Nosing through Newspapers Records

A lot of the day-to-day details of your ancestor's life can be filled in by reading local newspapers. You can find obituaries, marriage announcements, social activities, and tax assessments information. Also, you can find background information on the locality that they lived in, so that you gain a better perspective of your ancestor's life.

There has been a lot of effort to digitize newspapers over the last couple of years. Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com) has partnered with Newspaper archive.com (www.newspaperarchive.com) to offer a collection of more than 1,000 newspaper databases online. The newspapers featured in the collection are digitized images that have been indexed by optical character recognition (OCR) — a software method where letters within an image are translated into characters (typically letters of the alphabet) that a computer can read. Each page of the newspaper is searchable. When a search result is found, the text is highlighted on the page. The optical character recognition system does not always know the context of the words on the page — so, the system sometimes generates false positive search results. Figure 9-6 shows the interface for the newspaper collection at Ancestry.com.

WorldVitalRecords,com (www.worldvitalrecords.com) also has select newspapers from the NewspaperArchive.com site. In addition, it also has newspapers from the SmallTownPapers.com site.

Figure 9-6:

The Decatur Daily Review newspaper image at Ancestry .com.

Figure 9-6:

The Decatur Daily Review newspaper image at Ancestry .com.

Several large newspapers have also begun to place their back issues online — often with a subscription service. For example, you can find the Los Angeles Times back to 1881 online at pqasb.pqarchiver.com/ latimes/advancedsearch.html, the Washington Post from 1877 at pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/search.html, and the Chicago Tribune from 1849 at pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicago tribune/advancedsearch.html.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment