Newspaper Research 101: Find Your Ancestors in American News Sources

Newspapers are essentially a time capsule for your ancestors. Papers can provide clues to major and minor events in your ancestor’s life through obituaries, social columns, birth announcements and other news stories. In this class you’ll learn how to find and use newspaper archives—online, on paper and on microfilm—to put together missing pieces of your genealogical research.

Tuition:

$99.99 ($89.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

4 Weeks

Instructor:

James M. Beidler

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates


WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • How US newspapers evolved
  • Where to search for newspapers, on paper, on microfilm and online
  • How to find and use abstracts
  • What you’ll find in old newspapers

WHO SHOULD TAKE THIS COURSE

  • Researchers new to using online newspapers
  • Genealogists who would like a better understanding of the history of newspapers

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: REQUIREMENTS & SUPPLIES

  • A general understanding of the principles of genealogy
  • Names of family members you’d like to locate in newspapers
  • You’ll get the most out of this class with access to GenealogyBank, the largest online newspaper archive for family history research and the sponsor for this course. You can sign up for an individual subscription or access the service through a library that subscribes.

Outline

Lesson 1: Background and Types of Newspapers
A. Introduction
B. History of newspapers
C. Geographic reach (and when there’s none for a specific town)
D. Ethnic and other types of newspapers

Lesson 2: What You’ll Find in Newspapers
A. Obituaries
B. Other vital events
C. More sophisticated uses

Lesson 3: Finding Newspapers
A. Possible media types
I. Paper
II. Microfilm
III. Digital
B. Archives of owners and historical societies
C. Library of Congress listing
D. National Digital Newspaper Program
E. Online newspapers

Lesson 4: Accessing Information in Newspapers
A. Online digitized archives
I. Obits only
II. Full newspapers
B. Finding microfilms
C. Indexed abstracts

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