The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

June 25, 2012

Frankie Meyer: Website provides digitized newspapers for research

JOPLIN, Mo. — This week I discovered a website that provides unique details that will be a tremendous aid to family history research. The site, Chronicling America, is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

The goal of the program is to provide databases of digitized U.S. newspapers that can be searched on the Internet. So far, the National Digital Newspaper Program has digitized 4 million pages from 25 states. Eventually the databases will include all states and territories.

Sponsors of the site note that the pages are to be used for educational, research and noncommercial purposes.

The website’s address is chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.

When the site opens, notice the blue section called “Search Pages.” Enter the name of the state and a time frame in which you want to check for newspapers. In the next blank, enter a search.

Small images of newspaper pages will appear on the next screen. Each of those pages include a surname or other term that you are searching. Your search word will be shown in red. Click on one of the pages.

Notice that the next screen has “plus” and “minus” symbols on the left. Click the plus symbol to enlarge the page. After it is enlarged, place your pointer on the page so that you can easily move around the articles. When finished with that page, place the pointer on the back arrow at the top of the screen. Then click on another page.

I also discovered a website that provides additional information about the digitized copies of Kansas newspapers. That site, sponsored by the Kansas Historical Society, is found at www.kshs.org.

When the screen opens, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Online Collections.” When the next screen opens, click on “Kansas Digital Newspaper Program.”

The site has a map that lists the towns where newspapers have been digitized. To view a larger map that has more information, click on “Cities of Publication.” The new screen lists the newspapers, the area where each was located, and the issues that have been digitized. Towns for which newspapers have been digitized are: Colby, Wakeeney, Salina, Abilene, Junction City, Marysville, White Cloud, Troy, Leavenworth, Oskaloosa, Wichita, Dodge City and Iola. The site also has a list of other towns where newspapers are currently being digitized.

When entering the surname of one of my family lines who lived in Kansas, I quickly and easily found information such as land sales, births, deaths, marriages, businesses, schools, churches, accidents, relatives who exhibited at county fairs, relatives who were members of clubs, and those who ran for office.

Since newspapers are constantly being added, researchers will want to regularly check these sites.

Suggestions or queries? Send to Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168, or contact: frankie    meyer@yahoo.com.

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