The analysis of historical earthquakes often relies heavily on archival accounts describing the effects of shaking on structures and people. Newspaper articles are among the most common, useful, and easily found sources of information. Dramatic earthquake effects are almost certain to have made the news during historic times; the challenge for modern seismologists is not to be overly swayed by articles that focus on the most dramatic rather than the representative effects in a region. At the other end of the spectrum, rarely does a historical newspaper explicitly note that an earthquake was not felt in a certain area: it...

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