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Using the Historic Oregon Newspapers Website

A guide for searching in the Historic Oregon Newspapers website.

Journalism, Communication and Digital Literacy Librarian

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Talia Paz

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Searching and Browsing

Why does the 'Text' link on the full page screen show misspellings and badly-formed words?

The View Text option in Historic Oregon Newspapers displays machine-generated text that is produced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. OCR is a fully automated process that converts the visual image of numbers and letters into computer-readable numbers and letters. Computer software can then search the OCR-generated text for words, phrases, numbers, or other characters. However, OCR is not 100 percent accurate, and, particularly if the original item has extraneous markings on the page, unusual text styles, or very small fonts, the searchable text OCR generates will contain errors that cannot be corrected by automated means. Digitization of microfilmed newspapers inherently includes a wide range of image quality in the content (quality derived from the original newspaper, the original newspaper when it was microfilmed and associated deterioration, or the film itself.)

Although errors in the process are unavoidable, OCR is still a powerful tool for making text-based items accessible to searching. For example, important concept words often appear more than once within an article. Therefore, if OCR misreads one instance of a key word in a passage, but correctly reads the second instance, the passage will still be found in a full-text search.

Why do diacritics and non-English language characters sometimes appear "Romanized" or not in their original alphabets?

The Newspaper Directory provides access to newspaper title records cataloged according to standard bibliographic rules. Until recently, most non-English language characters were difficult to represent in library records and so Romanization - or standard rules for transliterating other alphabets to the Roman alphabet - was used to convey phonetic pronunciations of non-English words.

How do I cite or reference newspaper Directory records and pages for re-use (e.g., in a Web site or other electronic display) or reference (e.g., in a bibliography or journal article)?

Historic Oregon Newspapers supports persistent links to newspaper directory records and pages by providing a predictable URL, displayed in the descriptive information for that object. Using the proposed URI Template syntax the links will use the pattern:

  •{lccn}/{date}/ed-{edition}/seq-{image sequence}


  • lccn is the # Library of Congress Control Number for the newspaper
  • date is the date of the issue, specified as yyyy-mm-dd (e.g. 1902-01-30)
  • edition is the edition number for that date (e.g. 1)
  • seq is the image sequence number (e.g. 23) for that issue.

For example:


When describing Historic Oregon Newspapers as the source of content, please use the URL and a website citation, such as "from Oregon Digital Newspapers Initiative".