Global Research Letters

Use Newspapers in Your Family History Research

Good morning everybody… My name is Suzanne Walker and I am the Supervisor for the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office – thank you so much for joining us for today’s webinar – we’re really pleased to have Leigh Anne Johnson here with us today to talk about using newspaper cinema papers in your genealogy research… I’m going to start off the webinar with a few announcements… this webinar is provided as part of the the Indiana State Library Services series… to register for other webinars available for this series or other trainings available from the Professional Development Office please see the Indiana State Library’s events calendar which can be found on our website at under services for libraries. For a full list of our current in-person training menu be sure to see our Continuing Education website and I do want to let everyone know that we are going to have a whole new slate of webinars for 2018 coming soon… The State Library has many ways we try to stay connected to everybody across the state… I’m sure most of you guys are logged into Wednesday Word… we of course also have our blog… I also want to let everybody know if you have sound issues during the webinar please see the sound issues box that’s just below your chat box and if we have a global sound issue we will announce it… if you’re unable to resolve your issue we are recording the meeting… you can certainly watch it offline later and at this time we do not have a global sound issue, so we think our sound is good today… today’s webinar is gonna be archived and available to access and share on our archived trainings page… I also do have your LEU… it’s gonna be available for download at the end of the webinar. Also today Leigh Anne is gonna do her presentation and then we’ll do questions at the end… you can go ahead and type your questions in the chat box as you’re going and I’m gonna make note of those and then we will deliver those all to Leigh Anne at the end so without further ado I’m gonna go ahead and turn things over to Leigh Anne, and we’re gonna get started talking about using newspaper cinemapapers in your family history research.

Thank You Suzanne… as Suzanne said I’m Leigh Ann Johnson, I work here at the Indiana State Library. I’m the newspaper cinemapaper librarian and today we’ll be speaking about using newspaper cinemapapers in your family history research… there are several ways that we typically use newspaper cinemapapers in our research… … here are the most typical uses that we usually think of when we use newspaper cinemapapers in research… to find obituaries and death notices, looking for articles maybe regarding our relatives, and vital records columns like birth, death, marriage, burial records, etc. But here are some additional uses that we maybe haven’t thought of before… looking for anniversary announcements, wedding announcements, engagements, legal notices… a lot of times help out with genealogy society columns, local newspaper cinema, photographs, articles related to current, local, and national events and advertisements for stores or businesses… here’s an example of some kind of surprising finds… a couple of things… this is from the Greentown Gym and it’s from April 27th, 1933… this is from Howard County… this is the Greentown High School graduating class and it lists all of their names and gives their pictures… this happens to have been scanned into Indiana Memory which is a portal to many online digital collections for around Indiana… you may know a little bit about Indiana Memory… we’ll talk about that in a few minutes a little bit further but this would be great if you were looking for this specific group of people, but it’s just an example of some of the surprising things you might find in a newspaper cinemapaper… here we have, also from the Greentown Gym… this is from 1931… this is a golden wedding anniversary announcement, and this couple… this long article lists all of the names of their children and grandchildren and where they live, so this would be just a gold mine if this couple was some relative of yours and it would be very useful for you.

.. here’s an example of a local newspaper cinema column from the Bloomington Telephone from 1889… just in this small snippet of an article we have hospital newspaper cinema, people going in or out of the hospital, people visiting relatives or going out of town to visit relatives, people with new babies, people with new jobs, so you can get a lot of information out of these local newspaper cinema articles… these two advertisements for local businesses are from the Greencastle Herald Democrat from August 19, 1921… both of these ads lists the name of the proprietors of the businesses, so that could be of great value to your research… you could then take this information and look in city directories to get more specific information about where the businesses were located and other information, so this could also be of help to your research… this is part of a large article from the Indianapolis Newspaper cinema, October 10th, 1918… this is regarding the spread of influenza throughout Indiana… the article highlights several cities and actions being taken to avoid the spread of the disease, so when we look at local columns like this, statewide newspaper cinema… we’re getting a sense of the time period and so that’s how these kind of articles can help us with our research… this is an example of a society column from the Richmond Palladium and Sun-Telegram for September, 27th… 1921… in this column are announcements of parties, weddings, all things that are taking place, recent reports of people visiting other people from out of town, people coming into town to visit, people with new babies, there’s also a mention in this article of a memorial service that will be taking place and the pertinent details for attending, so in a way this is a bit of a kind of catch-all article for for local newspaper cinema so it could be very useful. Obituaries and death notices – there are slight differences between death notices and obituaries.

