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How to Find Photos and Images in Old Newspapers with Newspaper Navigator

How to Find Photos and Images in Old Newspapers with Newspaper Navigator

Elevenses with Lisa Episode 26 Video and Show Notes

Live show air date: September 24, 2020
Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn about genealogy and family history.

Newspaper Navigator is a new free online tool for finding images and photos in old newspapers at Chronicling America. It doesn’t work the way the Library of Congress website works, so in this episode I show you how to navigate the Newspaper Navigator. It’s a fun session that will have you finding new newspaper gems in no time!

About LOC Chronicling America

Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. It features free digitized historic newspapers spanning 1789-1963.

Newspapers Contain Imagery such as:

  • Photos
  • Drawings
  • Maps
  • Cartoons
  • Advertisements

You may not find the newspaper that you need for your research in the Chronicling America digitized collection. In those cases, turn to the US Newspaper Directory. It catalogs newspapers published 1690-present. Click the US Newspaper Directory button on the Chronicling America website to search. The catalog will tell you where known copies of the paper can be accessed.

Uses of Newspaper Images

Most of the old newspapers featured in Chronicling America include images. And because these old images are in the public domain, they are an ideal complement to family histories.

If you are very fortunate you may find photos or images of your ancestors, their homes, or other things specifically about your family.

Newspaper images are also a wonderful source when you need a photo or image to represent an important idea or item when telling your family’s story, whether in a blog post, article, book, video, PowerPoint presentation or other medium. Example of this would include a photograph of a blacksmith shop in the 1890s in the area where your ancestor worked as a blacksmith, or an advertisement for a Sears home kit just like the one your grandfather built.

Chronicling America’s Newspaper Navigator

The Newspaper Navigator dataset currently consists of 1.5 million pieces of extracted visual content from 16,358,041 historic newspaper pages in Chronicling America.

The visual content was identified using an object detection model trained on annotations of World War 1-era Chronicling America pages, made by staff and volunteers.

This “visual content recognition model” detects the following types of content:

  1.  Photograph
  2.  Illustration
  3.  Map
  4.  Comics/Cartoon
  5.  Editorial Cartoon
  6.  Headline
  7.  Advertisement

It also includes text corresponding to the imagery, identified by Optical Character Recognition (OCR).

Searching the Newspaper Navigator

You can search all images with captions. The results will be returned in a Gallery view featuring up to 100 images per page. This results format makes it very easy to quicky browse the images.

You can also switch to List view which lists the images along with the text retrieved by OCR.

How to Find Images Faster in Old Newspapers

Run a search in Newspaper Navigator of the word baseball and then run the same search in Chronicling America. A comparison of the results highlights the between Chronicling America and Newspaper Navigator when it comes to finding images in old newspapers.

Word Searched: baseball
Results returned:
Newspaper Navigator: 5,427
Chronicling America: 921,534

The search results returned by the Newspaper Navigator are solely focused on photos and images. This means you have a fraction of the number results to review. Another big advantage of Newspaper Navigator over Chronicling America is the size of the image. Newspaper Navigator gives you just the large image to review, while Chronicling America shows you a thumbnail of the entire page with images so small that you must click and load the page to analyze them.

finding photos in newspapers at Chronicling America

Images appear much smaller at Chronicling America and require you to click through to the page for closer examination.

Start by running a keyword search. (example: Blacksmith). On the results you can filter the results by Location and Years. Because the search currently doesn’t support Boolean operators or other types of search operators, you may need to run a few different versions of the same search to get a complete picture of the potential results. We’ll talk more about search strategies in just a moment.

