This section of the site provides an introduction to searching and browsing the online archives, and to working with any digitized newspaper content that your searching or browsing may find. Questions and suggestions about any aspects of the site's design and function are always welcome.
A “quick search” Search box is provided in the upper right of each screen on the islandnewspapers.ca site. You can use this box to search for personal names, places, or for topics of interest.
- Searching is not case-sensitive.
- All terms entered in this search box will be searched for (Boolean AND) — for example, entering souris dragger will retrieve newspaper pages where both “Souris” and “dragger” are mentioned.
- Phrases should be enclosed in quotation marks (e.g. “fish plant”)
For all but the most basic searches, use of the Advanced Search screen is recommended. Advanced Search is accessed through the “Search” link, shown in the black tabs at the top right of every screen on the islandnewspapers.ca site.
- Click the + button to open additional search boxes: this is useful for searches where you wish to combine multiple search terms
- Use Boolean operators to combine terms:
- AND — retrieves only pages on which all terms appear;
- OR — retrieves pages on which any terms appear — useful for searching synonyms or similar concepts (e.g. railroad OR railway)
- NOT — blocks pages with irrelevant terms that might otherwise be retrieved by your search (e.g. “fish plants” NOT “nova scotia” will exclude references to fish plants in that province)
Search results will be displayed in sets of 20, with the pages containing the highest frequency of search terms shown first. It should be noted that this relevancy ranking is somewhat imprecise, so we recommend inspecting all search results carefully; if the result is so large as to make this impractical, then you should consider refining your search, perhaps using the Advanced Search screen.
Another way to work with large result sets is to use the Limit Your Search … faceting features shown at the left of the result list. This allows you to quickly view subsets of results, broken down by date(decade, year, and month): clicking the + to the right of each listed date will show all the relevant matches. In the example shown below, we see that there were 14 matches to the search in 1952 newspapers: clicking the + shows all the months in that year where the matches were found; we could, in turn, then click any listed month to see the relevant issues.
The standard arrangement for any newspaper archive is, of course, by date. The islandnewspapers.ca digital archive reflects this arrangement online, so if you know the date or date range you are interested in, browsing will likely provide the most efficient way to access the newspaper(s) you want.
- Click Guardian in the black tab bar shown at the top right of all islandnewspapers.ca screens (this will be changed to a more general Browse tab as and when other newspapers are added)
- This will open apage providing contextual information about The Guardian’s publication history (derived from Heather Boylan’s Checklist and historical directory of Prince Edward Island newspapers, 1787-1986): in the upper part of this screen, you will see two options, Calendar View and All front pages
Clicking Calendar View opens a screen with all available years of a digitized newspaper in a selectable list: simply scroll to the year you want. In this example, we will look for the newspaper from March 1, 1911.
- Once you have clicked on a year, a calendar with all of the months represented will be displayed.
- Those days with issues will be linked and selectable, while those without will be gray in colour. Select the day you would like to view, in this case March 1.
Once searching or browsing have brought you to the newspaper page you want, there are several options for viewing particular parts of the page more closely.
Once you click on the small “thumbnail” display of the full newspaper page, a screen like this will open.
If you reached the page through a search, you will note that your search terms are highlighted by pink blocks.
You can scroll over all parts of a magnified page view by holding your left mouse button down and moving the mouse over the page.
To zoom in, you can use the + icon at upper left or click anywhere on the page.
To zoom out, you can use the - icon at upper left.
The home icon at upper left returns you to a full-page view.
The toggle page icon at upper left allows you to view the newspaper page in full screen view; if in full screen view, it allows you to exit full screen and revert back to a “framed” view.
Searching will retrieve specific newspaper pages, but browsing will lead you to entire newspaper issues. Thus, when you click on a date in the Calendar list, or a front page in the All Front Pages list, you will see a grid showing all the pages of a newspaper issue, as seen below. Simply click on a page “thumbnail” to view the full page.
Once you you are viewing a full page, you will note several navigation options at the top of your screen, above the digital page image.
This Image drop-down list allows you to move through the pages of a newspaper issue; simply click a page number in the list.
To the right of the Image drop-down list are the Page options, Prev, Next, and All (for all pages in an issue)
To the right of the Page options are the Prev / Next Issue links (if you originally reached the first page being viewed through a Search results list, note that Previous / Next issue refers to the publication date of the original issues, not to newspaper issues that may have appeared in your original Search results list). All Issues opens the Calendar View listing of all digitized issues.
When you are viewing a digitized newspaper page, you will see a blue scissors icon at the upper right of your screen, just above the digital page image. Once you have used the zoom and scroll options (discussed in section C) to bring the part of the newspaper page you’re interested to a suitable magnification — for best results, we generally recommend getting the content you want to the largest size possible without going outside the viewing area — you can click the blue scissors icon.
You will then be given the option to download or print the section of the newspaper page you were just viewing; you can also copy the persistent link provided and paste this into an e-mail, word processing document, etc.
If you would like to copy an entire page, we strongly recommend using the Download option to the right of the scissors icon: the jp2 option should give the best results in most cases (as of February 2014, there is a technical issue causing some the Download file options to display inconsistently — pdf and tiff file options will sometimes display, but not always; we are working to correct this inconsistency. In any event, jp2 is usually the best option, as it produces a compact file of reasonable quality)
The OCR Download option will produce a .txt file containing the raw text on the newspaper page, as interpreted by the scanning software: because this text is machine-generated, it will contain many errors and unwieldy formatting. We would only recommend downloading of the OCR file if intensive textual analyses/parsing is required.