Case Study – FWOSS

FWOSS – Fire Without Smoke Software

Established in 2002, FWOSS specializes in the creation of market-leading content-rich websites for a wide range of public and private-sector clients. One of FWOSS’ clients is Last Chance To Read, a website with a publicly available collection of 18th and 19th Century newspapers.

“This has been an extremely interesting project to work on both from a content and a technology point of view,” explains the FWOSS team. The newspapers of course had to be OCR’ed into “hidden text” PDF. And then FWOSS had to find a search engine to search the content.

As a search engine for the OCR’ed PDFs, FWOSS chose the dtSearch Engine for Win & .NET. “The ASP.NET integration and samples were so straightforward to setup that within no time at all we were up and running with a sample search page with full control over the presentation layer,” explains Adrian Lewis of FWOSS.






FWOSS used the dtSearch Engine to display retrieved PDF pages with highlighted hits. “The PDF hit highlighting feature within the dtSearch Engine was so useful to this project. Being able to access this functionality direct from the .NET API made the coding simple to write and it took far less time than we had originally estimated.”

Finally, in terms of continued maintenance on the site, said Mr. Lewis: “The automation of the indexing functionality was really useful because it allowed us to synchronise changes to the documents with the search indexes quickly and reliably.”

Last Chance To Read makes available a searchable collection of scarce British and Irish newspapers and other publications, most of which were printed between the years 1710 and 1870. Explains the site: “The name ‘Last Chance To Read’ was chosen to highlight the scarcity of the content. While many copies of each issue of a newspaper were printed, very few survive today, so few in fact we believe that some of the images on this website could be the last copies in existence of that issue.”

To browse and search this unique collection, please visit

FWOSS is the trading name of Fire Without Smoke Software Limited. To contact FWOSS regarding their web-based services, please call +44 (0)29 2166 0177 or visit FWOSS online at

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