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The Quandary of Passenger List Transcriptions

Passenger List Cover from a 1901 Voyage - Norddeutscher Lloyd

We receive the most mail from people regarding transcriptions of passenger lists and more specifically, when they will become available. One little nasty detail popped up - they refer to it as "economy of scale."


The cost of acquiring a 100 year old passenger list, scanning, enhancing and modifying the images, use OCR to transcribe, Hand review the output from OCR, format, add to website and upload is about $250-$350 each.

Several years ago, we sold copies of passenger lists, but never sold more than one copy of any passenger list. That made it too costly and the practice was discontinued.

The revenue produced by all of our passenger lists for the first four months of 2010 totaled $71.52 or an average of $17.88 per month. Just to break even on one passenger list, we would release a new passenger lists every 13 months or so.
The transcribed passenger list pages on this website represent some of the least visited pages in the entire website. They cater to a very small audience.


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