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National Archives Puts Genealogy Workshops on YouTube

National Archives on YouTube

The National Archives announced yesterday that video of some of its genealogy how-to workshops have now hit YouTube (though looking at the dates on some of these they appear to have been up for a while, BUT ANYWAY.) The URL for the archive’s YouTube channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/usnationalarchives. Videos available include:

“Genealogy Introduction — Military Research at the National Archives: Regular Service” (available here.)

“Genealogy Introduction — Immigration Records at the National Archives” (available here.)

“Genealogy Introduction: Census Records at the National Archives” (available here.) (This appers to be, by far, the most popular of these three!)

The channel has 878 videos in total, with playlists that include “Inside the Vault,” “Public Programs from the National Archives,” and “ARC Film Clips.” So you’ll be better prepared this spring, there’s also a series of four short films, produced around 1940, about the 1940 Census.

As you might imagine, 878 videos equals a LOT to see here.

Digital Archive of 73 Amateur Radio Magazine at Internet Archive

73 Magazine

The Jefferson County Radio Amateur Club is reporting that 73 (also known as 73 Amateur Radio Today) is now available in full at the Internet archive. Direct URL at http://www.archive.org/details/73-magazine; it looks like the archive has been there for about two weeks. The magazine ran from 1960 to 2003; according to the Internet Archive there are 511 back issues available here.

If you’ve ever used the Internet archive this will look familiar to you; full magazine copies are available in a variety of formats, including online-readable, PDF, ePub, and Kindle. The issue I test downloaded was about 21MB, but the older ones from the mid-70s looked like they were over 50MB.

You can do a full-text search for the archives if you go to the Internet Archive advanced search and specify 73-Magazine as the collection to be searched. I did a search for antenna (you can use the search here to start your own search) and got over 280 results.

Steve Jobs in a 1976 copy of 73 Magazine

Steve Jobs in a 1976 copy of 73 Magazine

I don’t know too much about amateur radio, but I’m enough of a computer nerd to appreciate the diy hardware hacking and electronics articles (and the ancient advertising — the two page Altair 8800b advertisement carried me away on a wave of old-computer nostalgia.) If you get lucky you’ll also find a computing easter egg or two; an article in one of the issues I downloaded featured an article on an event called Personal Computing ’76 with a few paragraphs about (and a picture of) a 20-year-old computing guy named Steve Jobs.

The Internet Archive’s usual good work; a huge, easily-accessible collection for ham radio operators, early computer enthusiasts, and electronics hobbyists.

Wyoming Newspaper Project, Complete! (Sorta)

Old School Eggnog

Cheers to Online Historical Newspapers blog for the heads-up that the Wyoming Newspaper Project is complete! The project now contains 791,764 full pages covering the years 1849-1922. There are apparently still gaps in the coverage, however, and the state of Wyoming is teaming up with the Library of Congress to scan the Wyoming newspapers in the LOC collection. Those will show up over time.

You can check out the Wyoming Newspaper Project at http://www.wyonewspapers.org/. You can browse the offerings by city, county, year, or newspaper title, or search by keyword, concept, or pattern. Even though you can do keyword searching, you’ll find that the content is available as downloaded PDF pages, and that the pages are complete, including advertisements (which is where I got this lovely egg nog recipe.)

I did find that the site timed out a couple of times, but once I got past that both browsing and searching were really quick. What a huge timesink — I could browse these old ads all day…

Footnote Makes Historical Papers Free for May

Thanks to Schelly at Tracing the Tribe for the heads-up about Footnote.com and another of its free offers: this one making its historical newspaper collection free for the month of May.

Footnote’s historical papers are at http://go.footnote.com/newspapers/. The site claims four million pages. Before you start in with the keyword searching, though, explore the galleries on the front page, including vintage comics, news of the weird, and “outrageous ads.” As with the other content, you will need to be logged in (accounts are free) to explore the galleries. After you have amused yourself with Nancy building robots and the Post Toasties ad, you can browse (newspapers from 46 states are available) or do a keyword search. (You can also use the browse page to search with newspapers from a particular state if you like.)

My keyword search for circus found 88,156 results, with further refinements available, including newspaper, last name, place, and year. Confining myself to the Chicago Tribune still gave me about 15,000 results. Sometimes the search results gave me a snippet of context, sometimes I just got that the OCR software had found the word circus. You have the option to exclude OCR-only results, but that’ll leave you with a much reduced number.

The papers are browsable page by page, which is horribly distracting because they have everything — ads, photographs, comics, etc. Occasionally dark and smudgy, but the papers were always readable.

One thing I like about this collection (and which you’ll find different from a lot of other collections) is how recent some of the newspapers are. I did a search for computer and found a newspaper with a computer ad from 1989. There aren’t as many recent newspapers available, of course, but it’s a nice addition after so many collections that don’t go past 1930 or so.

You’ve got ’til the end of May to enjoy this collection from Footnote. Just be strong and don’t find yourself going through all the pages of a 1923 newspaper, gawping at the ads and totally forgetting what you were searching…

Old Magazine Articles Expands

A couple years ago I covered a Web site called Old Magazine Articles. Its URL is http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com, natch. When I reviewed it the site was mostly focused on pre-1922 events/materials, but since then has expanded somewhat, so I wanted to give you a quick update.

If you visit the site a lot you can go to the recent pages section to see what’s new on the site, but if you’re not head to the front page, where you’ll get a search box and a list of topic headings, from 1925: Wind Power to World War II. I picked Animation, a subtopic of Movies.

I found ten articles, mostly from the 1930s. The articles have title, source, date, and a good summary. The articles themselves are available as PDFs — just click on the title.

This is not a university or other institution putting this together — it’s just a guy who likes historical materials and is willing to take the time to put them online. So there’s not as much here as you’d find in a university database, but the summaries are terrific and there’s plenty here to browse.

Woo Hoo! Popular Science Archive Free Online For the Win!

I read an article in Wired last week that made me very happy: Popular Science is now online as entire archive, and it’s free! The magazine has teamed up with Google Books to make its archive available.

To search, you can start at http://www.popsci.com/archives, but I found the page a little narrow to go through the results. So I did a little messing around at Google Books and found that http://books.google.com/books?as_pt=MAGAZINES&q=intitle%3A%22popular%20science%22&rview=1 got me a cover view of 1,327 magazine results matching the title “Popular Science”. Or you can start with the Google Books query intitle:”popular science” and add any keywords in which you’re interested. (Make sure you go into advanced search and get your results from magazines only.) A cleaner URL to browse all issues is http://books.google.com/books/serial/HVhlMMQLVhcC?rview=1.

I did a search for intitle:”Popular Science” monsters and got 547 results, from “New evidence spurs hunt for Loch Ness monster‎” to “SPLIT Logs Easily, Without Expensive Splitters, Monster Mauls.” Results include a thumbnail of the cover and details about which issue it is. It doesn’t look like you can get results by order of date, which is unfortunate — looks like results are in order of relevance.

Results take you to individual pages with your search terms highlighted. May I please recommend the 1967 article “I used at real computer at home and so will you”.

Google Books (or in this case Magazines) still drives me a bit nuts because of the ways that you can’t sort results, and sometimes the “scrolling down” through the pages makes me overshoot things I want to read, but man, they’re adding some great content.

North Carolina Launches Digitized Newspaper Collection

The state of North Carolina has launched a new digital archive collection of NC newspapers called, strangely enough, the North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project. It’s available at http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov/newspaper/index.html and contains almost 24,000 records of newspapers that date from 1751.

You can browse the collection, but since that consists of over 4000 indexed items I don’t recommend it. Instead do a keyword search, but if you want to see what’s here start with the newspapers included list, which seems to focus more on newspapers in the coastal and eastern part of the state. (And there are some olllldddd newspapers in here.)

I did a basic keyword search for Mayberry. (You can also search by year or by a particular newspaper.) I got seven results showing in a list that also included a thumbnail of the newspaper as well as its title and the date of the particular result. Clicking on the thumbnail of the page gives you a viewer window to show you the whole page, with icons for moving around, zooming, turning the paper, etc.

One of the results I got was from a Wilmington newspaper of 1796. The newspaper (The Wilmington Chronicle) was printed in three columns and was amazingly easy to read even without considering it was over 200 years old. The only aspect that was a little difficult was the “esses that look like f’s” thing. (Other newspapers I looked at from that time period were incomplete — torn, etc. Your mileage may vary.)

The most recent result I had was for the Carolina Watchman, an issue from 1894. This issue was actually a little harder to read, with some sections faded and some blurry with too much ink. Keywords for which you’re searching are highlighted in red, but to maneuver around the screen you have to use that zoom tool and directional icons, which can be a bit frustrating.

As with other newspaper collections I’ve reviewed recently, the advertising is included with the paper and the text is indexed. I had some luck searching for bitters and patent medicine. Then I remembered I could get some good history of these newspapers and searched for declaration of independence, which found news and a couple of scorching essays.

While of course it would be even better to have newspapers from all of the state represented in this collection, you could spend a lot of time here just browsing, reviewing history from the perspective of a contemporary newspaper. Excellent reading.

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