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Chronicling America - Minnesota Newspapers Digitized and Online

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

There is exciting progress in the effort to digitize historic newspapers in Minnesota!

The Minnesota Historical Society has been working with the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), thanks to a grant made possible by NEH and the Library of Congress.  They have just finished their first grant cycle and have digitized and made available online 25 years of The Saint Paul Globe Newspaper (and its earlier titles: Daily Globe and St. Paul Daily Globe), from 1880-1905 and one year of the Minneapolis Journal newspaper (1901).

These newspapers can be found on the Chronicling America website – http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

In the next grant cycle more years of the Journal will be added, as well as several other newspaper titles from around Minnesota.  About 15 other states also have newspapers up on Chronicling America. Compared to the days of looking at microfilm, Chronicling America is an amazing resource – both for the ability to view the newspapers and to search their content online.  Images can be downloaded and printed out.

You can search by newspaper and year, and can search individual newspaper pages using a keyword search.  The keyword search is particularly neat and is an extremely fast way to search for information on your topic. This is a great way to access primary sources and find visuals for your projects in the form of newspaper headlines and political cartoons.

If you are doing a Minnesota topic be sure to check out the website!

Happy Researching! - Laura

Tips to Enhance Students’ Research Experience

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

For many History Day students, research will entail a few trips to the school library and multiple trips to the Internet. But the school library only has so many books on World War II and women’s suffrage, and the Internet certainly has its limitations. Encouraging students (or enticing them with extra credit) to move beyond school walls and the allure of Google will not only improve their research experience and skills, but it will also help them create more well-rounded projects.

  • Conduct Interviews. Students who interview participants in historic events or experts on historical topics come away with a face-to-face connection to their topic. Try local community colleges, veterans’ groups or county historical societies for potential interviewees.
  • Visit Local Repositories. County historical societies often have gems within their resource collections, including war letters, scrapbooks, local newspapers, church records and immigration resources. The Minnesota Historical Society has links to several state organizations.
  • Take a Research Field Trip. Either as a class or individually, student research field trips can present excellent resources. Historic sites are fun and hands-on, but they can also be considered primary sources.
  • Visit a Large University Library. University libraries can be intimidating, but if you get in contact with the librarians beforehand, they can often have resources, programs or staff prepared to help students navigate the floors upon floors of resources.
  • Contact Long-Distance Repositories. If the resources a student needs are only available at a university or museum several states away, they might give up since they cannot travel to the repository itself. But students can contact the librarians or educators at that facility, and oftentimes negotiate interviews or photocopies of documents.
  • Access Business Archives. Organizations like Wells Fargo and Mayo Clinic often have archives that relate to their business activities, or have accessioned their documents to another respository.