Community History Archive Resources
Introduction To The Community History Archives
A brief introduction to the Community History Archives to help familiarize you with the layout, tools, and functionality of the website. This overview will provide you with a basic understanding on how to use the Search & Browse features, as well as how to navigate the Search Engine Results Page, and Image Viewer.
Your search criteria is just a sequence of letters that are matched against a search index that was created from the scan and OCR process applied to the subject newspaper page. Knowing how to develop your search criteria is the single most important factor that you can control in getting the search results that you are seeking.
Browse is sometimes a very effective way to find articles that OCR did not pick up correctly. What that means is that the index created after the OCR process does not match the intended letters from the original scanned copy, so browsing may be your only way to find an article. This is very important to know.
The use of the hyphen in historical newspapers can create challenges (but also opportunities) for researchers. Hyphenated words were often used because of fixed width type as well as the experience and capability of the typesetter. Hyphens are less utilized today but were heavily used years ago.
When entering our search criteria in the search box on the Search Portal, we often focus primarily on the name of the target person. We might also search for a location or an address. or combine these with a name.
When searching online, you have certainly been puzzled by some of the search results (or lack thereof) that you have received. Creation of newspaper images and application of the OCR process does not always result in what you might expect. There is a simple explanation for these issues, and it all has to do with quality. But by merely changing some of the letters in your search criteria, you can improve your search results.
If you are searching old newspapers to find an ancestor as part of your genealogy research, or you are searching for an event in these newspapers as part of a classroom assignment, or for history research, these tips all apply. Many times, we get stuck in searching just names, but there are excellent alternatives that will help you hone in on articles that apply to your research.
When researching old newspapers, there are many things that you need to know and many mistakes that can be made when drawing conclusions about the articles you find. Here are some tricks and tips as well as what to avoid when you are searching for a person.
If you’ve read any prior articles or tips, then you know that the quality of the scanned newspaper as well as the OCR process dictate the quality of the search index. And when you are searching for words or combinations of words, you essentially are trying to match your search criteria against that index.