April 2011

The Scotsman Digital Archive

The Scotsman first appeared on 25 January 1817 in Edinburgh and was published once a week. It upset the city establishment. Some people began surreptitiously obtaining copies so that they were not seen purchasing it and it was read behind closed doors. It was a liberal publication with rising readership. You can find a more detailed history of The Scotsman on their website.

The home page says “Here you can search every newspaper published between 1817 and 1950.” You can find a timeline on the home page that shows all the events covered in The Scotsman from 1817-2005. You can go into the timeline and read the articles that are mentioned on it.

It is free to search the digital archives but to view a page you will need to subscribe. The rates are quite reasonable starting at £7.95 for 24 hour access to £159.95 for a full year pass. You can view a sample page for free on the home page.

When you do your search you get a small clip of the page that really does not provide much information. You also get a relevance percentage which may help. On the side you get the date, section, page and word count. The first three items will help you create your citation for anything you find.

When you have found an article you want to view you have a couple of choices. You can show the full page or open the article. You can “add to clippings” to save the image on the website. You will still need to pay to see the clipping. When you use this option the article is clipped with information that reminds you why you clipped it, the date you clipped it and relevant information about the edition the clipping came from originally. They are stored in the Members Centre and can be accessed from anywhere. You also have the option of saving the article in PDF format.

One thing to remember while you are doing your search is the frequency of publishing. The Scotsman was published weekly from 25 Jan 1817 – 28 Dec 1822, twice weekly from 1 Jan 1823 – 29 Dec 1858 and daily from 1 Jan 1859 onwards. It has never been published on a Sunday.

They have a good search tips section so go in and read it ahead of time.

If you have nothing to do on a rainy afternoon why not go in and spend some time searching the Scotsman database. The cost for 24 hours access in Canadian dollars on today’s exchange rate is $13.00 not bad for an afternoon’s entertainment.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

New England Regional Genealogical Conference

I had the opportunity to attend the New England Regional Genealogical Conference from April 7th to April 10th in Springfield, Massachusetts. This was the first time I had attended this conference. The people were great and the atmosphere very relaxed. There was a good selection of speakers, lecture topics and a large marketplace.

Most of my time was spent in the marketplace as I was helping Louise St. Denis at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies booths. Sharon Murphy and Lynn Martel were also assisting Louise. While working at the booth I met Henry Worthington a reader of this blog. It is was great to meet someone who follows “The Passionate Genealogist.”

While there I got the chance to visit the Museum Quadrangle in Springfield. I had heard there was a sculpture garden with characters from Dr. Seuss and then found the four museums. What a treasure hidden in Springfield.

If you have never been to NERGC then I would suggest you think about attending their next conference in 2013 to be held in Manchester, New Hampshire.

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

National Library of Ireland Databases

Have you visited the National Library of Ireland’s website recently? They have a lot of information available on their website to help the family historian.

The first is their page on doing family history research at the National Library of Ireland. Here you can download a PDF file to help you get started. The file is two pages and gives brief descriptions of civil, church, census and land and property records. There is a list of useful addresses to further your research.

On this page you will find a link to a description of the Genealogy Advisory Service which is free to all those who go to the library.

There is a searchable online catalogue and if you are lucky you may find some digitzed items in the results. You can narrow your search to just digitized items but you may miss out on something important.

Sources Database is the online version of Hayes Manuscript. I discussed this database in a blog posting entitled “Hayes Manuscript now Online at the National Library of Ireland.”

The Newspaper Database is a searchable database to find newspapers available at the library by either publication name or by publication town/city or county. You can chose to include titles from the Newsplan Project which are not held by the National Library of Ireland.

Manuscript Collection Lists provides a detailed listing for the contents of the manuscript collections. You can search by the following categories: business, cartographic, estate, family, Gaelic, literary, military, personal and political. You can browse the records by these categories as well.

Photographic Databases include: The Lawrence Collection, The Clonbrock Collection, The O’Dea Collection and The Poole Collection. This past St. Patrick’s Day Ancestry announced that they had the Lawrence Collection. You can view it for free here. Searches can be done by county, description keyword and location keyword.

The Clonbrock Collection can be searched by title, subject and year. The O’Dea Collection can be searched by county, location, description, date and subject. The Poole Collection can be searched by subject and year. There are some more specific search criteria but these will be the ones used by most family historians.

The Digital Photographs Database has eight collections: Clarke Collection; Eason Collection; Independent H Collection; Lawrence Royal & Cabinet Collections; Keogh Collection; Poole Whole Plate Collection; Stereo Pair Collection and the Tempest Collection.

I found the Stereo Pair Collection fun to go through. They were meant to be viewed in a stereoscope where you would get a 3D image of the photograph. The years covered are 1860-1890.

There was one of the Little Sugar Loaf in Wicklow that brought back memories. We used to climb the Little and Great Sugar Loaf mountains and have a picnic near the top. They were called Sugar Loaf because they looked like a loaf of sugar. You used to get sugar in a conical shape and shave off the amount you needed. You have the ability to order a digital copy of the images.

Why not go in and have a little fun at the National Library of Ireland today. You do not have to travel to Ireland to do it!

©2011 – Blair Archival Research