Once you find an image you want, click to open it. The pop-up box offers these four buttons:

  • Download Image – Downloads a high-resolution copy to your hard drive.
  • Cite this – Generates a source citation that is automatically copied to your computer clipboard. Then you can simply paste it as needed. You can also cite the dataset by including the image URL, plus a citation to the website such as “from the Library of Congress, Newspaper Navigatordataset: Extracted Visual Content from Chronicling America.” According to the website, all images are in the public domain and free to use. Learn more about Rights and Reproductions at https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/about/.
  • Learn about this newspaper – Takes you to the Chronicling America catalog listing for the newspaper from which the image comes.
  • View Full Issue – Takes you to the complete newspaper issue at the Chronicling America website.
Newspaper image option buttons

Click the buttons to select the options

My Collection at Newspaper Navigator

You can gather and save collections of the newspaper images you find using Newspaper Navigator. Start by running a search. On the results page click to select the desired images, then click the Save button. This will generate a URL for that collection and copy it to your clipboard. Since Newspaper Navigator doesn’t currently allow you to log in and return to your past searches during different sessions, I suggest pasting the URL into a research log for future reference.

Train My AI Navigators at Newspaper Navigator

A unique feature of the Chronicling America Newspaper Navigator is the ability to “train” the site to search for you. It does this through machine learning.

Train My AI Navigator

Elevenses with Lisa Episode 26

How to Train My AI Navigator:

  1. Run a search
  2. Click to select desired images
  3. Click Save to save the collection of images
  4. Click Train My AI Navigators
  5. Newspaper Navigator will deliver a new set of images based on your selected images. On that page, select additional images that you want by clicking toward the top (+) of the image.
  6. Click unwanted images by clicking toward the bottom (-) of the image.
    selecting unwanted images from historic newspapersClick to select the images you don’t want the AI Newspaper Navigator to find.
  7. Click Train My AI Navigator again
  8. Continue adding and subtracting images as needed to further train the system
  9. Type a name for this training session in the Name My AI Navigator The saved AI Navigator name will appear in the Select an AI Navigator column
  10. Click Save to generate a URL for this training session and paste into your research log.
  11. Click + New AI Navigator to create a new training session spring boarding from the first
  12. Click Clear & Restart to start a new search

Newspaper Navigator Search Strategies

Newspaper Navigator doesn’t, as of this writing, support Boolean Operators or offer an advanced search field. Here are some strategies that can help you have more success in searching the site:

Don’t use search operators, use variations

Even a space between initials can make a difference.

Variations in newspaper searches

Each variation has the potential to deliver a different result in newspaper images.

Search Locations

Considering how many variations there can be to a name, when searching for ancestors try searching first on the name of their town or location. If there are still quite a few results, you can then filter to only newspapers from their state. I search the town name first because an article may appear in a newspaper from a different state. In the case of my search for McMinnville, I received a small, manageable results list. Had it been large and included both McMinnville, TN and McMinnville, OR, filtering to just Oregon would be helpful.

Test your search theories

Analyze your results and try variations based on what you are learning about what Newspaper Navigator is focusing on.

Search for word strings

In testing my search theories, I learned that Newspaper Navigator did not do well with multiple words that do not appear right next to each other. Therefore, I tried to find word strings that pertained to my family that I could search for such as the name of a business: Consolidation Coal Company.

Search for Photos

Another interesting search you can run is the word Photo. On the results page filter to the state and years that apply to your research.

Use List View to Find on Page

When dealing with a large number of results, List View can help speed up the review process. List View also displays the text generated by OCR. While not perfect, it can be helpful. Use your computer’s Find on Page feature (control + F on a PC, Command + F on Mac) and type in a keyword such as a surname. This will take you instantly to all occurrences of that word in the text on the page. Click the next page and run it again.

Use Control + F to find OCR text in the results list at Newspaper Navigator

Find images quickly by word search in the List View

Learn More About Machine Learning

In the menu click Data Archaeology to learn more about machine learning and the Newspaper Navigator project.

Resources

How to Find Your Family History in NewspapersPremium Video & Handout: Getting the Scoop from Old Newspapers. (Not a Premium member yet? Learn more here.)
Book: How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers
Bonus Download exclusively for Premium Members: Download the show notes handout

Please Support this Free Show

If you’re enjoying the show, you can help others benefit from it too by leaving a comment below. Your comments…

  • helps me understand what matters to you.
  • helps others gather new ideas and encourages them to give the show a try.
  • tells Google / YouTube that this show is interesting and worth sending other people to through the search results.
  • provides great potential content for future episodes.

