Many of us know the fabulous Chronicling America newspaper site. Hosted by the Library of Congress, it catalogs all known U.S. newspapers and provides  free access to more than six million digital newspaper pages. Well, this site keeps  getting better. Content continues to grow and expand into other languages. And–something I personally love–the site will be easier to use on my iPad and iPhone!

Gazette Sentinel, Plaquemine, LA, Jan 20, 1860, Image from Chronicling America

Gazette Sentinel, Plaquemine, LA, Jan 20, 1860, Image from Chronicling America

First, let’s look at growing content: 130 new titles and 800,000 pages are new on the site. New titles include French and Spanish newspapers, like the French-English bilingual paper shown here.

‘We as genealogists can read as it were over our ancestors’ shoulders.’

Historical newspapers give readers a front-page view of American history. Recent additions to the collection echo popular feelings about presidential politics, slavery and westward expansion. We as genealogists can read as it were over our ancestors’ shoulders. Even if we don’t find them mentioned there specifically, we can learn a lot about their lives from newspapers of their day.

As  I mentioned, Chronicling America now works  better on mobile web devices. Specifically mentioned in a recent press release are “the ability to enlarge a portion of a newspaper page in a tablet or mobile phone device by using a pinch-to-zoom gesture.  Also, a thumbnail navigator that appears on every page facilitates panning and zooming the image.” That’s a big improvement for users who have been frustrated at trying to use the site on the small screen!

Want to learn more about newspaper research for family historians–especially how to find newspapers online? Check out my book, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, available in paperback and as an e-book.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
MENU