Tag Archives: Vermont Digital Newspaper Project

Genealogy Search Tips for Chronicling America

Often marriages are printed in varying detail in historic newspapers. This notice appeared, among others, in the Bennington Banner and Reformer, October 15, 1903.

The search for ancestors, while generally rewarding, can be difficult and time-consuming; as an amateur genealogist I can attest to this. For genealogy research, certainly, historic newspapers contain a wealth of information about relatives, for newspapers can include local news, marriages and deaths, participant lists (military recruitment lists, organizations, meetings, parties), advertisements, social and political functions, local individual updates (e.g., “Mrs. William Johnson received her parents this past Wednesday”–these may or may not be helpful!), and legal notices (deeds, court happenings, divorces, estates). This is, if you can find it amid hundreds of thousands of pages. Generally, this has often meant hours of scanning newspaper microfilm or going through actual newspapers at a historical society or library.

Thankfully, Chronicling America provides an online platform for searching historic newspapers from across the United States. Chronicling America is an accessible and free search tool that greatly eases the search of newspapers for traces of the past. Currently, thirty-eight states, including Vermont, have over 6.6 million pages from 1,105 newspapers available for search on the website from the years of 1836-1922. Continue reading Genealogy Search Tips for Chronicling America

User Spotlight Series: Vermont Milk Chocolate Company

Periodically, we’ll be interviewing researchers and showcasing projects that are using content from Vermont historical newspapers on Chronicling America.

Our first interviewee is Frances Gubler, a graduate historic preservation student at the University of Vermont, who has been conducting research this fall on historic industrial and manufacturing buildings on Flynn ???????Avenue in Burlington, Vermont, as part of a class research project. Fran graciously agreed to meet and share some of her newspaper findings.

To start, I asked Fran what she found valuable about Chronicling America.
“Chronicling America is easy to use. Microfilm is interesting, but it is also intimidating. With Chronicling America, you can do a quick keyword search and get results,” said Fran. Continue reading User Spotlight Series: Vermont Milk Chocolate Company

Photos from NDNP Awardee Meeting 2013

As mentioned in a previous post, Project Director (Birdie MacLennan), Project Librarian (Erenst Anip), and Digital Support Specialist (Karyn Norwood) attended and presented at the National Digital Newspaper Project (NDNP) Awardee Meeting, September 11-13 in Washington DC. Click HERE for photos from the event.NDNP Awardee Meeting 2013 - VT Team

New VTDNP Article Published in Journal

Just published in the journal Library Resources & Technical Services: “The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project and the National Digital Newspaper Program,” by Tom McMurdo, past Project Librarian (currently Collections and Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Vermont Department of Libraries), and Birdie MacLennan, Director of VTDNP and Resource Description and Analysis Services at Bailey/Howe Library (UVM).

This article provides a detailed overview of the VTDNP as a state partner in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). Institutional partnerships and the engagement of committed individuals serve as a foundation to the VTDNP and provide an avenue to expand state-wide infrastructures to accommodate large-scale microfilm-to-digital conversion and preservation efforts. Through collaboration and outreach, project partners select and digitize historical newspapers on microfilm that were published between 1836 and 1922. The content is archived by LC and made freely available through the website Chronicling America. A detailed bibliography is included.

Read the article directly here: https://library.uvm.edu/vtnp/VTDNP_in_LRTS_v57n3_2013July.pdf

Or, view it through our website: https://library.uvm.edu/vtnp/presentations.html

“The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project and the National Digital Newspaper Program,” by Tom McMurdo and Birdie MacLennan. Library Resources & Technical Services, 53, no.3 (July 2013): 148-163.

PBS documentary, The Abolitionists, and a headline from Vermont

The Abolitionists has been airing this month in three parts on PBS’ American Experience series – Tuesdays, January 8th, 15th, and 22nd, 2013 from 9-10.

The Abolitionists is a fascinating documentary that features extracts from many archives and yes, many newspaper headlines and articles. These primary resource materials from the nineteenth century figure prominently.

You can watch The Abolitionists on your local Public Television station.
The Vermont Public Television (VPT) schedule is listed here: https://www.vpt.org/show/19661/101

You can also view it online:

The National Endowment for the Humanities provided major funding for The Abolitionists.  The Library of Congress and its Chronicling America website, and numerous other archival and cultural heritage organizations contributed to the development and creation of The Abolitionists.

In August 2012, the VTDNP was contacted by Tiffany Hagger – one of the researchers working on The Abolitionists.  She wrote to request a high resolution image of a page containing the newspaper article “California and Slavery”from the Burlington Free Press, Mar. 1, 1850 (p.2) to use in the documentary.  She had discovered the article on the Chronicling America website.  VTDNP was pleased to play a small role in contributing this image for inclusion in The Abolitionists.

If viewing The Abolitionists on the Internet or on the DVD, you can use the time or chapter index feature to see the Burlington Free Press “California and Slavery” headline that begins “Chapter 12 – The Great Compromise,” – at approximately 1:25 into the video.  The camera lingers on the Burlington Free Press banner and article headline “California and Slavery,” and then scrolls down to zoom in on the text, “the Union is not worth preserving” while a voice-over introduces the question of territories acquired after the Mexican-American War and the debate surrounding California joining the union as a free state, along with other circumstances leading to the “Great Compromise” of 1850.

You can read the complete full-text to the article on Chronicling America: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84023127/1850-03-01/ed-1/seq-2/

And don’t forget to watch The Abolitionists !
It is a compelling and well-done documentary, and part of our nation’s history.

– Birdie MacLennan