Story on 1912 typhoon goes viral

Image of article with headline "15,000 DIE IN PHILIPPINE STORM" from the November 30, 1912, issue of the Washington Herald.In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda’s destruction in the Philippines earlier this month, a 1912 newspaper hosted by Chronicling America has gone viral.

The November 30, 1912, issue of the Washington Herald contains a front page story about a typhoon estimated to have killed 15,000 people and “practically destroyed” Tacloban, the same city hardest hit by Yolanda. Additional details were sparse because the storm had destroyed all telegraphic communications infrastructure.

Although I usually don’t buy into the pessimistic idiom that “history repeats itself,” that’s exactly what seems to have happened with the devastating typhoons of 1912 and 2013.

See the entire issue of the Washington Herald here.

Brewers converge in Baltimore in 1878

As last Sunday was the final day of Oktoberfest in Germany, it seems only fitting that we should feature beer in today’s blog post from the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project.

The June 5, 1878, issue of Der Deutsche Correspondent contains a special supplement that I first noticed because it bears several large and intricate illustrations. The largest and central illustration features King Gambrinus—the fabled patriarch of brewing—with a stein of beer in one hand and the other outstretched, welcoming brewers from all over the country to Baltimore.

Illustration features King Gambrinus—the fabled patriarch of brewing—with a stein of beer in one hand and the other outstretched, welcoming brewers from all over the country to Baltimore. The translated caption reads: “18th National Brewers’ Congress of the United States, held in the City of Baltimore on the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of June 1878.”

The translated caption reads: “18th National Brewers’ Congress of the United States, held in the City of Baltimore on the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th of June 1878.”

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Inaugural post of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Have you ever had to do research that involved looking at newspapers on microfilm? If so, then you know that it can be a tedious process. After hours of scrolling through reels of microfilm, patiently scanning each page to find the information you need, at long last you’ll find the one sentence of an article that proves your thesis correct—or at least hopefully you will! I’m sure at several times throughout the course of your research you thought to yourself, “This would be so much easier if I could just do a keyword search of this whole newspaper. And it would be great if I could do it from home. In my pajamas.” Luckily, some folks at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Library of Congress agree!

Through August 2014 the NEH will fund the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project at the University of Maryland Libraries through a National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant. Our project will digitize 100,000 pages of newspaper content from the state of Maryland and make it free and searchable via the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America digital newspaper collection. Chronicling America allows users to search over 6.6 million newspaper pages by title, date or location of publication, and keyword.*

The first title to be digitized by the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project is Der Deutsche Correspondent. This German-language newspaper was published in Baltimore from 1841 to 1918.

Image of the offices of Der Deutsche Correspondent in Baltimore, MD from the June 5, 1878 issue of the newspaper.

Image of the offices of Der Deutsche Correspondent in Baltimore, MD from the June 5, 1878 issue of the newspaper.

We hope you’ll join us for a series of posts about Maryland’s newspapers, including a preview of some of the fascinating content we’ve stumbled upon so far in Der Deutsche Correspondent! More to come soon!

*Since Chronicling America is hosted by the Library of Congress, you’ll have to wait until the government reopens to try it out. 😦

[UPDATE: As of 10/4/13 at 10am, Chronicling America appears to be up and working!]

Revealing La Révolution: Digitized Pamphlets Accessible through WorldCat

WorldCat Navigation Tips

WorldCat Navigation Tips

Revised February 27, 2014
By Technical Lead John Schalow, Special Collections Cataloger/Coordinator

The University of Maryland Libraries’ French Pamphlet Collection is currently accessible through an inventory. But if you are looking for a specific title among the 5000 pamphlets in series one, you won’t find it quickly as series one is organized in boxes by broad subject. We don’t really know what titles are in each box and who has the time to look through all these boxes to find a title? Series two is an author/title list and while you can search the nearly 2000 titles in the PDF by keyword using the find function, this is time consuming. Therefore, we are currently identifying and analyzing the pamphlets in subject areas of interest to our faculty. The steps include compiling the data in a spreadsheet, selecting titles for digitization, and then creating machine readable catalog records for WorldCat.org. The cataloged pamphlets are under the call number DC141.F74 and those which are digitized are now in the catalog. The easiest way to browse them is to go to: http://umaryland.worldcat.org/ select Libraries to search “University of Maryland, College Park” and type in the search box ho:pamphlets france aat  This search identifies all pamphlets with the genre heading “pamphlets France” and results in over 400 retrievals which you can limit by eBook format in the left-hand sidebar resulting in a view of digitized pamphlets. I have created a saved search in WorldCat.org which retrieves only the French pamphlets.  WorldCat.org has powerful (but cryptic) command searches which are documented here.  For example, you can do a Library of Congress subject search for Haiti combined with the above search to see the French pamphlets about Haiti.  Hl:Haiti and ho:pamphlets france aat   You can also access all of the digitized French pamphlets via our local “classic” catalog using an advanced search, command search: WLC=DC141.F74 and WTO=eo  . Or this link: http://catalog.umd.edu/F/FTJ5TVJVLJKTRTB2QND7UBUHBQ4MTA4M2I81EQB2ANV8648RQ8-00851?func=find-c&ccl_term=wlc%3DDC141.F74+and+wty%3Deo&adjacent=N&x=28&y=6

 

Some of the pamphlet titles describe the contents pretty well, like Lettre du comte de Mirabeau à M. Le Couteulx de la Noraye, sur la Banque de Saint-Charles & sur la Caisse-d’escompte. But others do not! What is Les Abeilles de la Seine about? Bees of the Seine?? The cataloger has determined that it is a political satire and assigned this subject heading along with one for French revolution pamphlets. WorldCat.org enables you to click on subject links to find other works of or about French political satire. Catalogers also perform research to identify anonymous authors. The title page and contents of another pamphlet,  Avis a la livrée, do not give the author, but the cataloger is able to attribute authorship to Louis Marie Prudhomme, which is reflected in the catalog record.

This cataloging effort facilitates efficient access to the pamphlets and in this way supports several of Ranganathan’s five laws of library science, especially  “every book its reader” and “save the time of the reader”. Take advantage of the improved access to these resources today and happy reading!

The Revolution: French Pamphlets Illuminating the Past

Can’t get enough of French culture? Check out the French Pamphlets from the 1788-1804 Revolution, and the project that’s making them even more available to you.

Les Miserables movie poster

Click the image to visit the IMDB page for the 2012 movie Les Misérables.

Fiction provides an incredible lens through which readers can relate to events from the past. Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway’s performances in the 2012 hit Les Misérables brought the famous musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel into pop culture. Some readers may imagine the French Revolution (which started over 40 years before Hugo’s student barricade) based on a popular high-school text: A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. Stories like these touch the heart and provide a personal experience of history that high-school textbooks just can’t achieve.

However, primary source materials also provide insightful perspective from the point of view of people who experienced the era first-hand. Take the French Pamphlets, a collection of publications during the French Revolution (June 1788 – December 1804). Students and researchers from fields like sociology, linguistics, government and politics, even art and design, benefit from studying documents that everyday people shared then like Internet memes are shared today.

Now, a collaboration of departments at the University of Maryland are working from a collection of 12,000 French pamphlets to make them more accessible to students and researchers.

Learn more about the incredible project at this page.

Read about the grants and partnerships that allowed this project to happen.