Millions of pages from past issues of The Gazette [Cedar Rapids, Iowa], dating back to 1883, are being made available to the public in a digital, searchable format thanks to a partnership between the newspaper, Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, State Historical Society of Iowa and a local company that specializes in digitization.
…The project was announced in February and was unveiled by the State Historical Society with the hopes of preserving more than 12 million pages of Iowa newspapers.
So far, 2 million pages have been made available with 1 million more images expected to be added over the course of the next 18 months. Cedar Rapids papers separate from The Gazette, such as the Republican, or earlier namesakes like the Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette also have been archived.
I did a bit of searching for ancestors in the database myself. It includes several historic newspapers, as well as City Directories and Phone Books! It’s easy to use. You can search the following items (note that the number of pages is as of today – the numbers will change as further digitizing takes place.
The following is from Nick Thorne at TheGenealogist: TheGenealogist has expanded its Newspaper and Magazine collection with the release of The Sphere that cover August 1914 to June 1919.
Using the Historical newspapers and magazines resource on TheGenealogist enables researchers to follow current affairs that may have affected or concerned our ancestors at the time. Because the articles were written as events were occurring, they provide contemporary accounts of the world that our ancestors lived in and can furnish us with great insights into opinions of the time. In the case of the First World War years, covered by this release of The Sphere, we can gain information about individuals or read about situations that are similar to ones that our ancestors may have found themselves in.
The Sphere was an illustrated paper founded by Clement Shorter (1857-1926) who was also responsible for establishing the Tatler and it covered general news stories from the UK and around the world.
War Memorials collection
Also being released at this time by TheGenealogist are another 116 War Memorials containing 10,795 names. Included in this batch are a number of Boer War memorials as well as those for the First World War. With this addition the total figure for memorials on TheGenealogist has now reached 1,540 with 363,838 names.
The Sphere, providing insights into your ancestor’s lives.
Nick Thorne uses the Newspaper and Magazines collection to better understand conditions in World War I
I have been looking a little closer into the war exploits of my step-grandfather. I knew that he had joined the Royal Engineers Special Reserve Motor Cyclist Division as a despatch rider but, like many of his generation that fought in the First World War, he didn’t talk much about his experiences. What I did know was that he had found it ‘quite exciting’ to ride his despatches from headquarters to the front and back on a motorbike. He never expanded on this and certainly didn’t tell us stories about his escapades, nor what it was like to be a soldier on two wheels.
With the recent release of copies of The Sphere, on TheGenealogist, I was thus fascinated to come across the December 12, 1914 edition of the publication. Here was an article about motorcycle despatch riders from the early part of the war. This day’s publication featured a double page evocative image of a motor-cycle despatch rider on his machine fleeing with the enemy on his tail. As I knew that my step-grandfather was in his late twenties at the time and a keen motorcycle rider I could imagine him reading pieces such as this and wanting to join up to the R.E. Motor Cyclists to ‘do his bit’.
I know that Grandpa also served in the western theatre of war and so this image and the report that followed, resonated with me. I could now imagine him in similar situations as had been described and pictured in the newspaper. In this particular article from the newly released records, the rider telling his story suffers a whole lot of problems: ‘On returning I take the wrong road and my machine gives trouble, and whilst repairing same I suddenly find myself surrounded by Uhlans.’ This narrator is captured, has his hands bound behind his back and he feigns illness. When his guard goes to fetch a doctor the British Tommy escapes by rolling into a ditch. This episode makes me realise that when my step-grandfather said it was ‘quite exciting’ this was probably a bit of an understatement. Their duties were certainly not a simple ride in the countryside.
The British Army in World War I would often used Douglas or Triumph Motorcycles for despatch riding duties which only had between 2 and 5 hp engines. Some riders, however, brought their own machines along when they joined up. These motorbikes would have to be inspected by the military to make sure that they were suitable for the purpose; but in the early days, when many of the men were volunteers, this would have meant that this section of the Royal Engineers Signals would have been up and running quickly. In my step-grandfather’s case, however, looking at his attestation papers I can see that this part had been scored through – indicating that he would have had to be issued with an army bike.
Later in the First World War Grandpa was wounded and by reading other articles, such as that published on the 9th January 1915 about the RAMC work at the front, I got an understanding for how injured men were transferred in motorised omnibuses and ambulances that were also subject to breakdowns of their own.
Resources such as The Sphere, The War Illustrated, The Great War, The Illustrated London News, plus the other historical newspapers and magazines already found on TheGenealogist are great for building a picture of situations that our ancestors may have found themselves in. In some cases we may be lucky enough to find an ancestor actually named in a report – but even when that doesn’t happen we can find write-ups that provide us with an understanding of the wider conditions in which our ancestors worked, played or went to war in.
Another use that we can make of this resource is where we have an ancestor who was unfortunate enough to have lost their lives, while serving as an officer in the First World War. In many editions of The Sphere Rolls of Honour were published. In these we are able to find a picture along with a few lines recording their loss.The Newspaper and Magazine collection is available to all Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.
