I’ve been doing a lot of research on Newspapers.com recently. I downloaded a number of articles about my maternal grandparents, Crawford and Susie (Jeffries) Brown, who lived in Spokane, Washington, from 1936 until their deaths in the 1990s. My mother, Betty Sue Brown Adams, was born in Missouri in 1933, but the family to Spokane when she was three and lived there until she left for college.
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane’s daily paper, is part of Newspapers.com Publisher Extra collection. I did a seven-day free trial with them and when it was over I still I had research I wanted to do, so I signed up for a 30-day subscription for $19.99. (I didn’t want to spend $60 for a six-month subscription.) With the clock ticking, I’ve been downloading articles and also working through my backlog of downloaded articles. In doing so much research on Newspapers.com, I’ve developed a method of downloading and processing the articles that I thought I’d share with you here with some screenshots in case it’s helpful.
As always, I’m sharing what works for me…that doesn’t make it the right way or the best way. And it doesn’t mean I won’t change it up later. But this is what I’m doing now. (Several years ago, I did a screencast of how I process newspaper articles from Genealogy Bank, which was slightly different. If you’re interested, you can check it out here.)
When you find an article on Newspapers.com, you have the option to clip the article so that you find it later on Newspapers.com and others can see it (you can also download, share or save on Ancestry.com by clipping an article), or you can print or save the article. Because I don’t plan to keep my Publisher’s Extra subscription and because I prefer to download everything to my hard drive, I choose to the download the article and also to download the entire page it is on, for context. Here’s what I do:
Once I’ve found an article that I want to save (in this example, it’s a 1943 article about my ten-year-old mother performing in a musical program at a PTA meeting), I click on Print/Save.
Then I click on Select portion of page. (Click on any of these images to make them larger.)
Once I click Save, I’m given an option of saving it as a jpg or a pdf. When you save as a pdf, the source information is included. I always save a clip as a pdf.
Once I click Save as PDF, the article is downloaded to my hard drive. When I open it, it looks like this:
You can see that Newspapers.com has included the newspaper title, date, and page number of the article, as well as the date it was downloaded and the URL for the image. This is really helpful when I create the source citation in Reunion, the genealogy software I use on my Mac. Notice that I have changed the filename of the article per my file-naming protocol. I always put “clip” in the filename for the clipped articles, since I will also download the entire page using the same filename (minus “clip”). I save the article in my Surnames folder.
Next, I go back to newspapers.com, click on Print/Save again, and this time select Entire Page. Then I’m asked if I want to save it as a jpg or pdf. I always save the whole page, as a jpg. That’s just my personal preference.
Now it’s time to glean information from the article and add it to Reunion.
I take a fact from the article, enter it into Reunion and create a source citation. In Reunion, I use the template for Newspapers to create my source citations. So here’s what the source record for this article looks like (again, click any image for a larger view):
Note that I have attached both files, the clip and the whole page, as multimedia files in the source citation, by simply dragging them from the Finder. But before I do that, I do one other thing. I click on the little clipboard icon in the Preview pane and I paste the citation into the metadata of the file. Here’s how I do that.
I highlight the two files (article and whole page) in Finder, right (or control) click on them and then select Get Info. That brings up the metadata for those files. I paste the source citation in the Comments field. This is really helpful later on if I want to see which source a particular file is attached to.
Then I drag the files into the source record. After I’ve gleaned all the information from the articles, I file them in my folder structure.
A final note: In this particular example, you might be curious how I entered this tidbit about a musical program in Reunion. Under Residence in the Events tab, I added the date of the newspaper article and Spokane, recording that my mother lived in Spokane on 16 May 1943. But I took it a little further. This was one of six Spokesman-Review articles I found about my mother performing as a girl. So in the Notes tab I also created a little listing of those performances. Here’s a screenshot:
I don’t know if it looks complicated laid out like this, but it really isn’t. I pretty easily got into the rhythm of it. The process can get a little tedious, but I think it’s worth the effort to have both the clip and the whole page downloaded. The little nuggets you get from newspaper research can really paint a great picture!