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).

Historic American Newspapers Website Bug

Last weekend, I became aware of the fact that the Library of Congress Historic American Newspapers website had recently added more than one million digitized American newspapers to its collection. I spent the bulk of my free time the next four days running searches and doing data entry in my genealogy database.

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Main page of the Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers website

In the course of this activity, I noticed a “bug” in the display of filtered search results when using the Advanced Search form. By default, search results on this site are ordered in terms of Relevance, or how many times your search terms appear on the page. Since I typically prefer to see my results ordered by date, I change the Sort by parameter by using the drop down arrow. However, when this option is selected, search results limited by state are no longer retained. The upshot is that my “hits” balloon and include states that I did not select at the outset.

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Chronicling America Advanced Search form 


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My search for Thomas Mulkey initially yielded 8 results from Missouri and Oregon newspapers

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Changing the default sort order to Date causes my hits to increase, and includes states that I did not select in my original search 

This problem does not occur when using the search box on the main page and changing the sort order of the results, but you cannot limit your search to newspapers from only two states if you use this form. For now, my advice would be to search a single state at a time if you want to sort your results by date.

I tweeted this issue yesterday, and reported the bug to the Library of Congress via their website comment form. Hopefully it will be an easy fix for them. I will report here when there is a response.

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In case you are interested, John Thomas Mulkey is my third-great-grandfather, a son of the noted preacher, Philip Mulkey. Many from the extended Mulkey family were early pioneers who relocated from Missouri to Oregon via the Oregon Trail to stake Oregon Donation Land Claims.

1889 Obituary of Samuel Fryman

Transcription of the 1889 obituary of Samuel Fryman, a member of the Home Guards in the border state of Missouri during the Civil War

Holt County Sentinel masthead 22 Nov 1889

An earlier post included the newspaper image of the obituary of Samuel Fryman, my 3rd great-grandfather (through his son, Frederick Fryman). I have posted the transcription here as well to aid other researchers. Please note that I have taken some liberties with the formatting to improve readability for this media platform, but all wording remains true to the original. Like many obituaries, it provides a neat capsule of his life, but is incomplete and contains incorrect information.

[Transcription follows]

Death Roll.

FRYMAN.

Samuel Fryman was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, January 15, 1807, and died at the house in this place, November 13, 1889. His first wife was Mary Shepherd, to whom he was married February 9, 1832 in Belmont County, Ohio.

They came to this county in 1853 and located on a farm three miles east of the Court House. By this union there were 11 children, 7 sons and 4 daughters. Of these, 4 sons and 2 daughters are now living. George and James Fryman who live here and Mrs. Josiah Smith, at Forest City. Frank at Seneca, Kansas, Mrs. Jacob Baskins in Jewell County, Kansas, and Thomas in Custer County, Nebraska.

Mr. Fryman left 31 grand-children living. Of these, George has 7, James 2, Mrs. Smith 4, Thomas 3, Fred 6, Mrs. Baskins 9. There were also 18 great-grand-children—7 by George’s children and 11 by Mrs. Baskins. Mary Fryman died, August 9, 1879. After a year or so Mr. Fryman married Margaret Dunkelberger, who died a few years afterwards. October 22, 1885, he married Mary E. Crumb, who survives him. All of his children were by his first wife.

Mr. Fryman after the death of his first wife left the farm, and went to Minnesota Valley, where he lived awhile, when he came here, and remained ‘till his death.

His death was the result of kidney disease and the immediate cause of death overwork. He was a man of a vigorous constitution, but overestimated his strength. He was confined to his bed only a few days. The burial took place at the family burying ground at the old place east of town.

Mr. Fryman, though a Democrat before the war, early espoused the cause of the National Government against the states in rebellion. He served in the Home Guards at all times when their services were required and was ever a consistent, law-abiding citizen. He joined the M. E. Church in Ohio more than sixty years ago, and when he came to Holt County attached himself to the Richville congregation. When he removed to Minnesota Valley he dropped his membership in the church, and never renewed it although he remained consistent to the faith ‘till his death.

[Transcription ends.]

Source: “Death Roll,” Holt County Sentinel (Oregon, Missouri), 22 Nov 1889, p. 4, col. 3, Samuel Fryman obituary; digital images, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90061417/1889-11-22/ed-1/seq-4/ : accessed 12 Apr 2014).