Another 15 million indexed historic records have been added to FamilySearch’s vast collections. Included are a wide variety of records from 13 countries (including Argentina, Australia, Denmark, England, and the Netherlands) containing passenger lists, obituaries, school records, marriage records and more. And check out the 7 million Oklahoma school, Illinois church, Louisiana World War I Service, Michigan obituary, and North Carolina county marriage records. Search these free records and more at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.
Collection – Indexed Records – Digital Images – Comments
Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org/indexing.
Print editions of The Daily Kent Stater are now available online, with full-text digital access to issues dating back to 1940.
Thanks to efforts from the University Libraries Department of Special Collections & Archives and the Digital Projects team, 9,397 issues of The Stater have been digitized.
The project to digitize old issues of The Stater began in 2011 under the direction of Cara Gilgenbach, head of Special Collections & Archives. Virginia Dressler, digital projects librarian, came on to the project in April 2014, and has since been helping see the effort through.
Digital NC has posted nearly 20 years of a Johnston County, North Carolina newspaper.The following teaser is from the Digital North Carolina blog.
Nearly 20 years of newspapers are included in the latest batch from the Johnston County Heritage Center.
These issues of the Johnstonian-Sun cover the 1930’s through the 1950’s, which were fascinating times in North Carolina. Issues from the 1930’s have a strong focus on business and the local economic temperature, especially in Selma. The depression-era coverage also focused on politics, elections, and party platforms, many of which were printed in the paper weekly.
Materials from 200 partner institutions across North Carolina are now officially online through DigitalNC, with the publication of The Brunswick Beacon. Thanks to our 200th partner institution, the Rourk Branch Library in Shallotte, N.C., we now have newspaper coverage of the southern North Carolina coast. You can read more about our 200 partner celebration on our blog or on our celebration page.
Rourk’s first addition to the collection helps us build the North Carolina Newspaper collection, with almost a decade of issues from The Brunswick Beacon. The Beacon is a unique community newspaper with issues dating from 1985 to 1994.
The New York Journal Collection consists of The Journal (1896-01-01 to 1896-07-18) and subsequent titles, New York Journal (1896-07-16 to 1897-04-01) and New York Journal and Advertiser (1897-04-02 to 1899-12-31) . In 1895, William Randolph Hearst purchased the paper to compete with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. The New York Journal is an example of “Yellow Journalism,” where the newspapers competed for readers through bold headlines, illustrations, and activist journalism. The paper infamously reported on and influenced events like the Spanish-American War. The Sunday editions contained additional supplements: American Women’s Home Journal, American Magazine, and the American Humorist, which included the “Yellow Kid” comic strip. These supplements featured colorful layouts and covered sporting events, pseudoscience, and popular culture, such as the bicycle craze of 1896.
The following teaser was posted sugust 18, 2016 at the news.rutgers.edu website.
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is a collaboration of Rutgers University Libraries, the New Jersey State Archives and the New Jersey State Library that will make the history of New Jersey known to its citizens and the world. The plan, according to project director and Rutgers University digital archivist Caryn Radick, is to scan existing microfilm from the New Jersey State Archives and to make searchable digital files available through the Library of Congress website Chronicling America. Over a two-year period, the project will digitize and catalog at least 100,000 newspaper pages, originally published between 1836 and 1922 and not currently available in digital format.
“Our goals are ambitious,” explains Radick. “We are meeting with the advisory board in September to identify the newspapers that are in greatest need of digitization and hope to have the first batch, encompassing about 25,000 pages, completed by October 2017. We will focus on influential newspapers and historically important news or themes to maximize the benefit to users of Chronicling America.”
Here you can find issues of the Jackson County Journal ranging from 1923-1942. The final few years in this selection are dominated by World War II-related items, such as local men enlisting as soldiers, or Sylva groups’ contributions to the war effort. Town obituaries and events also make up the mix…
The following excerpt is from the August 15, 2016 edition of mainebiz.biz:
The Maine State Library in Augusta has received a $275,000 federal grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize over 100,000 pages of historical Maine newspapers.
Any Maine newspaper printed prior to 1923 could be included in the project provided that the master microfilm is available for imaging. Newspapers printed between 1923 and 1962 may also be eligible for digitization if the publisher is willing to provide a waiver of copyright to permit the content to be imaged and shared.
The following teaser is from the August 8, 2016 edition of the Houston Herald.
More than 83,000 pages of past issues of the Houston Herald are available on the publication’s website this week, marking the completion of a project that started last fall.
It is believed to be the most complete digital archive among weekly newspapers in the state.
The Herald has chronicled the history of the area since 1878.
The searchable collection begins in May 1881 and extends until this year. Users click the “archives” tab on the home page at houstonherald.com.
Searchable images show each week’s newspaper, and allows a user to complete a detailed search for information, save a clipping into their own scrapbook and share the information by email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or embed the clipping on a website.
I’ve been a GenealogyBank fan since before their conception (that’s another story). I absolutely love our access to online newspapers – and GenealogyBank does a great job with it.
