Monday, September 24, 2012

Historical Newspapers

Has anyone else been using the VCPL Historical Newspapers database.  I have found it to be a gold mine.

Looking for my Tolles/Toles family in CT I selected all the CT newspapers and searched on TOLLES OR TOLLS.  This morning I just downloaded article # 114.  I have found obits and/or estate settlement notices beginning in January 1775.

There are a few tricks that might be of interest.

If you don't find your search term highlighted in the article that comes up notice that at the top right is a message .  Click the arrow at the right side of that message and the second page will appear.

The news print from the 1700s and 1800s is seldom crisp and so there are many false returns. For the most part the "hits" can be examined in the small box that is displayed for the hit but sometimes you have to open the article and look for the yellow highlighted word that was hit upon.  For TOLLES OR TOLES there were hits on 'boxes', 'tolerate' etc.  Remember, the character that looks like an 'f' is actually an 's'.

There are several ways to capture the article you have found.  The method that works for me is to first open a MS Notepad screen, type the information that identifies the clipping, highlight and copy it (CTRL-C).  Go back to the article, hoover your mouse over the PDF icon at the top right of the screen.  Wait for the very long URL Newsbank identifier for the article to appear at the bottom of the screen.  Now click the PDF icon.  The article appears my itself, right click and save it.  Before you actually save the file paste (CTRL-V) the identifying information you copied from Notepad in front of the Newsbank file name.  Save the file with the very long but necessary file name.

If you click the PDF icon before the Newsbank URL is finished coming in you will get an error message saying "no data received."

Here is an example of the file name that results:
1775 Jan 18 CT Journal New Haven Thomas Tolles drowned pl_009242012_0826_16011_553.pdf

Here is a screen shot that explains it better:


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