Friday, January 29, 2010

Google Newspaper Archive

Another resource highlighted this week on is Google's online newspaper archive. As noted, "Google is digitizing periodicals, including newspapers, to create a global library. The company is doing this by accessing microfilm of the periodicals." The article points out that microfilm of The Dispatch goes back to 1889 and those early editions are available through Google, suggesting the scope of the archive. The project was launched back in 2008 and is a work in progress. To learn more, see "Bringing history online one newspaper at a time."

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Friday, January 22, 2010

GenealogyBank - African-American newspaper collection

In a press release today, GenealogyBank, a leading online provider of newspapers for family history research, announced it will be adding over 280 fully-searchable African-American newspapers with coverage from 1827 to 1999.  GenealogyBank released the first 61 newspapers in this new series earlier this month, including coverage from 20 states.

“These newspapers are packed with genealogical and historical details of the African-American experience you simply can’t find in other online sources,” says Tom Kemp, NewsBank’s Director of Genealogy. “Making this robust and often rare content available for everyone to use helps all Americans discover the inspiring stories of our forefathers who paved the way for a better, more diverse America.”

For more information see GenealogyBank, African-American Newspapers 1827-1999.

When it comes to leaving no stone unturned in your genealogical quest, GenealogyBank, as well as other historical newspaper collections, are virtual treasures troves of information. Many are available online and many are subscription based but some such as the Utah Digital Newspapers are free of charge. One good resource for locating historic newspapers online is Penn Libraries' Historical Newspapers Online.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Specialty publications, another place to look

A recent GenWeekly article highlighted the value of newspapers, beyond the obituary. This week we look at and beyond the traditional newspaper. In her article, "Digging Through History's Pages: Using Newspapers and Other Periodicals To Find Ancestors," Rita Marshall explores specialty periodicals, in addition to newspapers, how they can aid your research and where to find them.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Newspaper Treasures -- Beyond the Obituaries

"Newspapers are gold mines for obituary information," says Judy Rosella Edwards in her recent article, "Newspaper Treasures," and they are, indeed. In addition to the more familiar genealogical use of newspapers in finding obituaries, birth and marriage records is the reporting of everyday events -- events that may contain significant information and leads. The article suggests ways you can digitize any information you might find, for personal use. I might also add, today we are lucky to have a wealth of newspapers already digitized: many  are subscription-based but may be available for free through local public libraries and Family History Centers. Some newspaper sites and other commercial sites that contain newspapers, offer trial subscriptions for a nominal fee. Newspapers are a valuable resource definitely worth pursuing.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

GenealogyBank provides new tools to allow more targeted research, a leading provider of digitized historical and recent newspapers for family history information, in a recent press release announced a new set of advanced search tools that let family researchers gather information from one specific newspaper or group of newspapers, as well as search newspapers by state, city or only recently added content.

"GenealogyBank's new search enhancements are excellent new tools to help genealogists fine tune their family research," reports Tom Kemp, Genealogy Director at NewsBank, inc. "We appreciate the feedback we receive on the site and often heard from users who wanted to search a specific newspaper by title or by city and narrow searches by type of article--for example, just birth notices or just marriage announcements. And now you can! We also added the ability to search only the most recently added content over the last one to three months. Researchers of any level can use these and other tools to hone in on hard-to-find family history information and document the lives and times of their American ancestors over four centuries."

Additionally, GenealogyBank recently added more than six million articles, documents and death records. The site's online family history archive now features more than 3,800 newspapers, including over 144 million fully searchable historical newspaper articles articles and 113 million obituaries and death records.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

GenealogyBank offers affordable trial membership

GenealogyBank, a leading online provider of historic and recent newspapers for family history research, announced in a press release the addition of over 3 million historical newspaper articles and modern obituaries to its online digital archive. GenealogyBank provides access to newspapers in all 50 states, from 1690 to the present day. November is a great month to research your family history on GenealogyBank. New members can obtain unlimited access for 30 days for only $9.95.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

200 Years of Times (London) newspaper archive -- Free and Online


Aimed at setting the gold standard for an online newspaper archive, Times Online has rolled out an elaborate digital newspaper archive stretching back more than 200 years, according to an article in the Guardian, "Time archive offers 20m articles for free." The archive includes more than 20 million articles from every edition of the Times (London), excepting a small number of damaged issues, from 1785 to 1985.

Such a newspaper archive is a real time machine, taking you back in time for real time coverage of momentous historical events. As reported in the Guardian article, the archive includes Thunderer's coverage of events such as the Battle of Waterloo, the first convicts arriving at Botany Bay and the execution of Marie Antoinette. Other issues cover the 1851 Great Exhibition, the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888 and Amelia Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932. The archive also includes letters to the editor, photographs and adverts, with each page presented as it was printed in the paper on a parchment-coloured screen.

