A Collection Of Tips, Tricks, Explanations, Articles, & Various Tools

Overview & How To Use

An Introduction To The Community History Archives

A brief introduction to the Community History Archives to help familiarize you with the layout, tools, and functionality of the website. This overview will provide you with a basic understanding on how to use the Search & Browse features, as well as how to navigate the Search Engine Results Page, and Image Viewer.

Directory Of Community History Archives

A Directory Of Community History Archives

Discover “history as it happened” through the lens of those who witnessed it, in the Community History Archives, made possible by our library partners across the country. The preservation of our collective history is a shared responsibility. Advantage partners with communities to archive & provide practical digital access to local historical content in print, that would otherwise be lost to the erosion of time.  If you don’t see an archive in an area you are interested in, please contact the local library, newspaper publisher, genealogical society, historical society, or educational institution, and encourage them to learn more about creating a Community History Archive,  or have them contact us at (855) 303-2727.


Search Concepts


Your search criteria is just a sequence of letters that are matched against a search index that was created from the scan and OCR process applied to the subject newspaper page. Knowing how to develop your search criteria is the single most important factor that you can control in getting the search results that you are seeking.

Boolean Concepts


Boolean searching was developed by George Boole, an English mathematician. Essentially, Boolean searches provide the ability to combine words and phrases using the operators AND, OR, NOT to refine your search.

Browse Concepts


Browse is sometimes a very effective way to find articles that OCR did not pick up correctly.  What that means is that the index created after the OCR process does not match the intended letters from the original scanned copy, so browsing may be your only way to find an article. This is very important to know.

Image Handling Concepts


The Community History Archives have a variety of ways to manipulate the image once it is displayed. When using the Download feature or the Crop feature, make sure that you consider the two important concerns mentioned above.  It will save you lots of headaches later if you do.

Tips & Tricks

Search For Hyphenated Words


The use of the hyphen in historical newspapers can create challenges (but also opportunities) for researchers. Hyphenated words were often used because of fixed width type as well as the experience and capability of the typesetter. Hyphens are less utilized today but were heavily used years ago.

When Seeking a Person, Search For More Than Names


When entering our search criteria in the search box on the Search Portal, we often focus primarily on the name of the target person.  We might also search for a location or an address. or combine these with a name.

Don’t Search Just Names

If you are searching old newspapers to find an ancestor as part of your genealogy research, or you are searching for an event in these newspapers as part of a classroom assignment, or for history research, these tips all apply. Many times, we get stuck in searching just names, but there are excellent alternatives that will help you hone in on articles that apply to your research.

Search Tips When Searching for a Person

When researching old newspapers, there are many things that you need to know and many mistakes that can be made when drawing conclusions about the articles you find.  Here are some tricks and tips as well as what to avoid when you are searching for a person.

Change the Letters in Your Search

When searching online, you have certainly been puzzled by some of the search results (or lack thereof) that you have received. Creation of newspaper images and application of the OCR process does not always result in what you might expect. There is a simple explanation for these issues, and it all has to do with quality. But by merely changing some of the letters in your search criteria, you can improve your search results.

Use Abbreviations in Your Search

In older historic newspapers, abbreviations were used to save space. Abbreviations were used to shorten many words, so searching for an abbreviation as well as the “whole word” will provide you with many more relevant search results.

Want Better Newspaper Search Results? Get an Attitude

If you’ve read any prior articles or tips, then you know that the quality of the scanned newspaper as well as the OCR process dictate the quality of the search index.  And when you are searching for words or combinations of words, you essentially are trying to match your search criteria against that index.


Navigating The Home Page

 This tutorial explains how to navigate and use the functions available on the home page.

Basic Search From The Home Page

This tutorial explains how to make best use of the basic Search function available from the home page

Newspaper Page Image Handling

This tutorial explains how to use all the many different functions and features available after selecting an image to display, including zooming, page selection, searching on page, cropping, downloading and printing page images.

Search Results Page

 This tutorial explains how to navigate and use the many functions available on the Search Results Screen, including refining searches, selecting results to view with the Image Viewer, etc.

Using Advanced Search

This tutorial explains how to navigate and use the Advanced Search functions.

Read All About It!

Latest News, Interesting Finds, Media Mentions, & Articles

Read All About It!

Read the latest news fresh off the press from Advantage Preservation and see what’s new with announcements, company media mentions, educational articles and more. Stay connected with Advantage Archives blog.

Social Media

Connect with us on social media and follow Advantage Archives for the latest news and announcements or share articles fresh off the press from Advantage Archives blog with your friends and family.


Find educational articles on document management and preservation support solutions from our team experts who have over 100 years of combined industry experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to the most common questions about Advantage Preservation, Advantage Information Management Solutions, Advantage Records Management & Storage, the Community History Archives, the IAhistory Project, and many more. The FAQ is updated frequently, and if the answer you are looking for is not found here, there is a contact form at the bottom of the page. Just send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.



This glossary contains explanations relevant to microfilming historical newspapers, newspaper preservation and access to the archived content. We have compiled this alphabetical list of terms with explanations or a brief definition. You can use this dictionary to quickly look up any term used you might not be familiar list. Get started by visiting the Glossary page, and clicking on the letter your word begins with.


Find white papers, case studies, standards, documentation, and much more in our Download center.