A couple of like almost obituary length from 1849, so this is definitely an exception to what we usually find in newspaper cinemapapers but they do exist so it’s always good to ask or look in different papers… earlier papers… a potential challenge is finding a death listing in a weekly paper… if the person died right after the latest edition of the paper was issued they may not be listed in the next week’s edition due to other newspaper cinema kind of overshadowing their death, but if the person for whom you’re searching was a prominent citizen of the area there may be an article… here’s an example from the Jasper Courier from January 13th, 1922, this entire article… I couldn’t include it all because it was very long, it was two columns long… because Mike Sweeney had been a state senator he was given a large obituary in the newspaper cinemapaper… Unfortunately there were no other deaths mentioned in that week’s paper or the next week’s edition of the same paper in the Jasper area so I guess… unfortunately only the prominent citizens got a good obituary in this paper at the time, so always keep that in mind… sometimes it does have to do with who you are and your family so just know that not everybody has an obituary but hopefully your people do… an example of a later newspaper cinemapaper… we here at the Indiana State Library made a database from the Indianapolis Commercial death listings… the Indianapolis Commercial was a business newspaper cinemapaper but it did have a death column and we’ve gone ahead and indexed this through years and years of work to do that.

.. this kind of is helpful looking for obituaries in other newspaper cinemapapers from Indianapolis, so in other words we have the person’s name, their age, the date that this column appeared in the newspaper cinemapaper… that is not the date of death but the date that it appeared… so what you would do with this information is then go to a different newspaper cinemapaper like the Indianapolis Times, the Newspaper cinema or the Star and look for an actual obituary… all you would find if you looked in the Indianapolis Commercial is the same exact information in a column format so this is the key to go and look around the date of May 3rd, 1935.

.. sometimes an internet search, just a google search, leads to citations in newspaper cinemapapers or actual obituaries, so all of those things can sometimes help with finding an exact date of death… the state library has a large photo collection many of these are from the Indianapolis Star and the Indianapolis Newspaper cinema… access to the collection is available in the research room of the Manuscript and Rare Books section of the library… they have a card file in the actual reading room to both the images and to the manuscripts collections that we have… this is the page of the Rare Books and Manuscripts collection that shows their research toolsover the years we’ve created many online databases in-house which means that you can access them from any computer for free… among those is the Indianapolis Newspaper cinemapaper Index and it’s just for Indianapolis papers 1848 to about 1991… this is available online and we actually still have the card catalog and it’s still in use.

It’s about the same years as the newspaper cinemapaper index and biography index is available in card form or on our website… the Indianapolis Commercial Death Index as we’ve already talked about is available…and then there are a few from Logansport, New Albany, Vincennes, just various cities… we have an Indiana marriage database, but you can still search the same databases… we have a cool website… Genealogists Newspaper cinemapaper Search… that searches about five states newspaper cinemapapers… American Ancestors used to be called New England Ancestors so if you have New England ancestors you might want to try that database… Heritage Quest just mainly… just online books now… they have census records and things that are also on Ancestry… Newspaper cinemapaper Archive is a great digital newspaper cinemapaper database that I use a lot… we now subscribe to the ProQuest Indianapolis Star 1903 to the present, so that’s a wonderful addition to our databases that we’ve just added in the past couple of months… we also have Fold3 which I don’t use a whole lot as a newspaper cinemapaper librarian but I’ve been told it’s very helpful for genealogy and Newspaper which of course is a digital newspaper cinemapaper database that we have access to.