Clicking the red subscribe on our Genealogy Gems YouTube and then giving this video a thumbs up below the videosubscribe to our YouTube channel

By leaving a comment (what you enjoyed, questions you have or what you’d like to see in the future) below this video after the show’s over or at the bottom of the show notes page if you’re watching on my Genealogy Gems website.

 

Answers to Your Live Chat Questions

One of the advantages of tuning into the live broadcast of each Elevenses with Lisa show is participating in the Live Chat and asking your questions. 

Bert asks: Are some newspapers only available for a fee on websites such as Ancestry
Lisa’s Answer: Yes, several genealogy websites have exclusive collections of digitized old newspapers. You can usually search or browse the site for free to determine if they have newspapers from the location and time frame that you need before you make a purchase. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve had good success with:

Genealogy Bank
MyHeritage
Ancestry
British Newspaper Archive (a goldmine for anyone with British ancestors!) 

We are compensated if you make a purchase after using our links above (at no additional cost to you.) Thank you for supporting this free show by doing so!

Christine asks: (What is the ) newspaper navigator date range? 
Lisa’s answer: Here’s a break down of the dates:

Chronicling America covers 1789 – 1963 (digitized newspapers)
Newspaper Navigator covers 1900 – 1963 (photos in digitized newspapers)
U.S. Newspaper Directory at Chronicling America covers 1690 – present (catalog, only some are digitized and those are part of Chronicling America.)

Rachel asks: I have an ancestor that was in the social pages all the time in our local newspaper in the 1800’s. I thought it would make a great book or video, any ideas on how to showcase them the best?
Lisa’s answer: I love both of those ideas and I cover many more in my Premium Membership video Inspiring Ways to Captivate the Non-Genealogists in Your Life. Personally I have found that short photo books and short videos that tell one story are received the best by family members. They both offer opportunities to share and highlight items from newspapers. Learn more about quickly and easily making family history videos by watching Elevenses with Lisa episode 16. And I strongly encourage Premium Members to watch these two videos:

Video Magic: Creating Brilliant Videos Quickly & Easily with Lisa Louise Cooke (creating videos)
Share Your Own Life Stories More Meaningfully with Sunny Morton. (writing books)

lagomcurt asks: ​Are local small-town papers included in the collection?
Lisa’s answer: Yes.  

June asks: ​When you download it ask what to save as. What is your suggestion?
Lisa’s answer: I think you’ll find that JPEG is currently the only option in the Save as Type drop-down menu.

Sharon asks: ​Does Chronicling America have foreign language newspapers in America?
Lisa’s answer: Absolutely! Searching in the language will help retrieve items. 

Ohio Waisenfreund newspaper at Chronicling America

Ohio Waisenfreund newspaper at Chronicling America

Pat asks: ​Does it have Irish American newspapers?
Lisa’s answer:  Chronicling America does have Irish American newspapers. If they were published between 1900-1963 then they will be searchable by Newspaper Navigator. I would also recommend searching all newspapers (online and offline) by clicking the U.S. Newspaper Director button at Chronicling America. Then search by ethnicity (Irish) and Material Type (online.) You will find that some are linked to other websites where they can be found online. If you see an image of a newspaper on the catalog page, then you know it is available on Chronicling America in a digital format. 

how to search for irish newspapers online at US Newspaper Directory

Search for Irish newspapers online at US Newspaper Directory

 

 

Mark asks: Can the wash out pictures be enhance with the new MyHeritage Photo with the sharping feature and colorization to make it a better final experience with images?
Lisa’s answer: Yes indeed. Because the original quality will be poor and with low dots per inch (dpi) it likely won’t improve the way an original photo would. However enhancing and coloring just takes a few seconds and definitely improves the image. Even better, it often makes the print much more readable. I use it on documents too. Click here to try MyHeritage.

newspaper photo enhanced and colorized with Myheritage

Newspaper photo enhanced and colorized with MyHeritage

 

Kathy asks: ​If you do a search in English, will it find the search term(s) in newspapers that were written in German?
Lisa’s answer: No. You will need to search in German to pick up on any German text. However, if the image itself is similar, My AI Navigator should pick it up.

