 1890, 1897.
- PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND: All commodities and services. As well, Prince Edward Island’s portion of the database contains all land advertisements excluding only those that contain no more information than the fact that land and/or a dwelling has been offered for sale. It also includes virtually all business announcements, social events such as concerts, contests and exhibitions, employment notices, crime, government regulations, lotteries and shipping references. Data has been extracted from select Charlottetown newspapers for years in the period 1850-1895.
- NOVA SCOTIA: The Nova Scotia project contains virtually all local information found in extant Nova Scotia newspapers (Halifax and Shelburne only) and includes data from years in the period 1752-1799. The only content of these eighteenth-century newspapers not included is foreign news, foreign literature and reprinted N.S. statutes. The Nova Scotia segment as yet does not contain any data for the period 1800-1900.
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