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Library Databases are collections of articles where the library buys the rights for you to access, read, link to, and print the articles. Although EBSCOhost is the best known provider of databases in Iowa, there are many others. Today we highlight another library database. All of our databases can be accessed both directly on any Kirkwood computer or by logging in with k number and password from anywhere off campus.

New York Times Historic (1855-2010)

Many people consider The New York Times the paper of record for the country. We actually have access to the NYT two ways, but today we’re focusing on the historic version. This database has full scans of the paper back to 1855. That means if you want to see what people were reporting as the Battle of Gettysburg happened, if you want to read along as the rescue ships brought the story of the Titanic sinking, or watch the explosion of Beatlemania you can. Since it was written at the time it happened these news articles count as primary documents, always a plus to include in a paper or speech.

The historic version of the New York Times is also handy if you need to pull up the issue of the New York Times to see what was going on in the world on your birthday either out of curiosity or an assignment.

Some Tech Tips

Click on this link to find the database or click on the All Kirkwood Databases link on the Kirkwood Library Services home page and scroll to N for New York Times. If you are accessing it from off campus you will have to log in with your K number and password at this point.

Once the database search screen opens, click on the words ADVANCED SEARCH over the search box. Going to the advanced search option gives you a chance to control the date range better which is very helpful to make sure you get what you want. For example, if you want articles contemporary to when the Titanic sank, you don’t want anniversary articles, reviews of the movies or books that came later, articles about the discovery the wreckage, legal issues over the possession of the wreck, etc. To help focus your Titanic search, you’d want to limit your search to 1912. You can also sort results not just by relevance, but also by date bringing up either the newest or oldest article on top.

Birthday Assignments

It’s also from the advanced search page that you can change the date selector to “On this date” and bring up a single issue (like your birthday).

Date Selector on Advanced Search Page

Date Selector

This limit by date search will bring up a results list in fairly random order unless you’ve also entered a search term. Choose any one of these articles on the list and click on the title. It will bring up a PDF of that particular article. Under the title of the article at the top of the page will be a choice of other ways to open it. Choose Page View by clicking on it. This brings up the entire page the article appears on. Just above this page image will be a row of hyperlink numbers. Click on 1 to get to the front page.

From the front page, you can flip through the paper page by page. If an article catches your eye, you can click on the article and it will open up as an individual article that you can read and print.

Printing Problems

One problem with the NYT is that articles tend to be long and skinny to properly lay out on the newspaper page. The program defaults to fitting as much of a single article as possible on one page and reduces it to fit on an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. This can mean some articles print with very small type. A lot of time the best way to deal with this is to print them as is anyway and make them bigger on the photocopier. If you have any problems be sure to contact us and ask for help.

Sarah Uthoff is a reference library at Kirkwood Community College. LIKE the Kirkwood Community College Library on Facebook and find links to Sarah all over the web at her About Me Profile.