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.
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.
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.
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.
We are excited to blog that the Newspaper button on Indiana Memory is LIVE! Clicking on the button will take you to all of the newspapers we have digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program plus a few more. The content is being displayed in Veridian software, which is really exciting because users like you can correct the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text.
If you researched with any digitized content in the past, you may have discovered that the search results you received were often only as good as the OCR. The crowd-sourcing component of Veridian allows you to register and make corrections to the OCR. For instance, if you find an individual’s name garbled in the OCR, you can correct it yourself, so that future users can find that person’s name in the newspapers easier.
The Library of Congress recently ingested another 12,533 pages of Indiana newspapers into Chronicling America! This brings the total number of Indiana newspaper pages in ChronAm to over 80,000! The Indiana State Library staff are digitizing these newspapers as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.
A few years ago the Indiana State Library awarded a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Putnam County Public Library, DePauw University Libraries and the Greencastle Banner Graphic to digitize Greencastle newspapers. The organizations launched their archive of Greencastle newspapers in May 2012. Unfortunately, those newspapers have been inaccessible the last few months because of some server issues.
The good news is that they recently migrated most of the content to the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana’s (PALNI) Digital Collections, and the content can now be accessed here. AUGUST 2015 UPDATE: We are in the process of migrating the Greencastle content from the PALNI digital collections into Hoosier State Chronicles. We should have most of the issues migrated by the end of 2015. When it is done there will be around 14,450 issues, and nearly a hundred years worth of Greencastle newspapers from 1880-1979.
We will give updates on newly migrated Greencastle content in future blog entries (so be sure to subscribe to our blog, or follow us on Twitter @HS_Chronicles ), or you can just click through and find an up-to-date list here.
If you are a regular user of Indiana newspapers on Chronicling America, you may notice that several Plymouth newspapers have disappeared from the site. Those newspapers have been temporarily purged, but they should be restored within a week.
These additions will bring the total number of Indiana newspaper pages on Chronicling America to over 70,000. Happy searching!
The News began publication in 1869 as a Republican leaning, although officially independent, newspaper. Its circulations outpaced its long-time rivals the Sentinel and the Journal by the late 19th and early 20th century. The News consolidated with the Star in 1948, but continued to be issued as a separate title. The News ceased publication in 1999.