I received the following e-mail message from John Graham:
Way back in Vol 4 Number 34 of your newsletter (21 Aug 1999), you wrote an article on an index to contemporary death notices in Australian newspapers. At the time, the index was being compiled and published on the web by the Sydney Dead Persons Society, and eight months after inception, had reached a total of 50,000 entries.
Well, almost ten years later, I thought it appropriate to bring you up-to-date with the progress of this index. It is now known as the Ryerson Index, can be found at www.ryersonindex.org, and has just (March 29) passed two million entries.
From one person indexing the death notices from one Sydney newspaper (there were 34 of them on the first day), we now have coverage of 145 newspapers spread over most of mainland Australia, and are adding about 1,000 entries per day to the Index. We are also glad to say that our first indexer is still going strong on that same paper, 10½ years later.
When we started, the Index didn't have a formal name. However, a member of the Sydney DPS by the name of Joyce Ryerson donated to us a complete set of death notices she had saved from the "Sydney Morning Herald" from 1986 to 1999, which we subsequently indexed, and so it seemed quite appropriate to name the index in her honour.
All of us associated with the Ryerson Index are very proud that it is now consistently listed in the top three "must visit" sites in any article on Australian genealogy. We look forward to adding our third million entries.
Ryerson Index Inc