Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ontario Hansard Searching Made Easier

My colleague Vanessa discovered this week that the Ontario Hansard (i.e. Legislative Debates) now has improved searchability--if that is a word--since the last time we used it. Check out the Legislative Debates Search Page (Advanced Search)!

Content goes all the way back to June 1985 (wow!) and allows for searches by keyword, date, type of business, topic, and speaker.

What is really great is the way the resulting documents come up: we are given just the text needed, not the whole Hansard issue. Apparently they have broken the issues apart by topic for better access. It used to be we either had to print out reams of paper or spend hours electronically cutting and pasting the desired sections into a Word document. Now we can just print (or compile a list of the links) quickly as we go along. And, if necessary, the full Hansard issue is still just a click away.

For anyone doing major recent historical research with Ontario legislation, it is no longer necessary to keep Hansards on the shelf...this is a lot faster way to go. (Note the disclaimer, though, that printed version is still the official version).

No comments: