Blog Archives

Jazz, Buffalo New York, and the 1970s, in One Lovely Digitized Package

Buffalo Jazz ReportThe University at Buffalo announced earlier this week that it had digitzed the entire run of the Buffalo Jazz Report and made it available in the UB Institutional Repository.

The Buffalo Jazz Report was a freebie newspaper distributed between March 1974 and December 1978. You can browse the entire 58-issue run in all its 1970s glory at http://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/BuffJazz.

You can browse issues or do a search. (You can also browse by author or subject, but there’s only one author and only five subjects.) The search is full-text but it’s pretty basic; a search for Monk found 37 results but the results simply pulled PDFs of full issues and did not direct me to excerpts or articles. Issues appear to be available only as PDFs; download them and read them in your favorite viewer.

The newspapers themselves include obituaries of musicians, occasionally articles on musicians, reviews of recordings, event listings, and relentlessly hip ads which could only be more 1970s if they were actually dipped in fondue. My favorite one was for a haircutter, “Crazy Ron,” who advertised with and without “Nanci.” And don’t forget Eskil’s Clog Shop (“When Your Feet Need a Friend.”)

Clog ShopThe newspaper evolves from a fairly brief affair with some drawings early on to a much larger newspaper with lots of articles, photographs, and concert reviews. I can’t find any indication that the last issue was the last issue; it seems to have just … ended.

Even if you don’t have a predilection for jazz you’ll enjoy the energy in the collection — editor and publisher Bill Wahl clearly loved what he was doing. (And he’s apparently still doing it! Check out Jazz-Blues.com for a database of over 8000 reviews of jazz recordings.) I recommending browsing, as the search doesn’t get you very far and there’s not enough detail in the subject trees to try to browse that way.

Photo Index of Fallen World War I Soldiers from New York State Now Available

Thanks to Sound Shore for the pointer to the new index from the Larchmont Historical Society. That group has taken the book Soldiers of the Great War (an photo book of many fallen US soldiers from WWI) and has scanned and indexed all the pages dealing with soldiers from New York State. This index is available at http://nyww1.larchmonthistory.org/.

The book that’s been digitized unfortunately does not have all the NY fallen soldiers from WWI listed. The site does note the limitations, the biggest one being that soldiers who did not have pictures available were not listed in the book. Still, the site has 76 pages of photographs of fallen soldiers from New York State. You can search it by soldier name or community name.

I did a search for smith and got 8 results. The search results page just shows you a thumbnail of the page; you don’t get full names. Click on the thumbnail for a larger version of the page, with pictures, and a transcription list of the soldiers on that page. The transcript shows the solider’s name, the New York town from which they came, and a code for their death or injury (killed in action, died of disease, died of wounds, died of accident, or wounded in action.)

The Larchmont historical society has made the images in this index available for free download, but you do have to do to a bit of extra work to get to them. When you find a page image you want via the search, note the page number. Then visit the image download page, find the page number you’re looking for, and click on it. You’ll get a jpg of the page that you can download via right-click.

Excellently done, Larchmont Historical Society — but I can’t help but wonder what happened to the rest of the book…

Web Site for New York History

Are you interested in the history of New York? You might want to check out a new site which is a collaborative project between nine Reference and Research Library Resources Councils in New York State. The site is called New York Heritage and it’s available at http://www.newyorkheritage.org.

The site contains information from over 160 collections from library, museums, archives, and other resources across the state of New York. You can browse the collections but unfortunately the browsing is by institution, and actually seeing the holdings of the institution requires a mouse click. In other words, the browse page does not let you review all the available collections in one click. So you might like searching better.

I searched for chickens (I tried several other search terms, but this one got me a nice mix of various kinds of items.) I got 40 results, including photographs, newspapers, church directories, interviews, and a very odd postcard featuring a group of people, each holding a chicken. Items include a thumbnail: click on the thumbnail and you get to the original institution’s page for the item. The original pages vary in their presentation but the ones I looked at had a lot of detail and additional information. I was especially impressed with http://www.wnylegacy.org‘s presentation of newspaper archives. What a treat.

If the simple search doesn’t get what you’re looking for, there is a more advanced search that lets you specify fields. And there’s a short link list to other New York resources. But what I’d really love here would be a subject headings list. On the other hand, if I got to explore 160 collections related to the state of New York via a subject headings list, you might not see me for days and days…

Huge Archive of Ornithological Magazines from New York

A hat tip and block of suet to Zen Birdfeeder, which tipped me off to the new release from the New York State Ornithological Association. The NYSOA has released its quarterly journal, The Kingbird, as a free searchable archive. The current archive contains 228 issues that span from 1950-2007 — that’s about 8 million words on almost 16,000 pages. You can get direct access to the journals at http://nybirds.org/KBsearch.htm.

This is a nice setup they’ve got organized on this page. You can browse through a list of the issues and download the ones you want (they’re PDF files and about 8MB each.) There are also four indexes you can download instead, if you’re looking for several things. And, there’s a keyword search engine too. There’s a specify query syntax to find regional reports and wildcards are supported.

I did a search for suet and got 212 results, from “A Sparrow Hawk Dines on Suet” to “Region 5 – Fall 1971″. The snippet with the search results only gives you a little context, and unless the date is referred to in the article title you’re going to have to figure out the issue of the Kingbird that’s being found via the file name on the PDF. Yup, these search results return pages as PDF files, though it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I wanted to check out “Short-eared Owls in a Suburban Housing Development” and the PDF downloaded quickly and was readable once I increased the zoom to about 150% (at 100% it was not readable at all on this monitor.)

Nicely done, NYSOA! A large archive of bird data that’s very easy to both browse and search through.

NY State Military Museum Site Offers More Records

The New York State Military Museum Web site has announced the release of 53,671 pages of New York National Guard records, available on the Web site at http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/index.htm with a direct link to the pages at http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/research/researchIndex.htm.

The new material includes 197 issues of the New York National Guardsman Magazine published between 1924 and 1940, and National Guard annual reports from 1858 to 1955. The documents are available in PDF format but some of them are pretty huge — they range in size from 3MB to over 80MB! The Guardsman documents are listed by year/month, while the annual reports are available by year, with a few of years available in multiple volumes (and a few other years not available.)

These archives are valuable to genealogy buffs because they have a lot of names in them, but I didn’t find an easy way to search them. The site seems to have a Google custom search engine, but there’s no way that I can find to easily search the archives from within the site itself. However, the archives are consistent in where the PDFs are kept, so start with this Google search:

site:dmna.state.ny.us inurl:historic inurl:research filetype:pdf

That’ll find you 199 results from the New York State Military Museum Web site. Just add the name you’re searching to that and you’ll (hopefully) narrow down on what you’re looking for. Try this for an example:

“john smith” site:dmna.state.ny.us inurl:historic inurl:research filetype:pdf

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