New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project

In this installment of Web Sightings, we take a look at the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project, one of the latest states to be brought into the fold of the larger National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

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There are no New Jersey digital newspapers included in the Chronicling America portal for the Library of Congress. That situation is about to change with the recent announcement.

I am excited to learn and share with you that New Jersey has been included in the latest round of National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant winners as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).1 New Jersey is one of the states that I spend much of my time researching online, and the Chronicling America project of the Library of Congress is a topic that I have lectured on and written about in the past, on this blog and elsewhere, so this is a welcome announcement indeed.

According to the Rutgers University blog the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is a joint collaboration with Rutgers University and the New Jersey State Library, along with the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton, three big holders of historical collections in the Garden State.

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The $186,204 grant will allow for the inclusion of at least 100,000 digitized pages from New Jersey’s historic newspapers published between 1836-1922.2 The advisory board is already hard at work determining which of the 450 available microfilmed newspaper titles meet the criteria for inclusion.3 That list has now apparently been winnowed down to 29 titles.4 I sure hope the early Trenton newspapers make the cut, and that the Hightstown Gazette is among the selections as well.

Students, educators, historians and genealogists alike will benefit from their efforts. When complete, free access to the New Jersey content will be through the Chronicling America website, which will augment the 11.5 million plus pages already available online.

In addition to New Jersey, other new states added to the mix in 2016 are Alaska, Colorado and Maine, bringing the total number of project partners to 44.

States not yet represented are: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Wyoming. The long-term goal is for all states and U.S. territories to be represented, in roughly 30 million total page views.5

Sources:
1 “2016 NDNP Awards Announced – Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New Jersey Join the Program,” Program News, posted 17 Aug 2016, National Digital Newspaper Program (http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/news/ : accessed 28 Dec 2016).
2 “Rutgers University Libraries Receives Grant to Digitize Important Historical New Jersey Newspapers,” Press Release posted 18 Aug 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (https://blogs.libraries.rutgers.edu/njdnp/2016/08/18/njdnp-press-release/ : accessed 28 Dec 2016).
3 “Advisory Board and Newspaper Selection,” posted 21 Sep 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (https://blogs.libraries.rutgers.edu/njdnp/2016/09/21/advisory-board-and-newspaper-selection/ : accessed 08 Jan 2017).
4 “Project Update: December 1, 2016,” posted 1 Dec 2016, New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (https://blogs.libraries.rutgers.edu/njdnp/2016/12/01/project-update-december-1-2016/: accessed 08 Jan 2017).
5 Barbara Quint, “Chronicling America Service Offers Comprehensive Directory of U.S. Newspapers,” posted 26 Mar 2007, Information Today (http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/Chronicling-America-Service-Offers-Comprehensive-Directory-of-US-Newspapers-35756.asp : accessed 08 Jan 2017).

Web Sightings: Kentucky Tax List Articles

Tax records are among the most under-utilized records by genealogists. Kandie Adkinson has a comprehensive series of articles on historic Kentucky tax records online that may help bridge that gap.

Kandie Adkinson NGS Presentation on DVDA presentation on DVD by Kandie Adkinson, an expert on Kentucky land and tax records

When I go to national genealogical conferences, I am typically overwhelmed by the sheer number of available classes. With so many simultaneous great sessions it is difficult to choose among them. Narrowing the selection down to one is darned near impossible, but is necessary due to the laws of physics. I can only be in one place at a time.

One way I make the cut is to see what classes are being recorded that would then be available for purchase. Not all sessions are recorded. Even if recorded, some topics lend themselves to live viewing because of the use of visual aids like PowerPoint. If a class is recorded, then I may choose to purchase the DVD rather than attend in person.

It was for these reasons I came home with the DVD from Kandie Adkinson’s presentation at the National Genealogical Society’s 2014 annual conference in Richmond, Virginia. The presentation was titled: “Kentucky Land Patents: Mind Bogglers or Treasures?” I have listened to this presentation perhaps 7 or 8 times now, and wish I had chosen to attend her talk in person. It is that good.

Because of the quality of Adkinson’s talk, I recently decided to search for more information about her and other material that she may have published. I learned that Kandie Prather Adkinson is an Administrative Specialist with the Land Office Division of the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office with more than 30 years experience with land records. She also received an award in 2011 from the Kentucky Historical Society for two articles about tax records published in Kentucky Ancestors, the state genealogical journal.

Why am I telling you about this great content from a DVD and a printed journal from 2010 in an article about web resources? As I have learned, four articles about Kentucky tax records authored by Adkinson were published in 2015 at Kentucky Ancestors Online, a digital publication of the Kentucky Historical Society.

Here are the direct links to all four of Kandie Adkinson’s fantastic articles on Kentucky tax records, covering the time period from 1792-1880. Click on the links under each image below to read the full article.

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Tax Lists (1792-1840): An Overlooked Resource for Kentucky History and Land Titles

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Tax Lists (1841-1860): An Overlooked Resource for Kentucky History and Land Titles

Kentucky Civil War Tax Lists
 Kentucky Tax Lists: Revenue Collection During the Civil War (1861-1865)

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Kentucky Tax Lists: Revenue Collection after the Civil War (1866-1880)

Perhaps after reading these articles you will be encouraged to delve into tax research whatever the geographic location of interest to you. I know that I will definitely pursue Kentucky tax records on my next visit to the Family History Library in January 2016 in an effort to learn more about my early Bingaman ancestors who were supposedly living there by 1798.

A New NGS Member Benefit

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) quietly released a new digital publication called NGS Monthly in late February 2015. I say “quietly” simply because it wasn’t on my radar until this morning, even though I am a long-time member who follows them on Twitter, reads the printed publications of the society and their e-newsletter.

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NGS Monthly, the new digital publication of the National Genealogical Society

Although NGS Monthly appears to be a standard WordPress blog, only the first four articles (those published in February & March 2015) are available to the public at large. Clicking on any other article link takes you to a page where you can login with your membership credentials or are invited to join the society.

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The NGS Monthly “paywall”

The orange subscribe button on the website allows you to add the blog’s RSS feed to your favorite feed reader. When a new article is published you will be notified. Without logging in, however, you will only be able to read the first few sentences of the post.

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NGS Monthly via RSS feed. Click to enlarge.

Despite the inconvenience of having to sign in every time, this is a fantastic new resource for members of NGS. If you have not yet joined the National Genealogical Society perhaps this latest membership benefit will sway you.

FREE articles, written by Melissa A. Johnson, CG. Note that you must be a member of NGS to click into any of the internally referenced NGSQ journal articles.

“What is an NGSQ Case Study?”
http://ngsmonthly.ngsgenealogy.org/what-is-an-ngsq-case-study/

“Eight Tips for Deconstructing an NGSQ Case Study”
http://ngsmonthly.ngsgenealogy.org/eight-tips-for-deconstructing-an-ngsq-case-study/

“The Great Mix-Up: Sources, Information, Evidence, and Proof”
http://ngsmonthly.ngsgenealogy.org/the-great-mix-up-sources-information-evidence-and-proof/

The Proof Is In the Writing
http://ngsmonthly.ngsgenealogy.org/the-proof-is-in-the-writing/