Make a Difference with History Unfolded!

History Unfolded
November 9, 1938
Anti-Jewish Riots Convulse German Reich (Kristallnacht) Father Coughlin Blames Jews for Nazi Violence April 9, 1939
Marian Anderson Performs at the Lincoln Memorial June 2, 1939
Jewish Refugees Desperately Seek Safe Harbor

Looking for an easy way to make a big difference? Newspapers.com invites you to participate in the History Unfolded project run by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum!

What is History Unfolded?

History Unfolded is a project that seeks to expand our knowledge of how American newspapers reported on Nazi persecution during the 1930s and ’40s so we can better understand what Americans knew about the Holocaust as it was happening.

To help achieve this, the History Unfolded project asks people like you to search local newspapers from the 1930s and ’40s for Holocaust-related news and opinions and then submit them online to the museum. The newspaper articles you submit will be used to help shape the museum’s 2018 exhibit on Americans and the Holocaust and related educational materials. The articles will also be made available to scholars, historians, and the public.

Who Can Contribute?

Everyone! History buffs, students, teachers . . . All you need is an interest in the Holocaust and access to a newspaper from the 1930s or ’40s, either online (using Newspapers.com, for example) or through a physical archive, such as a library. Simply create an account with History Unfolded, and away you go!

How Do I Contribute?

History Unfolded has created a list of more than 30 Holocaust-related events to focus on. Choose one of these events to research, then search for content related to that topic in an American newspaper of your choice from the 1930s or ’40s. After you find an article related to one of the events, submit it online to the museum through the project’s website.

Newspapers.com and History Unfolded

You can contribute to this important project whether or not you use Newspapers.com to do so. But using Newspapers.com makes it even easier to submit the articles you find. Simply use Newspapers.com to create a clipping of an article you’ve found, then submit that clipping through the submission form on the History Unfolded website. The submission form has a special tool created specifically for Newspapers.com users that makes submitting your clipping a snap.

Your help with this project will help shape our understanding of the Holocaust and the lessons it holds for us today. For more information on how to get involved, visit the History Unfolded website.

Tip: Where to Look for Your Ancestors in the Newspaper

Newspapers can be a treasure trove of information about your ancestors. Unlike government records, which are often limited to forms, newspapers can typically include a wide variety of different types of information about the people who live in the towns and cities they serve. Newspapers often go beyond the facts to tell the stories about people’s lives.

If you’re just starting out looking for an ancestor in the newspaper, a common place to begin is with birth, marriage, and death announcements. Although the amount of information provided can vary widely, details you might find in these announcements include:

  • Birth Announcements: baby’s name, birth date, gender, place of birth, parents’ names, family religion, grandparents’ names, mother’s maiden name, sibling names, photos

  • Engagement/Wedding Announcements: wedding date and place, bride’s and groom’s names, parents’ names, family religion, members of the wedding party, guest list, name of minister, where the couple plans to live, description of bride’s dress, details of ceremony/reception/shower, photos

  • Obituaries and Death Notices: death date and place, birth date and place, occupation/interests, military service, past places of residence, notable accomplishments, name and place of residence of close family, mortuary/cemetery, burial date, cause of death, photos

However, births, marriages, and deaths are just the beginning of the places in the newspaper where you might find your ancestors. The possibilities are nearly endless, but some sections in which you may want to look for your family include:

  • Advertisements (business ads, personal ads)
  • Church activities, news, and events
  • Court dockets/jury lists
  • Disaster victim lists
  • Entertainment sections (local theater and performances, school/church productions)
  • Gossip columns
  • Land/home/farm sales
  • Legal notices (divorces, probate, dissolution of business partnerships, sheriffs’ sales, delinquent tax lists, lawsuits, civil and criminal trials, foreclosures, estate settlements, bankruptcies, public sales/auctions)
  • Letters to the editor
  • Local election news/political events
  • Military service information (enlistment, draft, injury/death, letters home)
  • News stories (accidents/wrecks, disasters, crimes)
  • Passenger lists (trains, ships)
  • Personal notices
  • Police blotters
  • School news (honor roll, graduates, teachers)
  • Social news and events (parties, club meetings, out-of-town visitors, hotel guests, community events, contests, holiday celebrations, vacations, fraternal organizations, reunions, anniversaries, memorials)
  • Sports news (local teams, school sports, community leagues)
  • Unclaimed letters lists

Get started looking for your ancestor’s by searching or browsing on Newspapers.com!

Tip: How to Search by County

Newspapers.com News, Finds and Tips

Did you know you can narrow your search by county on Newspapers.com?