I got an email this morning with an announcement that GenealogyBank now has the capability of allowing subscribers to save their searches, save their places within a search, and save pages of interest to a Folder. I love it, as I often don’t have the time to save the search to my hard drive and database. Now if I have 10 minutes to search a long list of results, I can mark where I left off and come back to it later. If I find items of interest, I save them to my Folder, and can save them to my hard drive when I’ve got the time.
This morning, I did a search for my great grandfather, William Canfield, of New York. On the first page of 10 results out of 51, I located 2 items that were about the guy! I hadn’t seen these items before. I saved them to my Folder. When I get a few minutes, I will go back and search the other 41 items. This is very exciting!
The following teaser is from the July 21, 2016 website of stcroixsource.com.
Over 3,000 pages of David Hamilton Jackson’s The Herald, which is the first citizen-owned and -operated newspaper in the Danish West Indies, have been digitized and are freely available online to researchers everywhere, according to the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR). The Territorial Archives, a unit of the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, in partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands, is participating in a Digital Library of the Caribbean (DLoC) project to digitize and make freely accessible online issues of The Herald at http://www.dloc.com/cndl.
“DPNR’s newspaper and documentary digitization projects will significantly complement the annual public library programs already developed by the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums throughout the Territory to celebrate and recognize David Hamilton Jackson Month each November,” said Commissioner Dawn L. Henry.
The digitization project includes issues spanning the entire publication run of 1915 to 1925…
The NEH has launched an interesting contest that I believe may be of interest to genealogists. The Chronicling America site is used extensively by genealogists. What kinds of genealogy projects would fit within the guidelines of the contest? Following is the news release from the NEH.
WASHINGTON (October 28, 2015) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today launched a nationwide contest, challenging members of the public to produce creative web-based projects using data pulled from Chronicling America, the digital repository of historic U.S. newspapers.
The Chronicling America database, created through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, provides free digital access to ten million pages of historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922.
In a competition posted at Challenge.gov, NEH encourages contestants to develop data visualizations, web-based tools, or other innovative web-based projects using the open data found at Chronicling America.
“Chronicling America is an invaluable resource that preserves and makes available to all the first draft of America’s history,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We at NEH would like to invite hackers of all ages to put their talents toward uncovering and presenting the many treasures to be found in this remarkable collection.”
Entries should uncover trends, display insights, explore a theme, or tell a story. For example, entries using the Chronicling America newspaper data could:
Show how local news covered the baseball World Series
Trace the development of the motion picture industry in the United States
Follow the enactment of amendments to the Constitution
Analyze coverage of historic political campaigns
Map the travels of a president across the country using local news coverage
Show changes in advertising logos or newspaper mastheads over time
Track the price or adoption of consumer goods through history
Explore tourism in different locations in the United States
Examine how Thanksgiving was celebrated in various regions of the country
The Library of Congress has developed a user-friendly Application Program Interface (API) to explore the data contained in Chronicling America data. Entrants must use this API to access the data, but are welcome to use existing software or tools to create their projects, or combine Chronicling America data with other datasets.
NEH will award winning entries $5,000 for First Prize, $3,000 for Second Prize, and $2,000 for Third Prize. NEH may award up to three separate K-12 Student Prizes of $1,000 each. In addition to cash prizes, winners of the contest will be invited to Washington, DC in September 2016 to present their work at an annual National Digital Newspaper Program meeting at NEH headquarters.
The contest closes on June 15, 2016. NEH staff will review entries, and will send the top submissions to a panel of expert judges. NEH will select a judging panel consisting of three outside experts, chosen for their achievements in the humanities and digital humanities. Contest winners will be announced in July 2016.
All contest details, including eligibility and submission requirements, are available at Challenge.gov.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
Written by BusinessWire on 27 August 2015 – Ancestry announced its collaboration with Gannett Co., Inc. to digitize more than 80 daily newspapers across the nation.
Newspapers.com, an Ancestry business unit, and Gannett will provide a historical newspaper viewing experience complete with full text search, clipping and sharing features. Together, they expect to deliver more than 100 million full-page images of historical newspapers in a simple, easy-to-use online archive.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Gannett to deliver newspapers from the past directly to subscribers’ devices, allowing them to step back in time and experience the news as it was happening on that day, from new babies and marriages to war updates and other major news events,” stated Brent Carter, senior director of business development at Newspapers.com.
Through this collaboration, more than four million searchable pages of The Cincinnati Enquirer were made available online. Newspapers.com and Gannett will begin the rollout phase of all public archives of more than 80 daily newspapers, including Detroit Free Press, The Arizona Republic, The Indianapolis Star, The Tennessean and many others to follow. Each archive will ultimately include every available page from the first date of publication up to issues from 30 days ago.
Each new archive will be accessible through an “Archives” link in the newspaper’s primary online navigation, mobile Web site and native mobile app. Archives will be updated on a regular basis with content from the previous month. Gannett digital subscribers will have access to the most recent two years of content included in full-access subscriptions. Complete archives will be available to everyone with an affordable monthly or annual subscription.
“This collaboration is a significant value add for our subscribers. We share a commitment to providing individuals with information about the people and events that shaped their history and are excited that this joint effort will unlock new ways for people to discover and share that information,” stated Maribel Perez Wadsworth, chief strategy officer at Gannett.