All posts by Chandler Lighty

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…