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May 27, 2009

Using Part 1

I'm a huge fan of and have been playing around with it for a few weeks now. I thought I'd show others some tips I've learned while using the site.

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: Sign in if you are a member. You can subscribe if not a member or you can sign up for the Free Membership. Free Membership allows you to view 3 newspaper pages per day, at no cost.

Step 3: You have many choices and you may want to take some time to look around the site and read what is available (geared towards teachers, genealogists, writers, students, etc). I am going to jump right in to the Advanced Search. I have highlighted it for you in green. (near top of screen)

I am looking for newspaper pages concerning John & Iva King who lived in Battle Creek Michigan. They were supposedly charged with arson in the early 1900s and I hope to find evidence of this and any newspaper articles about the event.

Step 4: On the Advanced Search page you have many options:

Enter first name and last name of person you are searching for. I put JOHN KING

Enter various keywords. In "With all the words" I typed in the words ARSON IVA

I am leaving the other fields blank (With the exact phrase. With at least one of the words. Without the words)

Results per page: 30 is the maximum

Narrow by Publication Date: I selected "Between Years" 1910 and 1914

Narrow by Publication Location: I chose United States of America and Michigan

Step 5 Hit SEARCH. The new page loads with the number of hits and a brief excerpt. There are 3 hits for my search terms and the first 2 from the Evening Chronicle look like they are my John & Iva. I want to see those newspaper pages in order to figure out if my search terms (keywords) are too restrictive to catch all newspaper accounts, or if there are alternate search words I might want to use to look for more articles

You will see in the brief excerpt for a hit that the text looks rather weird and doesn't make total sense. That is because it is OCR text but never fear, the newspaper page will be exactly as printed on the day it was published!

Tomorrow I will show you how to use the Snapshot Tool, the Binoculars and also explain some of the idiosyncracies of the newspaper page images.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, Thank you.
I too have just started to look at this site and now I can follow your hints.


Jerry Freeman