Miscellaneous tips

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A collection of miscellaneous tips and tricks not covered in other articles that might help you with your research.

Access some subscription websites with a Library Card

  • In England, a Borough or County Library Card may enable you to access The Times remotely but probably not other historical newspaper sites. However, enquire what is available to you both from your local library and the libraries of surrounding boroughs as what is on offer can differ widely and membership requirements are usually easily met. Popular choices available online include The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who's Who & Who Was Who. Other subscription sites may be available from terminals in the library itself e.g. Ancestry - this may sound restrictive but, if you already subscribe at a base level, may be useful for consultation when you want to look up a source restricted to premium subscribers.
As an example, Suffolk Libraries shows the databases available to the users of the more than 40 local libraries of Suffolk County Council. Ancestry and FindMyPast are available but must be accessed in a local library, while other databases are available on home computers.
  • Card holders of the State Library of Victoria, Australia are able to access digitised records from The National Archives, Kew, on their home computers, without charge. This service only applies to residents of Victoria.

Access some articles in the JSTOR subscription website for free

JSTOR is a not-for-profit organisation which provides access to scholarly journals, primary sources, and books. In addition to access through the British Library, or through some library cards, (such as those issued by the National Libraries of Scotland, Wales and Australia) some items may be accessed for free, on your home computer, up to three items from the archive every two weeks. More details are in the article JSTOR Register & Read—Free Reading of Historical Scholarship.

Browse the titles of the Journals and books available in the JSTOR website. Includes a Search facility. Note however, not all articles are available under the free scheme. An example of an article available is "Real Incomes of the British Middle Class, 1760-1850: The Experience of Clerks at the East India Company" by H. M. Boot The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 52, No. 4 (Nov., 1999), pp. 638-668

Access an obsolete website in archive.org

Capture a web page in archive.org

  • Perhaps you may want to “capture a web page as it appears now for use as a trusted citation in the future”. For example, you may want to save a web page which has a family history reference. Use this archive.org link and select Save Page Now
Does not apply to all websites. Read the FAQs: Wayback Machine for more details of the types of webites which cannot be archived.

Find the meaning of words used in India

The Anglo-Hindoostanee Handbook; or, Stranger’s Self-Interpreter and Guide to Colloquial and General Intercourse with the Natives of India1850 Google Books. Contents Includes Vocabulary, Monetary System, Weights, Linear Measures etc.
Also see Merchant

Convert a date which has used the Bengali Calendar

Find an exchange rate

  • Prior to 1871, 1 rupee was equal to two shillings (24 pence), so there were 10 rupees to the pound.
  • An old page from Wikipedia History of the rupee, accessed 30 August 2013 contains the following data
Rupee exchange rate in pence
1871–1872: 23 ⅛
1875–1876: 21⅝
1879–1880: 20
1883–1884: 19½
1887–1888: 18⅞
1890–1891: 18⅛
1891–1892: 16¾
1892–1893: 15
Source: B.E. Dadachanji. History of Indian Currency and Exchange, 3rd enlarged ed. (Bombay: D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co, 1934), p. 15.
Note: This book is available as a pdf download Digital Library of India, together with the 1927 edition.

Translate from another language into English

Perhaps you have found a webpage which is not in English. You can obtain a computer produced translation of non English wording using Google Translate, or some browsers such as Google Chrome have an automatic option to translate webpages.

Find out the meaning of an archaic medical term

Useful for interpreting the cause of death on a burial record or the medical conditions on a soldier's service record.

Find out the meaning of an archaic occupation

Interpret personal name abbreviations used in records

Read old handwriting

See Fibiwiki article Reading old handwriting

Date family photographs

  • Findmypast has a series of blogs about how to date family photographs by Jayne Shrimpton. Also browse using the various categories of tags such as jayne shrimpton, ask the photo expert, family photos etc. However, the articles currently available appear limited. Archived versions of the webpage contain many additional posts. Select different dates archived for possible additional entries. Some posts can be navigated through this archived link, clicking where appropriate on "older posts".

TechTips

  • FamilySearch TechTips Blog Archives FamilySearch website.
  • Comments by Sherry Morgan April 30, 2013 FamilySearch website. "I use photo editing software for documents as much as for restoring photos and one can do some decent work with a free program called Irfanview. I use it frequently at our Family History Center after scanning microfilm or microfiche to clean up or an all over brighten or darken and contrast to better define old handwriting".
  • "Did You Make This Common Mistake When Scanning Your Family Photos? (Here’s How To Fix It!)" by Thomas Watson and Craig Collett 2 March 2016. savefamilyphotos.com. How to add metadata, or information about your photos to scans of family photos.

Google Search tips

Use transcription aids

Use Speech Recognition or Dictation applications

Speech (or voice) recognition or dictation applications/software may be an aid if you are transcribing a document, or recording other information.
A free application for iPhones, iPads and iPod touch is Dragon Dictation. You may need to ensure the microphone option is turned on.[1] These mobile applications perhaps could be useful for recording information for cemetery transcriptions.
Your computer may contain a "Dictation" or similar option. As an example, for Apple Macs, choose Apple () , then System Preferences, select the View menu, then choose “Dictation & Speech".[2].Note however the Apple Mac option does not recognise some voices and will not work at all in these cases.

Scan and edit a document using OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

  • OCR anything with OneNote 2007 and 2010. howtogeek.com. OneNote 2010 is included with all edition of Microsoft Office 2010 except for Starter edition. OneNote 2007 is included with Office 2007 Home and Student, Enterprise, and Ultimate.

Search for a Library which holds a book you want to read

Search for books on a particular topic

Copy Information from Full View Google Books

Refer Google Books

Use the Virtual Magnifying Glass

You may find this Virtual Magnifying Glass is useful.

For Fibiwiki editors

References

  1. Great War Forum thread Dragon Dictation - IPad, iPhone (retrieved 6 June 2014)
  2. Mac Basics: Dictation lets you speak text instead of typing (retrieved 6 June 2014)