Parsing Chronicling America: Using Article-Level Searches in Historical Arguments

Marcy L. Galbreath and Amy L. Giroux, University of Central Florida

For humanities scholars, the digital archive Chronicling America is attractive primary source material. To simplify data searches in this big data environment, we developed a theme-based portal, Historical Agricultural News, or HAN, that performs searches on a subset of data composed of articles rather than pages. The articles that make up the HAN database were collected by a unique algorithm that captured any article-level content related to agriculture organization keywords. This paper explains the use of HAN in supporting the arguments that digitized archival newspapers can help chart the transmission of progressive agricultural practices and historical immigration debates.