Saturday, April 09, 2016

Explore _Chicago Genealogist_ Online

In recent months, I've begun to work on polishing my research and writing skills and I've discovered that reading genealogy articles is an enjoyable way to study up. It's helpful to hear what people have to say, but it's also helpful to think about how they say it.

This evening, I found myself wanting to read through back issues of The Chicago Genealogist, the Chicago Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, and I discovered digital images of volumes 1-39 are online at CARLI Digital Collections. ("CARLI" stands for "Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois.")

I decided to explore the collection and thought it might be useful to share a few things I learned.

What do the publications include?

Answer: Articles related to Chicago families, book reviews, queries, record transcriptions, and many lists of names of Chicago residents drawn from every imaginable source.

So, how do you access the online images? 

Start by visiting CARLI's "Chicago Genealogist (Newberry Library) page at http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/nby_cgs.

This page offers two options: search and browse.

Search

As a test, I searched "macfarland," a Chicago surname related to my current project. The results returned two thumbnails. Clicking on one of the thumbnails took me to a list of photos that the author hoped to return to descendants and the entry--"MacFARLAND, Joseph (father of Henry)"--matched the family I'm researching. Nice find.

Search tips:
  • If you start with a broad search, you can add keywords and easily narrow the results.
  • If you click through to view a search result and find yourself on the cover page, scroll through the thumbnails on the right and click on the one that's outlined in red. The keyword(s) will appear there. (This worked on a Mac; not sure if it would be the same on a PC.)
  • If you're taken to the middle of a list of names (likely for many searches), scroll up through the thumbnails to find the first page of the article. It will give you more information.
  • After your first search, the drop-down default will be "within results." Make sure to change it to "new search" if you want to start over.
Browse
If you choose the browse option, you'll be taken to a thumbnail page, the first of eight. Clicking on a cover image loads the larger image and from there you can click through the pages. 

Browse Tips: 
  • If you use the download button to save the file to your computer, you can quickly scroll through the pdf which, I think, is much easier than trying to view the page online. It only took me 15 seconds to download a pdf on a slow wireless connection.
  • If you try to read the pages online, you can expand the view using the little arrows at the bottom of the view window.
  • Use the table of contents to get a quick overview of what each issue contains.
Share Your Finds

If you come across an article or list of name that might be relevant to a number of other researchers, please share in the comments. I'm sure there are some not-to-be-missed treasures in these publications just waiting to be discovered.

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