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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub?
The Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub is a searchable website from the Minnesota Historical Society that makes hundreds of thousands of pages of Minnesota newspapers available online. The Hub contains geographically and culturally diverse newspapers published between 1856 and today. Due to copyright law, newspapers published after 1922 can only be accessed from the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center. The Minnesota Historical Society holds the largest collection of Minnesota newspapers. The Hub gives the public convenient access to this treasure trove of information.
Does it matter what Internet Browser I use to view the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub?
We do recommend that you use the Google Chrome web browser because it works with the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub better than some of the other browsers available. If you don't have Google Chrome installed already, you can download and install a free version here: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95346?hl=en. We have noticed that there is one trick that users need to use to make the highlighting of search terms work in Chrome, however. First of all, make sure that you have some version of an Adobe PDF reader installed on your computer, which you almost certainly do already. If not, you can get and install a free version at http://get.adobe.reader/. By default, Chrome uses a built-in PDF viewer to open PDFs, but unfortunately their PDF viewer will not produce the highlighting of searched text on the page. To get the text highlighting to work, you need to disable the Chrome viewer so your Adobe viewer can take over. To do this simply type chrome://plugins in the Chrome address bar and then proceed to click on the blue Disable right below where it says Chrome PDF Viewer. This will allow your Adobe viewer to launch the PDFs and you should then be able to see your search terms highlighted on the page!
How can I view and navigate the pages of a newspaper issue?
Newspaper issues appear in the right viewing pane of the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub starting with the first or front page of the issue. You can navigate through the pages of the displayed issue by clicking the green arrows at the top of the page display. The arrow pointing to the right pages forward through the issue, and the arrow pointing to the left pages back. You can jump to any desired page within the issue by clicking on the drop-down number box between the two green arrows and selecting the desired page number. To view a full screen image of the page displayed in the right viewing pane, click the .Download PDF of Page. hyperlink at the top of the display pane. This will open a full screen PDF of the desired page in a separate tab or within Adobe Reader, depending on how you have configured your browser settings. You can then use the navigation tools on the screen to navigate around the page and zoom in to articles of your choosing. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader software in order to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader from: http://get.adobe.reader/. If you're interested in quickly looking at just part of a page, click on the magnifying glass icon on the right-hand side of the display. See Figure 1. Click on the plus or minus buttons to make the text bigger or smaller (or enter a percentage in the percentage box). You can also click on the 1:1 button to see a full-sized image. See Figure 2.

magnifying glass
Figure 1. Magnifying glass icon.

viewing tools
Figure 2. Viewing tools. From left to right: the plus button, the minus button, the view full-sized image button, the fit within page button, and the percentage box

Once you have magnified the text to your liking, click the left button of your mouse, hold the button down, and drag your mouse around to read different parts of the page.
How do I use the browse function?
You can browse newspaper issues organized by title, county, city/town, or date by selecting one of the four "Browse by"... tabs. You can expand and contract the levels of the browse tree in the left pane by clicking on the + and - symbols next to the folders in the browse tree. You can also click on the "Show Browse Filters" box to further narrow your browse results by any county, city/town, title, and time frame. Clicking on the little black down arrows shows available filter selections that can be clicked upon. To reset your filters, click on the "Reset Filters" button. To hide the Browse Filters, unclick the "Show Browse Filters" box.
My browse/search tree is too large!
Check the "Keep Tree Tidy" box to allow only one option to be expanded at a time. Additionally, clicking on the + and - symbols next to the folders in the browse tree can help to keep it from becoming too cluttered.
How can I Search Pages?
To perform a basic keyword search of all available pages, simply enter search terms in the text box under the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub banner and click on the "Search" button.
What if my Search is taking too long to complete?
If your search seems to be taking too long to return results, you may want to redo your search using the Advanced Search to narrow your search with the options available there or by using more search terms. See below for further details on the Advanced Search.
How can I perform a more sophisticated Advanced Search?
Click on the "Advanced Search" text to the right of the "Search" button to find all of the ways a text search can be customized to a specific set of newspaper pages. If you want to search all of the Newspaper pages in the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub, enter text into the "Any Words" box or an exact string of words to be searched into the "Exact Phrase" box and click the "Search" button below the Advanced Search options. You can hide the Advanced Search options by clicking on the "Hide Advanced Search" text to the right of the basic "Search" button under the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub banner.
How can I limit my Advanced Search to a specific set of newspaper pages?
You can narrow the scope of your search by selecting any combination of counties, cities, titles and dates. Simply click on any selection within the boxes (such as The Bemidji daily pioneer within the "with titles" box) that you wish to be included in the search. To choose multiple search filter selections within any box, use Ctrl-click, or Cmd-click if you have a Mac. You can also choose to exclude any items from your search by making selections in the "but not..." boxes on the bottom half of the screen. Once you have chosen your search filters, proceed to enter your search terms in the text boxes on the right and click the "Search" button. You can clear your search filter selections at any time by clicking on the "Clear" button.
How do I view the pages of my Search Results?
When you click the "Search" button, pages that contain your search terms will be returned in the "Search Results" tab in a browse tree shown by title. You can choose to organize and view these results by title, county, city or date by selecting the desired radio button above the browse tree. Select an issue to make the pages that contain your search terms appear in the right viewing pane. The green navigation arrows and image number drop-down will allow you to navigate between these pages. Click the "Download PDF of Page" hyperlink at the top of the display pane to open a full screen PDF of the desired page in a separate tab or within Adobe Reader, depending on how you have configured your browser settings. If the PDF does not open with search terms already highlighted, you may have to type Ctrl-F (hold down the CTRL key while also typing the letter "f") and re-type your search term in the box that appears to get the search terms to highlight on the page. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader software in order to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/. We do recommend that you use the Google Chrome web browser because it works with the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub better than some of the other browsers available. If you don't have Google Chrome installed already, you can download and install a free version here: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95346?hl=en. We have noticed that there is one trick that users need to use to make the highlighting of search terms work in Chrome, however. By default, Chrome uses a built-in PDF viewer to open PDFs, but unfortunately their PDF viewer will not produce the highlighting of searched text on the page. To get the text highlighting to work, you need to disable the Chrome viewer so your Adobe viewer can take over. To do this simply type chrome://plugins in the Chrome address bar and then proceed to click on the blue Disable right below where it says Chrome PDF Viewer. This will allow your Adobe viewer to launch the PDFs and you should then be able to see your search terms highlighted on the page!
How can I view the text of an article?
There are three ways to view the text after you have retrieved or navigated to the page you want to read.