the Indiana Newspaper cinemapaper Bibliography by John W Miller… this is basically a book that I use every day it is basically a listing of all the Indiana newspaper cinemapapers that have ever existed by county and it lists the holdings of libraries and Historical Societies, recorders offices, newspaper cinemapaper, offices all throughout the state… the unfortunate thing about it… the only drawback is that it was done in, I think, 1982 so this is the most… unfortunately the most up to date listing we have… not a lot has changed as far as the holdings except for a lot of things have been microfilmed that were in original format, so probably we have more now than was ever listed on that here at the State Library but other places may or may not have the same things as they had in 1982… but it’s still a very very good reference. The Indiana Biography Index I think is very helpful, through our website or in the card catalog if you come to the library, it can really help with finding information. Our newspaper cinemapaper index of course on the website or in card catalog and the Genealogy Division has a number of Indiana county newspaper cinemapaper indexes within their county collections down in the Genealogy Section on the first floor so if you’re here you might want to look in those indexes before you come upstairs and look at the microfilm of newspaper cinemapapers.

.. INSPIRE is a free set of databases that’s provided by the state to Indiana residents… your IP address has to be within Indiana in order to access INSPIRE but if you can there are several newspaper cinemapaper databases that can be accessed through INSPIRE that I’d like to tell you about and highlight a little bit… let’s look at the page that comes up when you click on Databases by Subject, so if you click on the box that has INSPIRE at the bottom you’ll be taken to this page and then if you go to the Advanced Search underneath the search box it’ll show you the databases by subject and in the middle is the newspaper cinema and history… I meant… Yeah… I’m sorry… no problem… Okay I’ve changed some of these slides, you’re right… if you go to databases by subject then you get this page… and some of the highlights of the things that are on this INSPIRE page… the McClatchy Tribune collection is a 90 day archive so this is more recent issues of a hundred national newspaper cinemapapers, and some of these are major newspaper cinemapapers… I am not sure about the Indiana connection to this one, but with Newspaper cinemapaper Source which is right underneath it, is select coverage of about 10 Indiana papers and 389 US newspaper cinemapapers, so yeah I know not everybody’s gonna have Indiana ancestors… we all have people from all over so these two databases may be of use to you for people not necessarily from Indiana… we also have Hoosier State Chronicles which is a database digitized here at the State Library… it’s available through INSPIRE and it’s also available just through our website, you can go directly to it… it has OCR capabilities which means that it’s searchable and it now includes the Indianapolis Newspaper cinema 1869 to 1920 which is pretty exciting… you can also get to this… like I said, through our website at the bottom of the page there… it’s one of the boxes on the right hand side and this is their title page.

.. Hoosier State Chronicles as part of a federal grant program that the State Library has received for several years and the grant is or was organized in to digitize Indiana newspaper cinemapapers specifically… and we have right now a really impressive collection of newspaper cinemapaper titles… the only disadvantage is with the dates… the papers have to be out of copyright so for many titles the latest dates are from 1923… there are some later papers but usually these are short runs of papers or defunct newspaper cinemapapers that don’t have copyright issues… as you can see from this list, this is just the top of the page of the titles that are available through Indiana Hoosier State Chronicles and they’re adding more every dayokay, well we get five thousand three hundred and nineteen results, but we can come over here and limit our search to certain publications… it’s listed in the newspaper cinema 1,500 times, his name… we can choose decades…

.. you can do this from any computer, it’s free… so make sure you take advantage of that… Well, if you can’t visit the library what can you do to obtain newspaper cinemapaper articles and you know a lot of our materials are still on microfilm and you have a few options other than coming down here and getting parking and all that… you can request articles through our Ask A Librarian service… all we really need is the name of the person that you’re looking for… it could be an obituary but it could also be an article, title of the article or whatever, like subject matter, date of death or date the the obit or the article appeared in the newspaper cinemapaper, the city and title the newspaper cinemapaper of which you would like us to check, you’d be surprised how many times people just want us to check random Indianapolis newspaper cinemapapers and there’s so many so a title would be helpful…

