Family History Matters 
 The blog of the GSV 

Ancestor journal’s shortened URL trial

Expiry Date
12 September, 2023

The Ancestor editorial team has been trialling the use of shortened URLs for webpage addresses in the regular ‘Blogging with Meg’ feature for the Sep 2022, Dec 2022 and Mar 2023 issues.

As many of you are aware, webpage addresses – known as URLs or Uniform Resource Locators – are hyperlinked in the Ancestor pdf and flipbook versions to provide direct electronic access to references cited. However, often the web addresses can be very lengthy, particularly if the reference is to specific information buried deep in a website. This can cause problems, not only in digital editions but also for print edition readers who want to go to that page, but need to carefully type in long strings of letters, numbers and characters to their browsers.

Shortened URLs, on the other hand, make that access easier by creating a shortened redirected link via the GSV’s domain name,[pathway]. So, for instance, in the September 2022 issue, was shortened to

We would be very interested in reader feedback about this trial.

For instance:

  1. Are the shortened URLs sufficiently short to make a difference?
  2. Does it matter if you can’t see full details of the blog/website you are headed to in the shortened URL link?
  3. Would you like to see shortened URLs continue to be used in this feature and/or used more extensively throughout Ancestor?
  4. If yes to the above, would it be helpful for the website name to be included after a shortened URL link? e.g (The National Archives UK)

Your views would be greatly appreciated. Please email us: