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
- There are a number of websites including Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, The [London] Times Digital Archive 1785-1985, The Illustrated London News 1842-2003, 19th Century UK Periodicals and other newspaper sites, JSTOR (many journals), which may help you in your research, where access is restricted . Card holders of participating Libraries including the following National Libraries (noting there is generally a residential requirement) Scotland, Wales, Australia, State Library of NSW, and many University Libraries can access some, or all of these websites, generally remotely on their own computers. Many of these websites including ECCO may also be accessed from the British Library Reading Rooms and the National Library of Ireland Reading Room. Also see Subscription websites-online newspapers, journals and directories
- 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 Reference Direct shows the databases available to the users of the 44 local libraries of Suffolk County Council. Ancestry and FindMyPast are available but must be accessed in a local library or record office, while other databases are available on home computers.
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
- Go to http://www.archive.org/web/web.php and type in the website you require in the Wayback Machine and click <Take Me Back>.
- A helpful website which has closed is regiments.org, here is the archived site at January 2008. This is the Regiments page, the Numeric list of British Army Regiments page and the British Army 1881 Regiments page; An overview of the South Asian Armies page, Alphabetic Index,South Asia page and Numeric index, South Asia page
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
- Hobson-Jobson: the Anglo-Indian dictionary by Henry Yule, Arthur Coke Burnell, William Crooke published by Wordsworth Editions, 1996. Limited View Google Books or full view at the Internet Archive website
- The Oriental Interpreter and Treasury of East India Knowledge: A Companion to "The Hand-book of British India." by Joachim Hayward Stocqueler 1848, Full View Google Books
- This Glossary is from the British Empire website
- Glossary to The History of the British Empire in India by Edward Thornton 1859. Google Books
- A-I Vocabulary: A lexicon of long-forgotten Anglo-Indian words www.tapmal.com
- Askew's Glossary of Victorian Colonial Terminology includes a section on 'British Colonial Military Terms and Soldier Slang' and 'India and the Northwest Frontier'. Now an archived website.
- Later publications include Sahibs, Nabobs and Boxwallahs: a dictionary of the words of Anglo-India by Ivor Lewis and Hanklyn-Janklin, a glossary of Indian English, by Nigel Hankin who is described in the The Telegraph obituary of 9 Jan 2008
- A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms. See Dictionaries online
Convert a date which has used the Bengali Calendar
- Bengali Calendar Wikipedia
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.
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.
- Glossary of Medical Terms used in the 18th and 19th Centuries from Craig Thornber’s History of Medicine
- From Genealogy Quest-Glossaries-Diseases Part 1, A-C, Part 2, D-L, Part 3, M-R, Part 4, S-Y.
- Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms A Glossary of Archaic Medical Terms, Diseases and Causes of Death by Rudy Schmidt. Lists in English and many other languages, including German, French, and Dutch
Read old handwriting
- Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500 – 1800 A practical online tutorial The National Archives, Kew.
- Reading English Handwritten Records from FamilySearch Learning Center. Covers "Secretary Hand" used in the 1500s and 1600s
- Copperplate Victorian Hand Writing Causeway Museum Service
- A Guide to Reading Old Handwriting in relation to Postal History by firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deciphering Old Handwriting by Sabina J. Murray
- This blog (hintsandechoes.wordpress.com) contains examples of the Spencerian script (used in the United States from approximately 1850 to 1925) and the later Palmer script
Use Photo Editing software to better define old handwriting
- Consumer vs. Professional Photo Editing Software by James Tanner April 5, 2013 includes a comment following the article, by Sherry Morgan, April 30, 2013 “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. It does have a learning curve, ... 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”. FamilySearch Blog
- Blog by Ken Watson blog : Scanning–DPI does count recommends scanning photographs at 600 dpi and slides and negatives from a 35mm camera at 3200 dpi
- Creating & Editing Digital Photos: Tips for Scanning & Restoring About.com Genealogy
- A few scanning tips scantips.com
- What Kind of a Scanner Should I Buy? 1, 2, 3, 4 from Tech Tips Family Search
Digitally restore old photographs
- Digital Restoration of Old Photographs from Tech Tips Familysearch.org
- What do I Need to Restore Damaged Photographs? by James Tanner Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 Family Search Blog December 2012
- Photo Restoration, a subforum of WW2Talk. (You must be a logged in member of WW2Talk to view any images displayed, see Mailing lists)
Date family photographs
- Find My Past has a series of blogs about how to date family photographs
The FamilySearch website has two series of general TechTips, some of which appear under 'Photographs' above
Aspects to consider when hiring a professional researcher
- Hiring a Professional from Cyndi’s List which includes Selecting and Engaging a Professional Researcher from Ancestry.com
Search for a Library which holds a book you want to read
- Worldcat.org. Note that the British Library does not appear to be part of this database.
- Copac: Search over 70 UK and Irish academic national & specialist library catalogues. Also includes a keyword search. Participating Libraries include the British Library. Copac is based at the University of Manchester.
- Trove for Australia. (National Library of Australia)
Search for books on a particular topic
- See the Copac Search above.
- Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH), previously called the Royal Historical Society Bibliography on British History may be of use if you are researching a particular topic and wish to find books written about the topic. As an example, entering East India Company produced over a thousand results, mainly books and articles written in the last forty years. This is now accessed through a subscription service, but is available free at the British Library as part of the Electronic databases available in the Library's Reading Rooms
Copy Information from Full View Google Books
Refer Google Books
Scan and edit a document-OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
- WW2Talk Forum thread 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.
- Microsoft Office Word 2007 instructions on how to Scan and edit a document, from Microsoft Office Online.
- Microsoft Office Word 2003 instructions About Microsoft Office Document Imaging from Microsoft Office Online.
Send money to India
Use the Virtual Magnifying Glass
You may find this Virtual Magnifying Glass is useful.
For Fibiwiki editors
- It is possible in many cases, to create an archived URL in the Wayback Machine in Archive.org which is a capture of a web page at that date, using this link and selecting Save Page Now.
- When adding a URL to the Fibiwiki, consider
- creating an archived URL, as protection against a future "broken link" and then,
- whether it is better to use the archived URL in your Fibiwiki edit. It may be better in cases where the link is to a particular page rather than a website generally, or when you feel the URL may not be very permanent.
- Once you have archived one page, you may want to click though to other relevant pages to ensure they are also archived.
- URLs with a pdf format may be archived, although it is not clear whether there is a maximum size limit.
- Note that it is not possible to always to archive a URL, and some photographs may not be displayed in the archived version. Read the FAQs: Wayback Machine for more details of the types of websites which cannot be archived.
- In those cases where you are not able to create a link in archive.org, a cached URL may be an alternative. If you come across a website or URL as a result of a Google search, there may be a link to a cached version of the URL, via a little downward arrow in the search result. Sometimes you can find a cached version by typing a URL in Google search. Note cached versions of pdfs may not contain photographs from the original files and many pdfs do not appear to have cashed versions. This may be a useful tool for items on sale on ebay, such as postcards, where it is sometimes not possible to otherwise (permanently or semi permanently) capture the image.
- Oocities.org This website was set up in 2009 to preserve content from the closed website "geocities.com". It may be possible to recreate a link from geocities.com
- Convert a pdf URL to a docs.google version using Google docs Viewer. This provides an alternative way to view a pdf, with thumbnail pages. On some browsers you may be able to scroll through more quickly.