Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Historical Alpena Newspapers Now Available

Back in January, the Clarke hosted the Michigan Digital Newspaper Grant Contest. Over 100,000 Tweets and 8,000 postcards were cast as votes by supporters of the five finalist communities. And the winner, at the end of the flurry of votes, was Alpena.

Today, we are pleased to announce that the Alpena Evening News (1899-1905, 1909-10) and the Labor Journal (1885-1890) are now available via the Digital Michigan Newspapers website. These two titles are the first titles that we added to our digitized newspapers after the switch to our new digital document interface.

Congrats again to Alpena. Welcome to the Digital Michigan Newspapers Database!

Monday, August 29, 2016

New CMU Libraries Digital Collections Website Now Available

We are excited to announce that our new digital document interface is up and running. For the past eight months, staff members from the Clarke Historical Library, the CMU Libraries, and DL Consulting in New Zealand have been working to convert all of the digitized documents found in the CMU Online Digital Object Repository (CONDOR) to a new interface. This new interface, powered by Veridian collection management software, separates the digital collections found in CONDOR into four broad groups:

The CMU Libraries Digital Collection ( gives you access to over 30,000 documents - that's nearly 450,000 digitized pages! If you were used to getting to digital documents by typing "" into your web browser, you can continue to do so and you will be automatically redirected to the new site. While "" will still work, other links will be affected. If you have saved links to specific documents or titles in CONDOR, you will have until the end of December to update them to the new Veridian interface. After December, the links to documents in CONDOR will no longer be available.

We are pleased to bring you this exciting new website. We invite you to jump in and explore. For users and for staff at the CMU Libraries, there may be some stumbling blocks with our new setup. Please let us know if you are having any trouble, any technical issues, or you have any comments. We will address them as soon as we can.

Highlights of the New Interface 


Click on the image for a larger view

Some of the highlights of the new Veridian interface include the opportunity to customize your experience with several options available at the top of the page (see number 1 in the image above). You can also register your own account, which will allow to save your searches for future reference (number 2). Also, because computers are not perfect when it comes to interpreting typed words on a digital page (called text recognition or optical character recognition), you can correct the errors made by computers when you are registered. Statistics about the number of text corrections made by individual users are logged and displayed on the front page of the Veridian interface via a Text Corrector Leaderboard (number 6).

The Veridian interface also uses a standard library search bar that many users are familiar with in order to do keyword searches of the full text (number 3) or you can select the Advanced Search function to limit by date or title as well. And now, searches for phrases can be wrapped in "quotation marks" to search for that exact phrase. If you are interested in seeing a random document in the holdings, take a look at the random item for the collection (number 4). For the Digital Michigan Newspapers, this random document is actually a newspaper from this day in history. Finally, if you have an idea of a title or date range of interest to you, but you don't want to search for keywords, you can browse the entirety of the collections by date or title (number 5).

When viewing a document, the Veridian interface lays out the pages in order horizontally, allowing you to view the document by scrolling to the right, or virtually turning to the next page. You can also search for a specific keyword within a document and you can view the transcript of the recognized text to the left of the reading pane (which allows you to correct the text if you are registered and logged in).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mount Pleasant Indian School In National Archives Newsletter

The National Archives at Chicago distributed their August newsletter recently with a feature article about Native American boarding schools. Among the more prominently mentioned boarding schools is the Mount Pleasant Indian School, which was in operation in Mount Pleasant from 1893-1933.

The Clarke maintains a great deal of information about the boarding school in Mount Pleasant including photographs, reprints of annual reports from the National Archives, and remembrances of those who attended the school. But the series of materials at the Clarke is by no means complete and the information highlighted by the National Archives at Chicago shows that any serious researcher of the history of the Mount Pleasant Indian School, the students who attended, or the people who worked there certainly must consult more records than those available at the Clarke.

You can read the most recent newsletter via this link. If you would like to view past issues of the National Archives at Chicago newsletter or sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox, head over to the National Archives page for more information.