search strategies

11 Oct 2015

TinEye Reverse Image Search

Today’s post is about a cool Web-based service called TinEye Reverse Image Search.
TinEye is an image search company in Toronto, Canada. Their website (and related browser plug-ins) offer innovative ways to link specific images in your collections with their locations on the Internet. Don’t remember where you got that great family photo? Not even sure it’s Great-Aunt Myrtle and her sisters? Try TinEye!

As you can see from the featured image above, you can search three ways: 1) upload an image file, 2) drag and drop an image file, or 3) provide a URL for the image. Then perform the search. Here are the results in action:

I found the digital image below in my DropBox folder labeled “vernon_and_family2.jpg.” The Vernons seem like nice people and it’s a great family photo, but Vernon as surname or given name wasn’t in my tree or in my clients’ trees. I was at a loss to figure out 1) where this image came from, […]

26 Sep 2015

Search U.S. Newspaper Directory

Search U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present.
Chronicling America at the Library of Congress gets lots of good press from me and other genealogists for the free access provided to a wide variety of newspapers published in the United States over the past 320+ years.

But it’s easy to overlook the ability to search U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present database to find existing copies of newspapers in repositories throughout the United States. The U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present is part of the Chronicling America site, but it’s not too obvious either that it exists or what it can do for your research.

Looking at the example above of the main page, my eye always always goes to the wonderful digitized front pages of newspapers just waiting to be read. What can be overlooked is the link in the upper right (red box added) to search U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present. (Personally, I’ve always thought Google was a big success because of its […]

3 Sep 2015

First Friday Genealogy Issue Sep 4 2015

Subscribe now to get the next First Friday Genealogy issue Sep 4 2015 on cemetery resources. It’s free!
“First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” is a free genealogy newsletter, written from my perspective as a genealogy librarian and archivist.

Available (you guessed it) the first Friday of the month, “First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” contains tips and tricks for your family history research and highlights from this website, so you don’t miss a thing.

I care about genealogy from an archivist’s perspective, including using primary sources effectively, search strategies, archives news, and technology tips. Frequent topics include how to organize genealogy research, catalog family photographs, and simplify sources and citations. I also like sharing information on using iPads, iPhones, and Macs for genealogy research

There are lots of genealogy newsletters out there, so I want you to know that “First Friday Genealogy with Sassy Jane” is timed to inspire your weekend family history research. The September 2015 issue is out […]

28 Aug 2015

Finding Old U.S. Newspapers

Interested in finding old U.S. Newspapers by state and for free?
From 1982 to 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present.
The USNP supported projects in each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project was conducted by a single organization within a state or territory, usually the state’s largest newspaper repository. Project’s staff inventoried holdings in public libraries, county courthouses, newspaper offices, historical museums, college and university libraries, archives, and historical societies. Catalog records were entered into WorldCat. Microfilm copies of USNP newspapers are generally available to researchers anywhere in the country through interlibrary loan.
I’ve included the dollar amount of each state project, to reinforce the reality that access to information always requires funding. The dollar amount includes funds for planning, implementation, and continuation of multi-stage projects. The list provides the approximate number of titles and newspaper pages that were cataloged and microfilmed.

I’ve also included the lead agency in each state with URLs for their newspaper project Web sites. Please note, however, that not all institutions maintain a Web site specifically for their USNP projects.

(The links are current but if you find a dead one, use the comments section to let me know.)

Work continues to digitize selected United States newspapers through the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), in partnership with the Library of Congress. To view the NDNP digital resources at the Library of Congress, go to Chronicling America at



The Alabama Coalition for the Preservation of Newspapers (CPAN) was responsible for the production of over 19.6 million pages of newspaper microfilm in the state. The Alabama Department of Archives and History serves as the repository for CPAN master microfilm produced using NEH USNP grant funds as well as the microfilm members continued to produce after the end of the project. The project received $571,563 in NEH support.

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Web site:



The project has microfilmed 100,000 pages of such papers as the Forty-Ninth Star and the Esquimaux, an 1866 newspaper for men laying Western Union’s overland line. Included are handwritten newspapers from before the U.S. purchase of Alaska. The project received $650,190 in NEH support.

Alaska State Library

Web site:



The Arizona project has microfilmed over 1,212,881 pages of newsprint from 57 towns in all 15 counties of the state. Titles preserved include the Williams News, the Arizona Record, the Copper Era, and El Sol. Holdings are searchable online by title, city, county, and subject. The project received $1,033,226 in NEH support.

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

Web site: