Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to the most common questions about Advantage Preservation, the Community History Archives, the IAhistory Project, our stance on copyright and intellectual property, and many more. The FAQ is updated frequently, and if the answer you are looking for is not found here, there is a contact form at the bottom of the page. Just send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
This glossary contains explanations relevant to microfilming historical newspapers, newspaper preservation and access to the archived content. We have compiled this alphabetical list of terms with explanations or a brief definition. You can use this dictionary to quickly look up any term used you might not be familiar list. Get started by visiting the Glossary page, and clicking on the letter your word begins with.
Introduction To The Community History Archives
A brief introduction to the Community History Archives to help familiarize you with the layout, tools, and functionality of the website. This overview will provide you with a basic understanding on how to use the Search & Browse features, as well as how to navigate the Search Engine Results Page, and Image Viewer.
Your search criteria is just a sequence of letters that are matched against a search index that was created from the scan and OCR process applied to the subject newspaper page. Knowing how to develop your search criteria is the single most important factor that you can control in getting the search results that you are seeking.
Browse is sometimes a very effective way to find articles that OCR did not pick up correctly. What that means is that the index created after the OCR process does not match the intended letters from the original scanned copy, so browsing may be your only way to find an article. This is very important to know.
Image Handling Concepts
When researching old newspapers, you either search or browse (or maybe both) to get to an end result. That end result is an image of a newspaper page. In that image of a page is an article that you are looking for and wish to save for your own purposes. Those purposes may be for a research paper, or for a school project, or maybe a story about an ancestor.
Use Hyphenated Search
The use of the hyphen in historical newspapers can create challenges (but also opportunities) for researchers. Hyphenated words were often used because of fixed width type as well as the experience and capability of the typesetter. Hyphens are less utilized today but were heavily used years ago.
Change the Letters in Your Search
When searching online, you have certainly been puzzled by some of the search results (or lack thereof) that you have received. Creation of newspaper images and application of the OCR process does not always result in what you might expect. There is a simple explanation for these issues, and it all has to do with quality. But by merely changing some of the letters in your search criteria, you can improve your search results.
Don’t Search Just Names
If you are searching old newspapers to find an ancestor as part of your genealogy research, or you are searching for an event in these newspapers as part of a classroom assignment, or for history research, these tips all apply. Many times, we get stuck in searching just names, but there are excellent alternatives that will help you hone in on articles that apply to your research.
Search Tips When Searching for a Person
When researching old newspapers, there are many things that you need to know and many mistakes that can be made when drawing conclusions about the articles you find. Here are some tricks and tips as well as what to avoid when you are searching for a person.
Want Better Newspaper Search Results? Get an Attitude
If you’ve read any prior articles or tips, then you know that the quality of the scanned newspaper as well as the OCR process dictate the quality of the search index. And when you are searching for words or combinations of words, you essentially are trying to match your search criteria against that index.
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