Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Digitized Periodical Collections at American Ancestors

 The American Ancestors website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society has a number of digitized periodical magazines that contain significant articles of genealogy and family history value.  

Members of NEHGS can access these periodicals by searching for names on the American Ancestors website using the basic search form for all record collections, or by using the search form only for the "Journals and Periodicals" category.  In the "Journals and Periodicals" category, the member can choose a specific periodical run in order to browse a specific volume and a specific page from a list.  

The American Ancestors page for "Journals and Periodicals" describes the collections, with examples, as:

"This category contains periodic publications, from scholarly journals to excerpts from newspapers, to newsletters and magazines. Scholarly journals are excellent sources of genealogical and historical information. They include articles written by experts which are fully cited, sourced, and vetted before release. You can use the citations in a journal article to find even more information on your subject of research. Our newspaper collections contain contemporary vital information, while our magazines provide research tips from our experts.

"Watch our webinar, Searching Journals on for an in-depth tutorial on scholarly journals."

These digitized collections include only the issues that have been agreed to by the publisher of the periodical, so the collections are not complete - many have issues up to the last five years, but not the last five years.

The list of journals and periodicals that are available.

*  American Ancestors Journal

*  American Ancestors Magazine

*  American Genealogist, The

*  Boston Evening Transcript Genealogy Pages, 1911-1940

*  Boston Pilot Immigrant Advertisements (Search For Missing Friends, 1831-1920)

*  Connecticut Nutmegger

*  Essex Antiquarian

*  Essex Genealogist, The

*  Genealogical Advertiser, The

*  Maine Genealogist, The

*  Mayflower Descendant, The

*  Mayflower Quarterly, The

*  NEHGS NEXUS New England Across the United States

*  New England Ancestors Magazine

*  New Engliand Historial and Genealogical Register

*  New Hampshire Gazette: Newspaper Records, 1756-1769

*  New Netherlands Connection

*  New York Genealogical and Biographical Record

*  Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine

*  Rhode Island Roots

*  Vermont Genealogy

*  Virginia Genealogist, The

The basic American Ancestors search form looks like this:  

On the screen above, I selected "Journals and Periodicals" in the "Category" box.  I can then select a specific periodical from the "Database" field.

From the screen above, I selected the Rhode Island Roots" periodical, and selected Volume 41 of this periodical, as shown below:

I chose Page 1 for the Volume 41 to try to find the cover of the first issue of Volume 41:

Page 1 was the first page of an article.  By using the back arrow on the screen, I easily found the cover page with the table of contents of the issue:

I was interested in reading the 4th item on the Table of Contents of this issue.  I noted that it starts on page 30.  So I entered the number "30" in the "Page" field at the top right of the screen and hit "Enter."

Having found this article, I read it by advancing the page number using the forward and back arrows.  I could read the entire issue using this method.

But there are four issues in this Volume of 256 pages.  The user has to search for the next Table of contents for the following issue.  I usually go to the last page number on the Table of Contents I saw last, and then used the Forward page arrow to find the Table of Contents of the next issue.

The user can download each page of interest to the user and save them to their computer files for reference and sourcing purposes of the user.

I use these periodicals on a regular basis.  I have reviewed many of the issues that are available for the New England states, New York and Pennsylvania.  American Ancestors sends an email to the members whenever a new periodical, or a new volume of a periodical, is digitized and added to the website.  

Of course, a user has to be a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society to be able to access these periodicals.  It is a benefit of membership in the Society.  Some libraries have subscribed and have access to these periodicals through their NEHGS library subscription.


Disclosure:  I am a member of NEHGS and appreciate their digitization efforts to help genealogy researchers.  I have not received any remuneration from NEHGS at any time.

Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

MWhite said...

Hi Randy, HisGen has many free databases if one signs up for a "guest" account. They also send out notifications when any of their databases behind the membership wall is open. This happens periodically throughout the year. Their webinars are also free to all. If you have a guest account you will get notifications of new databases or additions, webinars and limited-time free databases.
Marcia White