Blog Archives

Fruit, Soybeans, Georgia, More: Afternoon Buzz, June 11, 2014

Historical Savannah GA newspapers are now available at the Digital Library of Georgia. “The archive will provide access to three newspaper titles published in Savannah from 1809 to 1880: Savannah Georgian (1819-1856), Savannah Morning News (1868-1880), and the Savannah Republican (1809-1868).”

According to research at Cornell, emotional contagion is possible across social networks. So when Facebook witholds updates from pages or friends… is it going to be held responsible for the ensuing emotional state? “When it hasn’t been your day – your week, your month, or even your year – it might be time to turn to Facebook friends for a little positive reinforcement. According to a new study by social scientists at Cornell, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Facebook, emotions can spread among users of online social networks.”

Google has released security updates for Chrome and Chrome OS. If you’re using them, patch patch patch.

More Google: don’t want to miss any World Cup matches? Google Calendar to the rescue.

A new Web site provides information on fruit genome databases. “Called “tree fruit Genome Database Resources,” or tfGDR, the website (http://www.tfgdr.org) accesses several databases that house genomic, genetic and breeding resources for 22 major horticultural crops. It includes videos and articles that highlight the role genomics, breeding and these databases in particular are playing in solving industry problems in fruit production.”

Somewhat related: a free online database for soybean studies is now available. “The Soybean Knowledge Base (SoyKB), a free online data resource, allows collaboration among international researchers, scientists and farmers to solve questions encountered in soybean research.”

Genealogy peeps, FamilySearch is offering a beginning Hispanic research Webinar in English on June 21st.

I missed this last week: the Food and Drug Administration has launched openFDA. An API, in other words. “OpenFDA utilizes a search-based Application Program Interface (API) to collect large amounts of existing publicly available data, offering developers the ability to search through text within that data, ranking results much like a search using Google would do. This method then allows them to build their own applications on top of openFDA, giving them a large amount of flexibility to determine what types of data they would like to search and how they would like to present that data to end-users. This enables a wide variety of applications to be built on one common platform.” Good afternoon, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

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.

Newberry Library Launches Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey

Three cheers to Anne F, who let me know about the new Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey from the Newberry Library. It’s available at
http://flps.newberry.org/.

The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was actually published over 70 years ago; the Newberry Library has brought it into the 21st century. Here’s how the site describes it: “The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Projects Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.”

Foreign Language Press Survey

There are over 48,000 articles in the collection. They can be searched by keyword, browsed by groups (groups include Albanian, Filipino, Lithuanian, Croatian, and Slovak), browsed by year (1855-1940), browsed by “Codes” (This is a tree of subject headings — a huge tree), or browsed by source (there are over 400, from the 1933 World’s Fair Weekly to Zwei Jahrhunderte Chicago.

The subject matter spans a great deal, but there’s a lot to be found on the topics of immigration laws, assimilation, education, economics, and social mores. I found many interesting articles just searching for the names of figures of the time. A Russian newspaper wrote a very kind eulogy to Will Rogers in 1935, while in a Lithuanian newspaper I found a reference to a letter from Upton Sinclair (though, sadly, not the letter itself.)

I did a search for computer and got 45 results, mostly because the search engine was matching on things like compute. Attempts to alleviate this by searching for “computer” and +computer didn’t work, in fact they made the results a lot worse. So be sure to use very precise, or, ideally, multiple keywords when you search this resource.

Foreign Language Press Survey Search Results Page

That aside, I love the elegance of the results page. A permanent link to the search results is available at the top of the page. After that there are summaries of matching articles along with information about the original language, source, and date. Click on a summary for the full article, and, beneath the full article, images of the cards from which the article came. Clicking on the headline of the article took me to a direct link to the article with a little additional information, including the article and its information in raw XML.

Though the articles were translations, I did not find them awkward or difficult to read. I did find myself at times interested in a particular source, but didn’t find any additional information at Newberry. Going to the LOC’s historical US Newspaper Directory got me more data about titles. One time it didn’t have the title I was looking for (Cesky Odd Fellow), but it did have a similar title (Cesky republikan) which was also in Chicago.

With the wide matching that the keyword search does, you might have to do some experimental searching before you get the best results, but even a casual browse here turned up fascinating historical material.

Google, Twitter, Old Newspapers, Movies, More: Morning Buzz, July 15, 2012

Another local newspaper is getting digitized. This time it’s the Randolph Herald (MA).

Today’s hack: BILLABONG! In plaintext again too. What kind of giant companies store passwords in plaintext? I mean besides stupid ones….

Google Operating System has some handy hints for finding public Google Docs files.

A search engine for really old tweets. “That means tweet IDs 1 to 20,000,000, to be exact, which occurred during parts of 2006 and 2007.” I think 20 million tweets would cover about — what? 90 minutes nowadays? #TwittergotBIG

GenealogyBank has added a bunch of Baltimore, Maryland newspapers to its archives. This is right after adding a bunch of Minnesota newspapers.

Google Translate is adding example sentences. “To try out the feature, simply type a few words in the left-hand text box of Google Translate, and then click on the example sentence icon…”

Interesting Web app for friends to help each other to find movies to watch. Sounds intriguing but I’d wreck it for you; I like Hollywood movies pre-1950 and Kung Fu movies. And the exceptions to those two extremes are usually movies like I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK. If your movie tastes are less weird than mine, check it out, and good morning, Internet…

Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper Puts 5000+ Issue Archive Online

Indianapolis Recorder Archive

Indianapolis Recorder Archive

The University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Indianapolis Recorder newspaper have teamed up to put issues of the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper, an African-American newspaper, online. The years spanned are 1899 to 2005 and total over 5000 issues. The archive is freely available at http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/digitalscholarship/collections/Irecorder. (This archive is not complete; issues from 1917-1925, and January-April of 1932, are missing.)

You can do a text search, browse by year, or do a full browse of the archive (over 5200 items!) I went to browse the 1904 archives. I got 53 thumbnails of the newspaper. Clicking on one took me to a large version of it, with tools for zooming, moving around, and clipping. Unfortunately the panning was done by clicking and not click-and-drag; made it more difficult to enjoy the archives.

The 1904 papers I looked at were all four pages. The scanning was very good and I didn’t have any trouble reading anything once I zoomed in enough. The pages are whole and also include those nifty old advertisements.

Trying a keyword search, I looked for Evansville and got over 4000 results. The keyword for which you’re searching is highlighted in bright red and easy to find even when pages are displayed at only 10% size. (Even the ads have the text indexed; useful.)

It would be great if it were somewhat easier to read these pages, with better zoom and pan tools (downloading issues would be especially great but I’m guessing that, with the archive going to 2005, that’s not going to be possible.) This archive, spanning over 100 years, has tons of content to explore.

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…

Newspapers from Athens Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia announced last week the addition of the Athens Historic Newspapers Archive, which consists of five newspaper titles published in Athens from 1827 to 1922. The collection has over 57,000 pages and is available at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/athnewspapers.

You will need the DjVu plugin to view the site. You can browse by title/year or do a keyword search. I did a full search for Carriage and got 8570 results. Results included name and date on the paper and how many matches for your keyword were on a full page.

Click on the result and you’ll get the full page for browsing, but if you don’t have the DjVu plugin you won’t be able to see anything, so make sure you get that before you start your search!

The Digital Library of Georgia has several great newspaper collections. You can get a rundown of what’s available at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/MediaTypes/Newspapers.html.

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