Lucinda asks: Who is in your necklace and the photo behind you, Lisa?
Lisa’s Answer: It’s my maternal grandmother’s high school graduation photo. 

Please Leave a Comment or Question Below

I really want to hear from you. Did you enjoy this episode? Do you have a question? Please leave it below.  You can also call and leave a voice mail at (925) 272-4021 and I just may answer it on the show!

 

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 245 – Telling Your Family’s Story with Video

Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 245 – Telling Your Family’s Story with Video

with Lisa Louise Cooke
September 2020

Don’t just gather genealogical information. Take the time to tell your ancestors’ stories!

Video is the perfect medium for sharing your family’s history. It captures the interest of the eyes and the ears.

In this episode my special guest is Kathy Nielsen. She’s a librarian from California who recently started creating videos. She’s going to walk you through the simple yet effective process she followed. Then I will share additional things to consider and strategies that you can use.

If you’re not interested in creating a video, that’s OK. Today’s episode will make you a better storyteller and will provide you with inspiring story examples by other genealogists.

Elevenses with Lisa Episode 14 – Creating Family History Story Videos

Watch the video and read the full show notes here.

Creating family history story videos

After listening to this episode, watch Elevenses with Lisa episode 16 How to Make a Video with Adobe Spark  to learn how to make videos quickly and easily for free.

Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the handy PDF show notes for each of these Elevenses with Lisa episodes. Simply log into your membership, and then in the menu under “Video” click “Elevenses with Lisa.” Click the episode and scroll down to the Resources section of the show notes.

Genealogy Gems Premium Members can download the show notes PDF from the Resources section on that page.

Become a Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Member

Premium Members have exclusive access to:

  • Video classes and downloadable handouts
  • The Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast
  • Elevenses with Lisa downloadable show notes PDF

Become a member here.

Genealogy Gems premium elearning

Click to learn more about Genealogy Gems Premium Membership.

Getting Your Family History Digitized

I use Larsen Digital and have been extremely pleased with the service and results. The folks at Larsen Digital have put together special and exclusive discounts for Genealogy Gems listeners and readers. Click here to learn more and receive exclusive discounts and coupon codes.

Genealogy Gems Podcast App

Don’t miss the Bonus audio for this episode. In the app, tap the gift box icon just under the media player. Get the app here

Sunday, September 27th. “The Irish philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke stated in 1790 that “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” For those that do the looking forward, or those just idly curious about in their roots, today is Ancestor Appreciation Day. Census records play an important role in researching individual details, but the law mandates a 72 year wait for access. Annually, though, the Bureau’s American Community Survey compiles statistics for detailed ancestry or ethnic groups or populations in the nation. The largest reported ancestry is German, at over 41-million of our nearly 330-million population. The Irish of Edmund Burke come second, with nearly 31-million, or more than remain in Ireland itself.” Profile America

Stay Up to Date with the Genealogy Gems Newsletter

The Genealogy Gems email newsletter is the best way to stay informed about what’s available with your Premium eLearning Membership. Click here to sign up today.

Get Unlimited Photo Enhancement and Colorization at MyHeritage

Get genealogy records and unlimited Enhanced and Colorized photos as a MyHeritage PremiumPlus or Complete Plan Subscriber. Click here to start a free trial.