Sometimes, limiting your search for your ancestors to just one paper or city may not return all the results you’re looking for, but widening your search to an entire state might return too many to easily sort through. So a county search can come in handy as a middle road between the two, since the results will come from the group of towns nearest where your ancestors lived.

County searches can also be helpful if the town where your ancestors lived didn’t have a newspaper (or if Newspapers.com doesn’t currently have the paper from a town you’re interested in), because it allows you to search papers from nearby towns—and since many papers carried news on residents of other towns within the county, you just might find your ancestor mentioned.

Searching within the papers of a specific county is easy.

  1. On the homepage, type your search terms into the search box. Then select “Add more info.”
  2. In the “Paper Location” box, start typing the name of the county you want to search within. As you type, a list of locations that match your search will automatically appear underneath. (If the county you type doesn’t appear on the list, then Newspapers.com doesn’t currently have any papers from that county.)
  3. Select the county you’re interested in from the list, add a date or date range if you want, then select “Search.”

This will return matches for your search terms that are found within papers in the county you chose.

Another way to get search results from a specific geographic region is to search via the “See papers by location” page. Read more about how to do this here.

Tip: How Do I Find Out Which Papers are on Newspapers.com?

People often come to Newspapers.com looking for a specific newspaper title or for papers from a certain town where their ancestors lived. They want to know, “Is the paper I want on Newspapers.com?” If you fall into this category, read on to learn three ways you can find out if the papers you’re interested in are on our site.

Browse. If you’re interested in seeing papers for a particular city, Browse may be the most helpful method. To use Browse to find papers, first select “Browse” from the top of any page. This will take you to the Browse flow, where you can choose the country, state, and city you’re interested in viewing papers for. After you select a city, you’ll see a list of which papers for that city are on the site. You can browse even further to see which years, months, days, and pages we have for a given paper.

Papers page. If you want to search for a paper by name, the Papers page is the best place to do it. The Papers page is also helpful if you want to see papers from more than one state or from a particular time period(s). Like Browse, the Papers page can be accessed from the top of any page. Once on the Papers page, you can use the filters in the left-hand column to narrow down the displayed papers to those that fit your criteria. You can filter by paper name or keyword, date, or location—or by any combination of the three.

See papers by location. If you want to see what papers the site has for a geographic region (eastern Kansas, for example), “See papers by location” is the most convenient way to locate them. You’ll find a link to “See papers by location” on the homepage, which will take you to an interactive map. As you zoom in on an area or region, red pins representing newspapers will appear. Selecting a red pin will list all papers for the location. If Newspapers.com doesn’t currently have papers for a city you’re interested in, “See papers by location” is also useful for locating nearby towns with papers on the site.

Once you’ve used one of the above methods to narrow down to a paper (or group of papers) you’re interested in, you may wonder how to get started finding your ancestors within that specific paper. An easy way to begin is by searching, and each of the pages mentioned above provides you with a way to search only within the paper(s) you’ve chosen:

  • From the “Browse“, once you’ve selected a paper, simply type your search terms into the “Search within” field directly above the browse flow. This will return results for only the paper you selected.

  • From the “Papers” page, once you’ve filtered down to the paper(s) you want, enter your search into the “Search within these papers” box at the top right. Searching this way will return results for only those papers matching your filter criteria. .

  • To search within papers you’ve found using “See papers by location,” enter your search into the search box labeled “Search within the area show below.” Doing so will return search results for all papers represented on screen by the red pins.

Newspapers.com . . . Not Just for Genealogy

Content Update

Why do you use Newspapers.com? To look for information on your ancestors? To research a specific topic? To learn more about a certain time or place? Newspapers.com members are taking advantage of all of these possibilities. Though genealogy is one of the most common uses, our members are utilizing our historical newspapers to do all sorts of unique research.

For instance, paderamo is researching historical chess matches, while ramblinkc is reading up on local sports of decades past. Cupper1001 is looking into Pennsylvania articles about railroads, and jrtate_lotbl is clipping stories on crime in Raleigh, North Carolina. Other members are interested in general local history, as seen in kinnelon59‘s research into happenings in Duryea, Pennsylvania, or cruther64‘s into Hamilton, Ohio. Sometimes members’ interests even overlap, like smkolins‘s and DrTroxel‘s clippings on the Baha’i Faith.

