Today in Indiana History: Terrible Railroad Accident near South Bend!

On June 27, 1859, heavy rains caused the collapse of a railroad bridge near South Bend.  The Night Express train plunged into the water with 150 passengers on board.  Early estimates placed the death toll at over 40 with many more injured.  Read a contemporary account at the following link: Marshall County Democrat

Today in Indiana History: Benjamin Harrison Nominated for President

On June 25, 1888, the Republican National Convention in Chicago nominated Indiana resident Benjamin Harrison for president.  You can read a contemporary newspaper account about the convention in the Republican supporting Indianapolis Journal.  Or if you want a different perspective you can read about it in the Democratic supporting Indiana State Sentinel.

Vigo County Public Library Receives Grant to Digitize Terre Haute Papers

The Indiana State Library recently awarded a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to the Vigo County Public Library to digitize 80 years of Terre Haute newspapers.  The titles to digitize include the New Harmony Gazette, 1825-1826, the Terre Haute Weekly Express, 1868-1872, the Terre Haute Gazette Daily, 1870-1874, and the Terre Haute Daily News, 1880-1891, among others.  These newspapers will eventually be available via Indiana Memory.

Read the entire story online.

Digitized Indiana Newspapers Help Solve Photo Mystery

The staff of the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville recently received a historic photograph that they had several questions about.  Thanks to the digitized newspapers available through the Indiana Digital Historic Newspaper Program the museum staff were able to solve their questions.  You can read the entire blog post here.

Not only does this story show how helpful our digitized content can be for research, but it also illuminates another aspect about the newspapers we have digitized.  Even though we don’t have any Crawfordsville newspapers digitized yet, the museum staff were still able to locate an article about the event in an Indianapolis newspaper.  It is important to remember that sometimes a local event would be reported on in a newspaper not in the vicinity where the event occurred.  Keep this in mind while searching for ancestors or local history happenings in newspapers.  Sometimes you can find really good information in places that you would not expect.

Lesen Sie Deutsch?

The final two batches of our 2011-13 newspapers recently went up on Chronicling America. Included on these batches are 14,800 pages of the German-language Indiana Tribüne from August 1900-March 1907.  The addition of the Tribüne brings the number of German-language titles in Chronicling America to 13 core titles (or 23 total because of title changes) from 9 different states (Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota).

Even if you cannot read German, these titles can still be useful for genealogical purposes.  If your ancestors were German-Americans in any of the states mentioned, there is always a chance the German-language press would carry obituaries or notices of your ancestors’ civil and social engagements.

As a reminder, the Tribüne is also accessible via the Indiana State Library’s digital newspaper site.  One bonus of using the ISL site is that you can crowd-source the German text, and even add tags to enrich other users’ searches.

What You Can Look Forward to in the Coming Months.

If you follow this blog, or use the resources linked on this blog, you may be wondering why there has not been much blog activity in the past few months.  Although the blog has been relatively silent, we’ve been busy behind the scenes working on content.  Here are a few things to look forward to by the end of 2014.

The last two of our batches from the 2011-13 grant were accepted by the Library of Congress (LC) today.  Once they’ve been ingested into Chronicling America, and once LC has received the duplicate master microfilm, then all the deliverables for the grant can be checked off. Once that’s done, we can move forward with submitting new data funded by the 2013-15 NDNP NEH grant.  Currently I have around 40,000 processed, digital newspaper pages sitting on my desk that are ready to submit once LC gives the okay.  The titles and dates selected for the new grant are the South Bend News-Times (1913-22), the Evansville Journal (1843-70), the Vincennes Western Sun & General Advertiser  (1835-49), and continuing from the previous grant, more issues of the Indianapolis Journal (1888-93).

We also hope to migrate some of the Indiana Memory newspapers collections that are currently displayed in CONTENTdm into our Veridian software at newspapers.library.in.gov over the next few months.  First up is the Evansville Argus.

We also have new software that will allow us to process some titles in house.  Titles that we’ll process in house are some which were previously scanned but not OCRed.  The best example being a collection of Vevay, Indiana newspapers that Switzerland County High School scanned and posted on their old school website.  We plan to OCR these scans and ingest them into Veridian which will make them keyword searchable.

Stay tuned…

Newspaper Digitization Planning and Help

Does your local library, historical society, or genealogy club want to digitize your Indiana community’s newspapers?  Does the prospect seem overwhelming?  Or perhaps you just don’t know where to start.

If so, have no worries!  The Indiana State Library staff would be happy to talk to you individually or present a public program about newspaper digitization best practices, and how the State Library could help.

If interested contact Chandler or Connie.  Their contact info can be found at http://www.in.gov/library/ldo.htm .