“I use MyHeritage to research my family tree.” Lisa Louise Cooke

Follow Lisa and Genealogy Gems on Social Media:

Instagram.com/genealogygemspodcast
Facebook.com/genealogygems
Pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke
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Podcast Resources

Download the episode mp3
Download the show notes episode 245

Viewer Voices: Stories of Doll Houses, Risk-Taking, and Women Getting the Vote

Viewer Voices: Stories of Doll Houses, Risk-Taking, and Women Getting the Vote

Elevenses with Lisa Episode 25 Video and Show Notes

Live show air date: September 17, 2020
Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn about genealogy and family history.

Viewer Voices: Celebrating Your Family History!

In this week’s episode we’re celebrating both your unique genealogy path, and the one that we have taken together as a community. The Elevenses with Lisa show has really grown into a vibrant, caring family. Whether it’s something I’m teaching, or a conversation happening in the live chat, there’s always something new to learn!

So, I invite you to sit back and relax with your favorite cup of tea while I share some of your stories, answer some questions, and pretty much talk about whatever tickles our fancy. Click below to watch the video, and follow along here on this show notes page. 

Some Googly Questions & Comments 

Cathy Gallaghers’s question: “I, like so many others, really enjoy listening to your podcasts and Elevenses!! I have learned a lot! I am having trouble with one concept.  I have a “new cousin” that I learned about through DNA. She is a great detective in finding people, places and information.

I want to have our family tree on Google docs so that we can share the family tree and we can start organizing all of our information. What I’m having trouble with is how do you put the tree in google docs? I cannot copy and paste from Ancestry.

I just cannot see HOW to make this large tree in google docs AND have a place to have the documentation…I really want to work with this cousin.”

My Answer: I think having everything in your database and saving the database to Google Drive is the way to go. If you don’t have a software database, I encourage you to get one that synchronizes with Ancestry.

Recommended Viewing: Premium Video How to Take Control of and Preserve Your Family Tree Information. (Click here to learn more about joining us as a Premium Member.) 
I use and recommend BackBlaze cloud backup – learn more here. (Using this link supports this free show – thank you!)

Google Docs are contained in Google Drive, but Google Drive also can have files that you have uploaded from other sources, like videos, and photos. So, there’s really no point in recreating things in Google Docs. Google Drive gives you a place to store everything as well as collaborate.

Cathy’s Comment

As you’ll recall in Episode 22 I showed you ways to use Google Earth to research your ancestors’ neighborhood. Cathy shared how she used what she learned from that episode in her research. She writes,

“BTW – I downloaded Google Earth Pro and have had a blast putting people on the map. My grandfather wrote a book called, “Passeggiata” the story of his life. He talks about a time when he went to New Haven CT and he wrote down each street he turned down and which direction he went in.  I went to google earth and local maps but could NOT find this one street he talked about. When I got the map from David Rumsey and overlayed it – there was the street he talked about – JUST AS HE SAID. I was so excited!”

Speaking of Google Related Things

In episode 23 I gave you an introductory tour of Google Photos, and I shared how Google Photos uses facial recognition to find people in your photos.

Well, Dana experienced this technology first-hand! Google Photos found her in a curved mirror reflection!

Dana found by Google Photos

Dana found by Google Photos!

The First Woman to Vote in Florida

A couple of weeks ago on August 26, 2020 here in the United States we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of women securing the right to vote.

The House of Representatives passed the amendment on May 21, 1919. Two weeks later, the Senate did as well. The amendment was adopted when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify on August 18, 1920. The 19th Amendment was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby on August 26, 1920.

It was a long road but finally women had the right to vote, and Elevenses with Lisa viewer Melanie Barton’s grandmother wasted no time doing so in 1920.

Melanie sent me her story, and I asked her to record it so I could turn it into a little video to share with all of you which you will see in this episode. (20:30 mark in the video.)

WC & Fay Bridges Miami

Epilogue: Shortly after voting Fay happily remarried. Here she is with her husband W.C. Bridges in Miami, FL.

House History Follow Up and Stitchery

Pamela Fane left a comment on Elevenses with Lisa Episode 20 on House History Research. She shared two wonderful stories about how the personal touch pays off when it comes to delving into house histories.

