Google News Archives:
News You Can Use
Lisa A. Alzo shares five ways to find your family in thisgreat genealogical resource (page 7, June/July 2011)
Google has become a favorite “go to” tool for genealogists. But beyond vanity searches and plugging a surname and hometown into the search box, there are a number of other features of this Internet giant that can provide valuable information about an ancestor. This article will discuss five ways to find ancestors using the Google News Archive.
The News Archive program is part of Google News, http://news.google.com, in which Google partners with publishers and repositories to bring historical newspaper archives online. Using the search function provides an easy way to search and explore millions of articles of historical value, which contains both free and pay-for-access content. For more information, visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” page at http://news.google.com/archivesearch/partner.html. There are several ways to access the Google News Archive. The easiest is to Google it! In other words, search for it by name: “Google News Archive.” It will typically appear as the first result, with other related entries also appearing close to the top. You may find these other hits worth a look for additional information. (This tip applies to getting to other lesser-known features of Google as well.) You can also type in the specific URLs for accessing either the news archive or news timeline, http://news.google.com/archivesearch and http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com. You can then bookmark these URLs or add them to your favorites (depending on your browser). In order to see currently included newspapers, simply go to http://news.google.com/newspapers (titles are categorized alphabetically).
To get the most out of your searches on News archive, you can add “operators” that fine-tune your search terms. There are three major operators for News archive search: Date Restrict (lets you specify a time period for a specific event by entering the date as a year, month and year, or particular day); Source Restrict (to search for information from a particular publication or information provider); and Price Restrict (no price or all prices). For example, if I was searching for information on Andrew Carnegie, I could date restrict the search to between 1890 and 1920; I could further restrict it to articles just from the “Pittsburg Press”. When the results are returned, you also see a handy clickable timeline (this helps you to easily select a particular time period you’re interested in). There are other additional operators you can use just as you would with Google Web search (“+”, “-”, “site:”, and more) to further restrict your searches... to see the rest of this article, subscribe now and request to start with this issue!