Tiny Gos Makes Career Out of Going to SchoolBut you don’t necessarily have to be researching a particular subject to find fascinating articles. Among various members’ clippings, you can find articles about a family who walked 1,200 miles to talk to the president, as well as a court case where the faithfulness of the defendant’s wife convinced the judge to lower his sentence. Other interesting articles that have been clipped recently have included ones about a dog who made a “career out of going to school,” a “forgotten bomb” that exploded in a courthouse, and a man who trapped rats as large as cats. And don’t miss this photo a user found of Albert Einstein and his sister. Can you spot the family resemblance?

Curious about what other Newspapers.com members are up to? Try visiting their profile pages or the “All Clippings” page.

Tip: Using “Share”

Newspapers.com News, Finds and Tips

Many of us have—at some point in our lives—probably been sent a newspaper clipping that a friend or family member thought we’d enjoy. Or we’ve given a clipping to others ourselves. Now, on Newspapers.com, you can quickly and easily share your newspaper clippings online rather than dealing with cutting and sending paper copies, which can smear or fade over time.

It’s easy. Once you clip an article on Newspapers.com, the option will automatically appear for you to share that article via email or social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest—or you have the option to get the code to embed the article in your own website or blog. When you share a clipping in any of these ways, others can view it without having a Newspapers.com account.

If you want to share a Newspapers.com article that you’ve clipped previously, simply go to “Your Clippings” from the dropdown menu in the top right-hand corner of our website. Then either mouse over the clipping you want to share or click or tap it. Either will give you access to the “Share” button, which you can select to access the different share options.

If you’d still rather share a hard copy of an article you’ve found, you can print your clipping by selecting it from “Your Clippings” and choosing the “Print” option. When it prints, it will include not only the article but the newspaper name and article date as well.

For other tips on using Newspapers.com, visit our “Newspapers.com basics” page.

The World’s First Chocolate Chip Cookie

Newspapers.com News, Finds and Tips

Original chocolate chip cookie recipe
When Ruth Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, started the Toll House restaurant in 1930 in Whitman, Massachusetts, they had no idea that their restaurant would become the birthplace of an American cultural icon: the chocolate chip cookie. The extremely popular Toll House restaurant was especially well-known for its desserts, one of the humbler of which was ice cream with a butterscotch nut cookie. Then sometime in the mid-1930s, Ruth Wakefield decided she wanted to try something a little different for that cookie—and what she came up with was the chocolate crunch cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie.

1954 ad for Nestle's semi-sweet morselsWith its bits of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate bar, the chocolate crunch cookie was a hit at the restaurant, and people began asking for the recipe. Soon, the cookie was being featured in newspaper columns and radio broadcasts. As sales of the cookie at the restaurant skyrocketed, so did sales of Nestlé’s semi-sweet chocolate bar when people began trying the recipe in their own kitchens.
In March 1939, Wakefield sold the rights to the Toll House name and cookie recipe to Nestlé, and the recipe for the cookies—now called Toll House cookies—was printed on the packaging of their semi-sweet chocolate. Nestlé even began scoring their chocolate bars in smaller sections especially for the cookies and in 1940 introduced chocolate morsels specifically to make the cookie-baking process even easier.

Current Toll House cookie recipeIn the early 1940s, the recipe for Toll House cookies was printed and reprinted in newspapers nationwide. After some early changes to the recipe, it essentially remained unaltered from 1939 until 1979, when Nestlé’s original 40-year agreement ended. Nestlé has since made several minor changes to the recipe, the most obvious of which were increasing the cookie size from half a teaspoon to a tablespoon and decreasing the cooking time. The result was that the Toll House cookie went from a small, crunchy, brown cookie to the larger, chewy, golden version we’re familiar with today.

Newspapers.com is full of articles and recipes documenting the history of the Toll House cookie. Be sure to check out these clippings:

Browsing on Newspapers.com

Newspapers.com News, Finds and Tips

Searching a newspaper by keyword is a modern convenience. Historically—and by necessity—newspapers were intended to be perused page by page. Today, we call such online perusing “browsing.”

Browsing newspapers online can be especially enlightening. It’s a great mix of history and modernity. Start with a location, time period, or paper. Then, page by page, story by story, read up on how people lived, worked, and played. Discover how communities handled newsworthy—and not so newsworthy—daily events: social, political, meteorological, and beyond.

From natural disasters to sports, from obituaries to society columns, our ancestors learned about their neighbors in black and white. Today, you can browse the papers on Newspapers.com and meet your ancestors’ neighbors. Read about their joys, tragedies, and scandals; how the crops fared; or if the merchants had a good year.

