Newspaper Digital Search

It is wonderful how many public libraries have microfilmed their local hometown newspapers and now even converting the microfilm to digital images. Most can even scan a document searching for a keyword name and highlight that for you in the search.

This process is also used with the subscription newspaper collections such a ‘’ and ‘Newspaper Archives’ -both excellent research collections. 

Yet, there are times you know for sure your Uncle Bob was covered in a specific newspaper article and now it is not to be found in your digital search. The reason could be that the OCR process (transcribing from print to digital text) might be missing the transcribing of a certain letter. It could be reading the letter ‘B’ as an ‘8’ so of course, it will not find your uncle ‘Bob Wilson’. It could even be the Wilson name, it read the last letter ‘n’ and a ‘m’ so it will not find ‘Wilson’

So help the situation if you have no success in the correct spelling is to mix it up a bit. Spell your uncle’s name ‘8ob’ and do a search. Remember that ‘8’ could also been thought for the letters, ‘S’ and ‘R’ because the typed letter formation – it is similar.

Below are a few examples of other letters or keyboard characters mistaken. Mix it up a bit in your research and your success rate might improve.

     .rn and m

     .ar n and em

  • h and b

  • Capital D and O

  • i, l, 1, /, !, and I are all often interchanged

  • 0 and O
  • c and e

  • r and n

  • [, ] and l (el)

  • nl and m (en el and em)

  • Capital R and B

  • n and ri (en and ar eye)

  • v and y

  • Capital S and 8

  • Capital S and 5

  • Capital Z and 2

  • Capital G and 6

  • Capital B and 8

  • Capital K and |<

Photos: Newspapers

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