August 31, 2010

Wisconsin InfoLink: A new online collection of Wisconsin newspapers

Wisconsin InfoLink is an almanac of Wisconsin facts and resources compiled by Ron Larson. Each week on the WisconsinWatch blog, Larson introduces us to some of these gems.

Earlier in August I mentioned that there would be an announcement regarding a major addition to BadgerLink and here it is.

As some of you might have heard, BadgerLink — the state’s online full-text library collections — now has access to five years of complete PDF pages from more than 250 Wisconsin newspapers, dailies and weeklies.  This is a major breakthrough for those of you who need to search back issues of newspapers, as very few weeklies have any searchable archives and most dailies have extremely poor ones.

If you have a Wisconsin library card or if your Internet provider is Wisconsin-based, you should have no problem gaining access to this incredible collection of newspapers. If you have neither, just visit your local library (public or academic), as long as it is in Wisconsin. You’re out of luck if you live outside Wisconsin.

For your convenience, you can always get to BadgerLink through Wisconsin InfoLink’s Education tab.

How to get there: Wisconsin InfoLink: Education > BadgerLink > Resources by type > Newspapers > Wisconsin Newspapers Digital Research Site

If you have a Wisconsin Internet provider or if you are accessing BadgerLink from a library, you will be taken directly to the site. If not, you will need to choose the link “Wisconsin Library Card” and, at the prompt, type in your library barcode number.

The default option is to search all newspapers, but you can also filter by a specific newspaper.

The collection goes back to March 2005 and will continue to grow as current editions are added to the database. There is a 60-day embargo placed on the newspaper pages, so the most recent issues to search will always be two months old.

All in all, the BadgerLink collection of Wisconsin newspapers is a powerful research tool. Besides being available through the DPI’s BadgerLink site, the pages are in the process of being archived at the Wisconsin Historical Society, where I work.

This is the first in a series of blog postings on searching for newspaper content. Next time I’ll discuss another resource available through BadgerLink … Newspaper Archive. Until then, happy searching.

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