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ProQuest Historical Newspapers

In this page we will show the unique search features for ProQuest Historical Newspapers. Go to the Platform LibGuide for a complete guide to ProQuest's search and display features.

Page-Level and Article-Level Digitization

When the ProQuest Historical Newspapers program was launched over 15 years ago, all newspapers were digitized at the article level. This means that every page of newspaper content was “zoned” into its distinct articles and other component parts (editorials, advertisements, cartoons, etc. and shown by the numbers below), and each of those component parts was then run through OCR and treated as an individual entity in the database.

Beginning in 2016, some new historical newspaper titles in the ProQuest Historical Newspapers program are being digitized at the page level. This means that the full-page image is run through OCR, and the full page of content is stored in its entirety in the database.

The basic searching function is identical for both article-level and page-level. Every part of every page of ProQuest Historical Newspapers is full-text searchable, whether they are digitized at the article-level or page-level. If you search for a term such as the name “John Kennedy” and it appears in the OCR text any place on a page, it will generate a hit for that page—whether it is in an article title, in an article, in an advertisement, etc.

Further, both article-level and page-level titles are fully cross-searchable with all other historical newspapers, contemporary newspapers, and any other content on the ProQuest Platform.

The primary difference in searching article-level titles is in the Advanced Search: because they include article-level metadata, newspapers digitized at the article-level provide users with the ability to restrict search results to different portions of the newspaper (articles, advertisements, cartoons, etc.).

Search results from ProQuest Historical NewspapersIn the example above, the first two results are article-level titles, and the third result is page-level. In each case, the user is presented with context and clues that help him or her quickly determine if the result is something warranting a look. The search text is highlighted to show the keywords in context. The difference is that the article-level result includes the article name, while the page-level result includes the issue date and page.

Display of Article-Level Resources

When a user selects an article-level search result, that article image is displayed with the search term highlighted.Article scanned at article-level with search terms highlighted 

By selecting the Page view tab, the user can see the full view of the page the article appeared on. 

Full page of Detroit Free Press

Display of Page-Level Resources

When a user selects a page-level result, the entire page of content is displayed with the search term highlighted.

Page from Detroit Free Press digitized at page level

By clicking "Browse this issue", the user is presented with a browsing interface optimized for page-level newspaper content.

Browse interface for newspapers digitized at page level

This interface features a scrolling thumbnail section at the bottom of the screen that enables users to quickly skim through a newspaper issue and a highly intuitive interface that allows a user to manipulate the page image. The slide viewer at the bottom of the screen allows for a seamless browsing experience.  Zooming, aspect ratio, rotating, and downloading are available from the menu.  NOTE:  pages downloaded from this view will be .jpg images and not .pdf files.