Friday, March 6, 2009

Using the Newseum web site for genealogy

Newseum advertises itself as the world's most interactive museum. It is located at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., Washington, DC. The Hours of Operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day).

One of the pages on their web site is Today's Front Pages. There is a map on this page with dots depicting the locations of the front pages of the newspapers that they are "capturing" each day. The beauty of the map is that if you put your mouse on a city anywhere in the world, the newspaper headlines will pop up. Double click and anotrher window opens with the a readable front page. Then you can either read the pdf version or click through to the paper itself in the upper right corner.

Here is the web page for Today's Front Pages. I moved the map around, zoomed out in order to see all of the USA, and put my mouse over the dot at San Diego. The front paoge of the San Diego Union-Tribune appeared to the right of the map:

You can use the zoom up/down and right/left/up/down arrow controls in the lower left-hand corner of the map. I zoomed in to the Southwest, and put my mouse over a dot in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times front page appeared: to the right of the map:

I double clicked on the map dot, and a new window opened with the front page of the Los Angeles Times that was readable:

At the top of the page, there are links (in blue, above) to Close the window, Print the web page, create a Readable PDF file, or go to the newspaper Web Site.

I decided to go to the newspaper Web Site:

I scrolled down on the web page and found the LA Times Archive down near the bottom in the left sidebar. I clicked on the Archives link and this Search page appeared:

On the Archives page, I could Search for keywords, define the time frame, etc. These search capabilities will differ for each newspaper - I'm just using the Los Angeles Times as an example.

So how can this Newseum feature help us do genealogy research? I can think of several examples:

* You can use the Newseum Today's Front Pages as a "Favorite/Bookmark" tool - here are links to web sites of many newspapers around the world. Using it this way is easier than using Google to look for the Archives page of a specific newspaper.

* If you have a date for an obituary (say from one of the obituary archive sites) then you can use the newspaper Archive search to find the specific article.

* If an important historical event occurs, you can capture a PDF of the front pages of your favorite newspaper for posterity.

I'm sure my really smart readers can think of more uses for this site - what sayeth thee?

Thank you to Beth Gay (who wrote about this on the APG mailing list) and to Marian Pierre-Louis for pointing me to Beth's post.

1 comment:

Terri said...

Thanks for sharing this - this is really awesome......