If you’re interested in quickly looking at just part of a page, click on the magnifying glass icon on the right-hand side of the display. See Figure 1. Click on the plus or minus buttons to make the text bigger or smaller (or enter a percentage in the percentage box). You can also click on the 1:1 button to see a full-sized image. See Figure 2.

magnifying glass
Figure 1. Magnifying glass icon.

viewing tools
Figure 2. Viewing tools. From left to right: the plus button, the minus button, the view full-sized image button, the fit within page button, and the percentage box

Once you have magnified the text to your liking, click the left button of your mouse, hold the button down, and drag your mouse around to read different parts of the page.

You can also view a full screen image of the page displaying in the right viewing pane by clicking the "Download PDF of Page" hyperlink. This will open a full screen PDF of the desired page in a separate tab or within Adobe Reader, depending on how you have configured your browser settings. Once you have opened the full screen PDF of the desired page, you can use the navigation tools on the screen to navigate around the page and zoom in to articles of your choosing. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader software in order to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.

To view the extracted text of a page, click on the "View page text" link at the top middle of the display pane. A pane will open up beside the page image that displays the raw, extracted text that the computer extracted from the page images. To go back to the original display, click on the "Hide Page Text (show Browse Tree)" link or click the "x" in the red box in the top right.
Why doesn't the extracted text match what I see on the page image?
The extracted text is generated by a computer through a process called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Put simply, the computer looks at the digitized page image and guesses what the letters and words are. The process has a hard time recognizing column breaks, decorative lettering, capital letters, and other decorative graphic design features common to old newspapers, and will sometimes translate these features into non-alphabetic characters, or will miss some characters entirely.
How does the Map Search work?
The Map Search shows where the newspapers come from on the map of Minnesota. The locations where the newspapers are published show up as orange dots with corresponding city names. Click on any orange dot to reveal a list of all of the newspaper titles published in that location and a link that you can click to browse those titles.
How can I find my search terms in a page?
Click the "Download PDF of Page" hyperlink at the top of the display pane. This will open a full screen PDF of the desired page in a separate tab or within Adobe Reader, depending on how you have configured your browser settings. If the PDF does not open with search terms already highlighted, you may have to type Ctrl-F (hold down the CTRL key while also typing the letter "f") and re-type your search term in the box that appears to get the search terms to highlight on the page. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader software in order to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/. We do recommend that you use the Google Chrome web browser because it works with the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub better than some of the other browsers available. If you don't have Google Chrome installed already, you can download and install a free version here: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95346?hl=en. We have noticed that there is one trick that users need to use to make the highlighting of search terms work in Chrome, however. By default, Chrome uses a built-in PDF viewer to open PDFs, but unfortunately their PDF viewer will not produce the highlighting of searched text on the page. To get the text highlighting to work, you need to disable the Chrome viewer so your Adobe viewer can take over. To do this simply type chrome://plugins in the Chrome address bar and then proceed to click on the blue Disable right below where it says Chrome PDF Viewer. This will allow your Adobe viewer to launch the PDFs and you should then be able to see your search terms highlighted on the page!
How can I print out a newspaper page?
To print a newspaper page, click on the "Download PDF of Page" link and print the page from the Adobe Reader window. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader software in order to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
How can I print out just one article?
You can't print out single articles from the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub; you will need to print each page the article is on separately. To print a newspaper page, click on the "Download PDF of Page" link and print the page from the Adobe Reader window. You may need to install the free Adobe Reader software in order to view PDF files. Download Adobe Reader from: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
Why is the town or title that I am looking for not available in the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub?
The newspapers currently available on the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub reflect our initial newspaper digitization projects and work with partners. Criteria for selection were based on national standards to provide wide geographic coverage, chronological and historical significance, and to reflect the diversity of Minnesota. Funding has come from a variety of sources, and the Society will continue to pursue funding to digitize as many newspapers as possible for the Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub. We hope this collection will continue to grow for years to come.
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NB In order to select multiple search terms, you can use Ctrl-Click or Shift-Click or on Mac, Cmd-Click
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