Introduction to The Columbian Archive
Searching The Columbian Archive
Search and browse are the two best ways to find what you are looking for on The Columbian Archive.
When you have a name or other keywords to find, let the search comb through the millions of news pages to help you locate what you are looking for. All the pages on The Columbian Archive have been indexed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This means that a computer has tried to identify the words on each page and produce a digital version to search. When the image is clean and in good condition, this process is very accurate and can make searching papers easy. For older papers or other papers where the image is less clear, the OCR processing may miss important words or read them incorrectly.
You can search from the home page or by clicking the "Search" link at the top of most pages of the site. Type the name or other words you want to search for in the search box. A search will look for pages that include all the terms you put in the search box.
You can use quotation marks (") to narrow your search to results that exactly match your search and/or to limit your results to matches where the terms are right next to each other (i.e. "Eli Whitney" or "Washington Monument")
Search Results Page
On the search results page you can use the left column to narrow your results by time period, location, or to a specific paper or papers.
In the results column you'll find a small image (thumbnail) of the page with the matching text highlighted and information about the paper it come from. If there is more than one match on that page or another page in that edition of the paper, you'll see arrow buttons that you can use to look at the next and previous matches. You can use this preview to evaluate the matches and verify that the OCR has identified the words correctly.
Clicking the thumbnail image or the linked newspaper title will take you to the viewer to see the full page.
Browse documents with the The Columbian Archive browser
When you just want to look at events for a particular date, or searching hasn't helped you find what you are looking for, browsing can be a good way to get into the papers. You can browse the site by clicking the "Browse" link at the top of most pages and following a path through country, state, city, newspaper and then on to date. Or you can go to the "Papers" page and use the left column to browse newspaper titles by name, location, or time period.
At any point in the browse process you can use the brown Search within box at the top of the page (or the "Search within these papers" box on the Papers list page) and search within just the papers in the group you have selected.
Viewing papers on The Columbian Archive
The The Columbian Archive viewer is a powerful tool that lets you explore a newspaper page in close detail, clip a page or article and print, save or share what you find.
Here are some of the Viewer's key features:
Viewer Keyboard Shortcuts
- Next Page:
- Previous Page:
- Zoom in: +
- Zoom out: -
- Info panel: i
- Find on page: f
- Print or Save: p or s
- Share: shifts
Print & Download
When you find something on The Columbian Archive that you would like to have a copy of you can print the image directly from the viewer or you can download the image and save a digital copy.
To print or save from the Viewer
- Click the Print/Save button in the viewer's tool bar.
- Choose all or part of the image.
- Choose to print or save the file.
- If saving, follow the instructions to choose where you would like to save the image and, if you would like, change the filename but keep the ".jpg" at the end.
- If printing, follow the instructions for printing.
Clippings are an easy way to keep track of interesting things you find on The Columbian Archive.
To clip an article, just click the "Clip" button in the viewer, move and resize the clipping box around the article you want to clip, and, if you want, add a title or description for the clipping. Clippings are sorted by “Clips By Me” and “Clips By Everyone”. Additional filters can be applied as you choose.
Me/Everyone selector on The Columbian Archive
Save things you like
Once you've clipped something, it is saved to your clippings list where you can easily find it again. Just click on the "Clippings" link at the top of the page. You can also get to this list by clicking the arrow next to your member name in the upper right of the page and selecting "My Clippings."
Share interesting stories you find
You can easily share clippings by email or on Facebook, Twitter or other social sites. When you share a clipping, your friends can see the image even if they don't subscribe to The Columbian Archive.
By default, clippings you make are "public" (other people will see what you've clipped on the Clippings page, in search, or on your profile). You can hide your clippings from the public with privacy settings found in the Clipping Settings page in Your Account.
If you click the settings icon at the top of the My Clippings list page, you can change the default setting so that new clippings are not public.
Save to Ancestry.com
The "Alert Me" button on the search results page lets you save a search that you want to try again later. Saving a search also sets a notification for that search. We will automatically search the millions of new pages we add each month and email you when we add something with matches for your saved search.
Search Alerts on The Columbian Archive
You can see and delete searches you've saved on your profile page. You’ll find links to that page in the list of links under your Membername in the upper right of the site (when you are signed in), on the “Account Details” page and among the links at the bottom of most pages.
Following a Paper or Person
If there are particular newspapers on the site that you are interested in or if you find another user whose research you find valuable, click the "Follow" button on paper's page or the person's profile. When you follow a paper, we'll notify you when we add new pages for that paper or when someone clips an article from it. When you are following a person, we'll notify you when they do something new on the site.
You can see and delete papers or people you are watching on your profile page. You’ll find links to that page in the list of links under your Membername in the upper right of the site (when you are signed in), on the “Account Details” page and among the links at the bottom of most pages.
The Columbian Archive Member profile of grant42
Each Member of The Columbian Archive has a Profile Page that includes information about them and displays clippings they have made.
You can update your profile to:
- Include a photo that represents you.
- Specify your general location.
- Share your interests in the About Me section.
- Choose whether or not to allow other members to contact you.
Other Members' Profiles
Profile Pages of other Members can be a great way to find interesting information. When you find an interesting clipping on The Columbian Archive, you will see the image and member name of the person who made it. Clicking on the member name will take you to the profile page of that member where you'll find other things that member has clipped.
When you find other Members with interests similar to yours, you can clip their profile to be notified when they add something new and, if they allow it, contact them to get more information or share an insight.
Manage Account Details
Your Account Details page is private and cannot be accessed by other Members.
Go to Account Details when you need to:
- Change your Member Name, password or email address.
- Change your subscription settings.
- Change communication settings.
- Link your Facebook account to The Columbian Archive account
- Update billing information