Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Tip - Use Old Fulton NY Post Cards for New York Newspapers

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Today's Tuesday's Tip is:  Use the Old Fulton NY Post Cards website (ww.FultonHistory.com/Fulton.html) to search for articles in New York newspapers.

If you have New York ancestors, or genealogy research targets, in the 19th and 20th centuries (actually 1795 to 2007), you may find interesting newspaper articles about them in the Old Fulton NY Post Cards newspaper collection.


The image above shows my search results in the left-hand panel, and the Fulton jukebox in the right-hand panel.  When you select an item in the search results, the image appears in the right-hand panel.

The list of newspapers, and the date range, included in this collection can be found by clicking on the "FAQ Help Index" button in the upper right of the screen, then clicking the link for the list.  The FAQ Help Index page also explains how best to search the site.

There are over 16 million newspaper pages digitized and OCR indexed on this site.  I have had wonderful success searching for Seaver family history items on this website.  Newspaper reports of births, marriages, deaths, accidents, employment, etc. have been found to add to my genealogy database. 

The Search box is fairly simple.  The user can:

*  Put search terms in the search fields, including Boolean terms.
*  Select "all of the words," "any of the words," "the exact phrase" and "Boolean" for the search terms from a dropdown menu
*  Check boxes for "Fuzzy searching," "Phonic searching," "WordNet synonyms," "WordNet related words," and "User-defined synonyms."
*  Select sort type by "hits," "date," "name" or "size"
*  Add file creation date to search for recently added data.

I found no way to limit matches to a certain date range.

Searches sometimes take quite a while to show up in the left-hand panel, so be patient.  500 matches appear at one time in the left-hand panel.

Here is how a match looks on the screen:


The user can zoom in or out, print the page, or save the PDF file (each page is a PDF) by using the "float-over" icons near the bottom of the image in the right-hand panel. 

While the OCR indexing of some of the pages is imperfect, it is a lot better than having to read microfilm of the newspaper "cold" at a local New York library.

3 comments:

Apple said...

I love this site. Now that you have written about it I'm certain that it will be slower than usual. My suggestion is to search at off times.

Use the FAQ link at the top for tips on searching. I have had very limited success trying to search by date but great sucess searching a particular paper.

If you click on "View Fulton Historical Photos" (at the bottom, between "Page Me" and "Zoom In") you will see all the other goodies available on the site. While there is much about Fulton, NY there are things from other locations too.

Clicking on the box "Old New York Historical Newspapers" will take you to a list of all of the newspapers currently available. The pages shown at the very end of page 4 are available for browsing but should not show up in searches until after the next update. Note the name of the paper and any misspelling for boolean searches.

I know that the Lowell, MA Courier has come up in my searches as has a paper from California but I don't remember which one. I couldn't find either listed in the index.

Katie O. said...

This is one of the best sites I've come across for my NY research. You CAN limit the results by date range - use [date]~~[date]. For example, if I were searching the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for a death notice for John Mulvaney, who died in 1911, but may have had probate action in 1912, I would select "Boolean" and use the string

Brooklyn NY Daily Eagle 1911~~1912 and John Mulvaney

It works just as well if you're searching without limiting to a particular paper - if I wanted to see if John Mulvaney's death were mentioned in any other paper (as it's after 1898, it should be listed in the NYTimes, as well), I would use

1911~~1912 and John Mulvaney

Jim's Girl said...

Thanks for another hot tip, Randy. With just minutes of searching, I was able to find a detailed article about my great-uncle's death. I'll have to try Apple and Katie's suggestions to refine my searches, as our family name is way too common in New York State.