Just letting you know about the latest version of QueryPic, a little online tool I've developed that enables you to graph historical newspaper searches over time. It's very easy to use. Just go to:
Enter a word or phrase and click 'show'. QueryPic builds a graph that shows you the number of results matching your query over time. You can create comparisons by simply adding additional queries.
QueryPic accesses data from either Trove (Australia) or Papers Past (NZ). To explore the results of your query in more detail just click on any point on the graph and you'll see a list of the first 20 matching articles. It's a useful way of investigating trends and checking hunches.
This is the latest in a line of tools I've been developing for working with the Trove newspaper database. Previously to create these graphs you had to download a script and run it on your machine, but now through the magic of APIs it's all done in your web browser.
With the public release of an API (Application Programming Interface) to Trove it's possible to develop more robust and flexible tools. Over the next few weeks/months I'll be updating my existing bits and pieces to take advantage of it. Keep an eye on http://discontents.com.au for updates.