We the People: Website digitizes old newspapers

Sharon Burns: The free searchable database Chronicling America website provides access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program.
BY SHARON BURNS sburns@opubco.com Published: November 26, 2012
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The Chronicling America website, chroniclingamerica.loc.gov, was created in 2007 by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize newspapers published from 1836 to 1922.

The free searchable database provides access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program. The site has information from more than 800 newspapers and 5 million pages posted from 25 states.

GenealogyBank, genealogybank.com, a fee-based website started in October 2006, has more than 1.3 billion records online. Its database features millions of birth, marriage and obituary records, along with local news stories from 1690 to today. Ninety-five percent of its records are unique to GenealogyBank.

The website also features an “Ask the Genealogist” section where researchers may obtain free advice from a professional genealogist, including suggestions on where to start and available records posted on suggested websites.

Before attempting research in newspapers for an ancestor's birth announcement or obituary, you will need to know his birth and/or death date and the location. One source would be state death records.

Several groups have posted death records, including death certificates, online. Those include the Missouri Secretary of State website, sos.mo.gov/archives, and the Church of Latter Day Saints, familysearch.org.



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