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America’s Historical Newspapers: an easy to use treasure chest for researchers

​”America’s Historical Newspapers collection and in particular the Early American Newspapers Series is very useful for research, as it contains a wide selection of primary source material. The researcher can pick and choose material relevant for his/her investigation relating, for example, to linguistics or history”, says Emeritus Professor Hiltunen.

America’s Historical Newspapers is a researcher’s treasure chest

Risto Hiltunen encourages to explore the various search functions of the database: ”Search results can be easily focused, for example, to news, opinion articles and advertisements, and limited e.g. by era or place of publication. Results can also be narrowed down by using a keyword search to find common expressions. The places of publication search allows you to target your search to articles published in a specific state, city or newspaper. You may also limit you search by date range. In addition, you can browse individual newspaper titles.”

“For example, at the Department of English, one research topic is slavery. The Department investigates, among other things, runaway slave notices in American newspapers in the 19th century. They are interested in the way slaves are portrayed in the advertisements and what linguistic expressions are used. If we search the database, for example, for City Gazette from 1825, July 26th, we will find that it contains several advertisements for runaway slaves. These notices are easy to identify, as they often depict a drawn figure of a running silhouette. This issue contains three notices one after another – one promises a 200 reward for the capture of a fugitive slave, second a 10 dollar reward and the third a 5 dollar reward”, continues Professor Risto Hiltunen and shows the newspaper page in question.

 “For researchers such an extensive resource is very welcome. Without access to this material provided by Turku University Library, a researcher would have had to apply for a grant and after receiving the grant travel over the ocean. Also in that case it would have been uncertain whether he would have gained access to all these materials.”

The online archive is easy to use and speeds up the research work

”This collection is easy to use – data collection and reading newspapers online is even faster than newspapers in print. This saves researchers both time and money. It’s great that the library acquired the newspaper archive for researchers as soon as it became available. The archive was published only last year by Readex Publisher and the publisher’s new resources include The American Slavery Collection, 1820-1922 and America's Historical Imprints , ” tells Professor Hiltunen.
 
”America’s Historical Newspapers collection is also multidisciplinary – several disciplines in both Humanities and Social Sciences can benefit from this online resource.”
 
”At the moment, research focusing on North America is strongly profiled in Turku, because the John Morton Center was established here recently. North American research has now entered a new phase.”
 
”The aim of the John Morton Center is to conduct and promote research and teaching relating to North America and to act as a forum for debate about North America nationwide. At present there are only two employees at the center in addition to the research network. Since the John Morton Center has been only recently founded, it cannot yet afford expensive research resources and digital materials such as America’s Historical Newspapers are essential.”
 
In networked research, digital resources are important as the same materials are available for all, they reach more users and enhance collaboration between researchers,” stresses Professor Hiltunen.

 

 
 
 
 

 

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Published date 3/18/2014 10:50 AM ,  Modified date 11/24/2016 9:28 AM