Thursday, November 3, 2016

Searching for Matilda Biddle Porter in the Newspapers Using "Data Visualization: Journalism's Voyage West"

My 3rd great grandmother Matilda (Biddle) Porter (1846-1927) died in Lincoln County, Oregon. After she and Orville Tracy Porter divorced in 1888 she was found living with son Chester Porter in 1900 in Albany, Linn, Oregon (which she rented), and then with married daughter Alice in 1910 at 705 West Fifth Street, Albany, Linn, Oregon.  By 1920 she was renting and living alone on 112 Olive Street, Newport City, Lincoln, Oregon.  Seven years later she died in that county.

Despite using a range of terms, I did not get any results for her in my subscription databases (Newspapers, NewspaperArchive, and GenealogyBank) nor in the free Historic Oregon Newspapers (with the exception of her divorce notice in 1888).


What newspapers were known to be in Lincoln around the time she lived and died there?  One can check the Library of Congress' U.S. Newspaper Directory this way:
But I need visuals!



Instead, I decided to use a visualization of that information from "Data Visualization: Journalism's Voyage West (I did a Fantastic Find post of this resource last year).
This visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers. 

Closeup of Oregon, with the year slider at 1930.  The newspapers published in Lincoln, Oregon (at least known by the Library of Congress) were the "Newport journal" and "Yaquina Bay news," neither of which appear to be digitized online anywhere (yet). Clicking on the newspaper titles takes you to the LOC Chronicling America website.



Using the "Libraries that Have It" tab reveals that the "Univ of Oregon Libr, Eguene, OR" has "Newport journal".



"Univ of Oregon Libr, Eguene, OR" has "Yaquina Bay news" as well.

I assume this means the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon.  The UO libraries include Knight Library, possibly the first place I should check for the microfilm of these newspapers.

Both newspapers are at the Knight Library.




Ooh, the microfilm can be borrowed (interlibrary loan)?  Nice.




So at least now I have a lead on where to go and who to contact in order to search these non-digitized newspapers.

If I write up a research plan for additional research on Matilda I can use this information.



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