“I have land documents citing my ancestor lived on a farm in Bedfordshire, England.  While on a trip to Bedfordshire in the mid 1990s I ventured down a long driveway toward the house.  I saw a man on a farm tractor and asked him if I could take a photo of his house because my ancestor lived there in former times. 

He was not overly friendly and asked me who that might be and when. I told him Thomas Fane lived there in 1761.

Stitchery by Pamela Fane

“Priestly Farm” by Pamela Fane

Oh, well then, he said, warming to his subject; when you finish with the front, go ’round to the back and make sure you get a photo of the wing that juts from the house because he built that and the man turned back to his tractor.  Now there is a man who knows the history of his house. 

One of the pictures I took of the front of the house I turned into a stitchery which sits on my hall table.”

In her second story her husband got in on the act.

“On another trip I was leaning over a fence gawking at another ancestor’s property, also in Bedfordshire, England. 

My husband was encouraging me to knock on the door.  I didn’t want to bother anyone; a photo would be good enough. Well, not good enough for my husband so he knocked on the door. 

We were invited in and shown pages and pages of historical papers about the house.  The owners were very interested in the history of their house and wanted to know about the people who lived there in former times.  I was able to send them all sorts of information covering the 300 years my ancestors lived in the house. 

That knock on the door was a win/win for both of us.”

A Knock on the Door

An Ancestral Home in Miniature

After watch the episodes on house history and Irish research, Anne was keen to share a very special house that once belonged to her Irish ancestors. She emailed me a story she had written for her new blog Annecestreeforest which she started in January 2020. She also included a PowerPoint presentation with photos.

As I reviewed it I could see the video that it should be in my mind. I asked Anne to record a bit of her story and a descriptive tour which she happily did. The next day I put it all together as a video.

Anne wrote: “It took my grandfather (Alan R Cassidy) a full year, working every day, to build the replica. During that time, unbeknownst to me, he was diagnosed with cancer, and died shortly after giving me the house.

He was a loving person, a strong believer in family heritage, a proud Canadian, honoured to serve as a Chief Petty Officer in our navy, and as a carpenter thereafter for the government.

The highest praise he could give someone was “he is a good man” and he was definitely that.

William and Jane’s descendants include nurses, pilots, lawyers, carpenters, farmers, and an Order of Canada honoree. Their legacy touches us all and is remembered each time I look at the little house.”

 

Mirror cups

Let’s wrap up this episode with something really fun that’s not genealogy but is on topic because this show is called Elevenses with Lisa. The name comes from the fact that the traditional morning teatime / break time is 11:00.

Over the last 25 weeks I’ve shared my cups with you, and as you’ll remember Margaret shared her mother’s mix and match collection of teacups that it turned out were traditionally given at bridal showers.

Well, a few days ago Lindell Johnson sent me a little video she found about some exceptionally beautiful and innovative cups and saucers that bring a fresh perspective to driving tea, and art.

Variations of these cups and saucers are available online here: https://tinyurl.com/E-mirrorcups

Like the mirror cups and saucers, I hope that Elevenses with Lisa has brought you a fresh perspective of your genealogy and family history.

Resources

Bonus Download exclusively for Premium Members: Download the show notes handout

 

Please Support this Free Show

If you’re enjoying the show, you can help others benefit from it too by leaving a comment below. Your comments…

  • helps me understand what matters to you.
  • helps others gather new ideas and encourages them to give the show a try.
  • tells Google / YouTube that this show is interesting and worth sending other people to through the search results.
  • provides great potential content for future episodes.

Clicking the red subscribe on our Genealogy Gems YouTube and then giving this video a thumbs up below the videosubscribe to our YouTube channel

By leaving a comment (what you enjoyed, questions you have or what you’d like to see in the future) below this video after the show’s over or at the bottom of the show notes page if you’re watching on my Genealogy Gems website.

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