Anne Spackman, the editor-in-chief of Times Online, said that the Times wanted the project to set the gold standard for an online newspaper archive for "arguably the most famous newspaper in the world." The archive is currently free, and Spackman says no decision will be taken about whether it will remain free or require a subscription until it has generated a solid userbase. . . . Work will begin soon on digitising the rest of the Times editions, as well as the extensive archive of the Sunday Times from 1822 to 2000.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Researching Newspapers, an update

Newspapers chronicled our ancestor's lives, their friends and neighbors and their community. Researching newspapers can provide us with much more information than a simple obituary. In her article, "Researching Newspapers," Gena Philibert-Ortega brings us up to date on this valuable resource.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

GenealogyBank adds Hispanic American Newspapers

Newspaper are a great resource for genealogists, and if you find digitized newspapers from your area of research, all the better. The good news is that more newspapers are being offered by a variety of providers, many are fee-based. Now, as announced in a press release Monday, has begun to supplement its historical newspaper collection with content from Hispanic American Newspapers. In addition to millions of historical newspaper articles, modern obituaries, military reports, books and other essential genealogical documents, researchers can now access to hundreds of fully searchable Spanish-language and bilingual newspapers -- a boon to researchers of Hispanic heritage.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

GenealogyBank expands historical newspapers collection

In a press release Friday, GenealogyBank, a leading online provider of newspapers for family history research, announced the addition of over 4 million historical newspaper articles and modern obituaries to its online digital archive.

"GenealogyBank now provides access to over 221 million family history records such as obituaries, marriage and birth announcements as well as interesting and often surprising facts about our ancestors," says Genealogy Director for NewsBank, inc., Tom Kemp.

This latest addition features big city dailies and regional weeklies including: Savannah (GA) Tribune (1875-1913), Boston (MA) Journal (1880-1917), Anaconda (MT) Standard (1898-1915), North (PA) American (1845-1879) and many others. To view the entire list, see the company's New Content web page.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

GenealogyBank reports growth and offers trial membership

In a press release yesterday, GenealogyBank, a leading online provider of newspapers for family history research, reported explosive growth in 2007 increasing its digital archive with over 40 million historical newspaper articles and modern obituaries.

GenealogyBank is quickly becoming the fastest growing newspaper archive for family history research with over 3,300 U.S. newspapers in all 50 states. The exclusive collection features newspapers from the 1600s to the present day with over 106 million historical newspaper articles and more than 26 million obituaries now available for family history research. Each article is a single digital image that can be printed and preserved for family scrapbooks. To celebrate, GenealogyBank is currently offering a 30-Day trial for only $9.95.

"We are excited about the rapid growth of our newspaper collection and the vast breadth of family history information we now have available," says Genealogy Director for NewsBank, inc., Tom Kemp. "GenealogyBank provides exclusive access to more than four centuries of important genealogical information such as obituaries, marriage and birth announcements as well as interesting and often surprising facts about our ancestors."

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Friday, November 16, 2007

GenealogyBank Announces 3 Million New Articles of Digitized Historical Newspapers

GenealogyBank, a leading online provider of historical and recent newspapers for family history research, announced in a press release today the addition of 100 fully searchable historical newspapers. These newspapers will add 3 million new articles filled with significant genealogical content. GenealogyBank now has over 106 million historical newspaper articles available online for family history research. Next month, GenealogyBank will add another 100 newspapers including over 2 million new articles. Now complementing more than 210 million family history records, this latest addition will expand coverage to over 2,200 U.S. newspapers in all 50 states.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

WorldVitalRecords and NewspaperARCHIVE announce partnership

Announced in a press release today,, the largest newspaper database available online, has partnered with World Vital Records Inc. to provide increased access to records from newspapers ranging from 1759-1923. has allowed us to extract this information from their newspapers that cover the first 160-years of their collection,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Acquisition, World Vital Records, Inc.

Once the material from has been launched, the data will be available for free at for a ten-day period. Beyond that trail period, the collection will be available to subscribers at

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Newspapers bring added value to research

Many researchers appreciate and understand the value of old newspapers for finding obituaries, birth , marriage and death notices, but certainly there is more to be found. In her article, "The Value of the Newspaper: A Unique Window on the Past," Judy Rosella Edwards suggests many ways old newspapers can be used to provide clues and information, not the least of which might be those advertisements. In the past, researching newspapers has been a very tedious task, whether on microfilm or flipping through the physical pages in some darkened corner of a local archive. Today, as the article points out, more and more newspapers are online and many newspaper projects are working to increase the number, some with full text search capability, making it much more convenient and rewarding to browse local newspapers.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

More historical newspapers online

A recent press release, "Exclusive Historical Newspaper Archive Now Online for Genealogists," announced a new source for historical newspapers. Under a partnership between SmallTownPapers, Inc. and World Vital Records, Inc. "The newspapers, part of the SmallTownPapers collection, represent unique historical content which has never before been available on the Internet and is not available from any other source. To date, the company has scanned more than two million of its more than 20 million page archive, which will be available online as the digital images are created. For more information visit"

According to the site, access is free. Wow! When I went to site, I did not see a search box or search link on the home page and had to click around a bit, and found one under both the Archive and Notifiers & Scrapbooks links. Most of searches I tried, even very common names for "all states, turned up zero results. Others, however, have reported great results, so maybe I hit it on a bad day. On any day, access to historical newspapers online is a great boon to researchers, and even better when it's free.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Old newspapers contain rich information

In her article, "Don't Forget the Local News, " Karan Pittman provides a strategy for researching old newspapers, keeping in mind how old papers were organized, what information might might be found and where. "People often underestimate the type of information that may be gleaned from newspapers in the past. The papers need to be viewed a bit differently than those of today in order to utilize them effectively."

One thing I have learned about old newspapers over the years is how much personal information might actually be reported as "news," a father who abandoned his family, for example. Important stuff if that's your family, but at the same time, you are chagrined at its being aired for public viewing. But those were the times. However rewarding, searching old newspapers today can be tedious and must often be done in the dusty recesses of the local courthouse or archives. But as more and more old newspapers are digitized and come online, the greater our opportunity to browse and even search for our family members by name. Oh my, with that prospect in mind, when will I ever get anything else done?

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