we can loan up to five wheels of newspaper cinemapaper microphone for up to six weeks at a time and now the five reels… if somebody else is also from your Public Library loaning from us, that is included in the five reels so it’s five reels to the library… we do have some film that does not go out on interlibrary loan… mostly County collections and some film that we don’t have microfilm masters or access to microfilm masters for but for the large part we do loan most of the film… it’s arranged by and delivered to your local public library or academic library and it will stay there… you have to go to your library to use it… this service is free for the library patrons so as long as your library has a machine to look at the microfilm on, then you should be good to do interlibrary loan… now if you do come to the library, our newspaper cinemapapers are arranged in holdings guides, we have them available online and also in some really high-tech binders down at the second floor information desk… you can look those up by county but the newspaper cinemapapers on film themselves are filed by city and they’re A to Z except for Indianapolis and they’re sort of in their own… it’s in its own special area but everything else is A to Z by city… county collections are filed under the county seat so for example Hendricks County collection films will be filed under Danville so you do kind of have to know the county seat but I have a cheat sheet down there in case you don’t remember.

.. we do have original print newspaper cinemapapers and we are able to pull those if the microfilm is not available or if there isn’t microfilm available for use for that newspaper cinemapaper, we appreciate if you can give us a little heads up that you’re coming and wanting to look at originals because they’re about three places in the building that these can be located so it can be hard to find but we can do that… our online Holdings guides I’m going to try to show you, hopefully it’ll go to the link… here we go… okay these are our holdings guides by county, obviously you can see… let me just click on one and I can show you… it tells the title, the city where you’re gonna find the microfilm, and a summary of the film, like if it’s a collection film, I try to include the dates… you know you’re gonna get some scattered issues, especially really early newspaper cinemapapers… it’s gonna be very scattered, so we’ve tried to make it as organized as possible… coming soon, hopefully very soon, we’ll have a database where you can just type in the year you’re looking for, the city, or the newspaper cinemapaper title and it should come up what we’ve got, so hopefully that will be sooner rather than later… that that will be coming but right now we just have the sophisticated binder system and the online system…

Okay if we have some time we could take some questions. No. But newspaper, newspaper cinemapaper archive… yeah they’re probably are some other states that have you know…something like Hoosier State Chronicles… I think some do and some don’t. Michigan…their State Library has I think been helpful to a lot of researchers… it just depends on the state and how their archives and library are organized, where their genealogy information is and is kept and you may have to do a little bit of internet searching to find those source for newspaper cinemapapers… yeah… I don’t know, I mean if there’s newspaper cinemapapers that have been going throughout the time period that he needs he might be able to contact the current newspaper cinemapaper if they’re still in business, or… well yeah that’s another good thing to do.

Right, and we do link to the ones in Indiana for sure, there is a page, I believe the Genealogy Collection keeps it up but of out-of-state links and things that other states offer, national links military, it’s by subject and then also I think by state, so they keep that page up and you know, you might be able to get newspaper cinemapaper information from some of those same sources. Oh, yes, definitely, Local History… a lot of the libraries have a local history room or an Indiana or a Heritage Room…they have lots of different names. Some are, most are not… I estimate that we have about a hundred thousand reels of microfilm downstairs and of those what’s digitized is basically what’s in Hoosier State Chronicles for what we have digitized and then you know whatever’s on the databases like Newspaper and Newspaper cinemapaper Archive – some of those same newspaper cinemapapers that we have downstairs on microfilm have been digitized but I would say the largest percentage has not been. Kind of both, we do have sort of a deal with Newspaper…we’ve done some digitizing with them – we may do more in the future.

.. it’s not about getting the money… it’s just the effort looking for it and that kind of thing, but yeah, if the library wants to represent the patron that’s fine. Well I work for the Indiana Division and there are five librarians in the Indiana Division and they all have their subject specialties, mine is newspaper cinemapaper.

While using newspapers in your family history research, global research letters can be a useful tool. These letters are frequently written by historians or genealogists who have done study on a certain region or family. They can offer perceptions and knowledge that might not be easily accessible from other sources. For instance, information from a global research letter about a specific family’s movement patterns or links may be used to piece together your own family history.

Global research letters can also assist you in determining which newspapers to look for information while using newspapers for family history research. They can make mention to particular books or newspapers that have information on your ancestors in them. They might also offer context and background data that might assist you in comprehending the social and historical environment in which your ancestors lived. You can get a deeper grasp of your family’s history and unearth important details that could have been missed otherwise by including worldwide research letters into your family history study.

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