Once you’ve located an item of interest, searching within a browse can take you to additional stories quickly. While browsing a 1931 issue of The Altoona Herald in Iowa, a notice about F. J. Dunkle’s new store in Berwick caught this staff reporter’s eye.Newspapers Browse Screen

To learn more about the store and Dunkle, select the “4 June 1931” breadcrumb* above the viewer to open the browse menu. Navigating left and selecting “1931” in the menu for year highlights that year and isolates a search to stories in that particular paper for 1931 only. Typing the words Dunkle and Berwick in the “Search within” box at the top leads to search results with front-page news on February 12: “Berwick Store Burns.” Reassuringly, we also discover that by July 23, Mr. and Mrs. Dunkle had “moved into their new home above the store” from an article that likewise mentions which of their neighbors were busy with trips, parties, and picnics that same week.Search Within Screenshot

Because of the idiosyncrasies of OCR indexing, there are times when you know there’s a story within the pages of a particular edition, but a search doesn’t find what you’re looking for. That’s when you can enjoy reading a newspaper the old-fashioned way online—by browsing. The only experiences you’ll miss out on are the smells and rustle of the paper, and the ink rubbing off on your fingers.

* Breadcrumbs is an online navigation term describing the trail of links, usually at the top of a webpage, leading you back along your path to where you started. Fortunately, a path created by online breadcrumbs is more successful than the one left by Hansel and Gretel.

Tips: Save/Notify

Newspapers.com Tips, Hints, and Helps

Most of us perform our favorite searches over and over, hoping to find new information about people or events we’re particularly interested in. At Newspapers.com, we make it easy for you to save those searches so you can repeat them more easily in the future. And, even better, we will email you to let you know when new papers are added that contain matches for your saved searches.

It’s all done via the “Save/Notify” button in the upper right corner of every search results page, just below your user name. Let’s say you’re interested in contemporary reports in Massachusetts newspapers about the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg.

Davenport Democrat

After you perform the search, simply click the “Save/Notify” button on your search results page. Once clicked, the button will read “Saved” and you can click it again if you decide to “Unsave” it.

Davenport Democrat

Now, as millions of pages are added to the site each month, you will not have to redo the search yourself to catch the most recent additions. Newspapers.com will do it for you and send an email when you have a new match for that specific search.

You can edit your saved search at any time as it appears on your profile page. To get there, click on your user name and choose “Your Profile” and you’ll see not only your clippings and saved searches, but also papers and people you’re following. You can click on any red link in that search box to return to the relevant search results page.

Davenport Democrat

By default, your saved searches are set up for notifications and will be available for others to see. If you’d rather make a search private, locate your saved search and click the pencil icon to edit it.

Davenport Democrat

Click the gear icon at the bottom of the popup window to view your options. You can uncheck “Public” to make your search private, and you can uncheck “Notify me of new matches” to opt out of being notified when new papers are added with relevant matches—although we’re not sure why you’d want to override such a nifty and convenient feature. You can also add a description of your search to help you find it more easily in the future.

If you have a particular search you find yourself doing repeatedly, choose the Save/Notify feature on Newspapers.com so you’ll know when we’ve added something you may be interested in.

Tip: How to Save to Ancestry.com

News, Finds, Tips of the Month

When you find a story about an ancestor or someone in your family on Newspapers.com, you can clip the article and link it to your family tree on Ancestry.com. The “Save to Ancestry” button is at the top right of the viewer and also on every clipping page, making it easy for you to create links directly to Ancestry.com.

It’s easy and intuitive. Locate a news story you want to attach to someone you’ve already recorded in an Ancestry family tree, and then click the “Save to Ancestry” button and follow the instructions.

You’ll be asked to log into your Ancestry.com account after which you’ll see the name of your tree, or a list of tree names if you have more than one. Locate the tree you wish to save the document to, begin typing the name of the person to whom the record should be attached, choose the correct name from the list that appears, and then press save.

You’ll then be given a choice. You can close the window and continue searching for more articles on Newspapers.com, or you can view the profile of the person you attached the record to on Ancestry.com. If you choose the latter, you’ll be taken to that person’s profile page where you can view the record link. It will appear under “Source Information” on the right side of the page as a citation link to your clipping on Newspapers.com. The clipped image is not added to your ancestor’s profile, but the link is. If you click that link, you’ll return to Newspapers.com and the full clipping will appear.

You will also find a list of all Newspapers.com links you’ve attached to someone’s profile under “Source Citations” within the Facts and Sources tab on the tree. If you want to learn a trick for saving an image of the clipping to Ancestry.com, in addition to the clipping link, watch the Save to Ancestry.com tutorial. Additional video tutorials can be found in the Help Center under Newspapers.com Basics.