A collection of miscellaneous tips and tricks not covered in other articles that might help you with your research.
- 1 Access some subscription websites with a Library Card
- 2 Access an obsolete website in archive.org
- 3 Find the meaning of words used in India
- 4 Translate from another language into English
- 5 Find out the meaning of an archaic medical term
- 6 Find out the meaning of an archaic occupation
- 7 Interpret personal name abbreviations used in records
- 8 Read old handwriting
- 9 Use transcription aids
- 10 TechTips
- 11 Search for a Library which holds a book you want to read
- 12 Search for books on a particular topic
- 13 Copy Information from Full View Google Books
- 14 Use the Virtual Magnifying Glass
- 15 For Fibiwiki editors
- 16 References
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 Libraries 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.
- 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
- Early Modern India: a Select Glossary from South Asia study resources compiled by Frances Pritchett, Columbia University
- 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, now an archived webpage
- 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.
- 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.
- Note: This book is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website.
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
Find out the meaning of an archaic occupation
- Old Occupation Names Hall Genealogy Website. Also contains links to other sites
Interpret personal name abbreviations used in records
- Abbreviations Lists for Personal Names (English) FamilySearch Wiki
Read old handwriting
See Fibiwiki article Reading old handwriting
Use transcription aids
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
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. 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"..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.
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
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
Use the Virtual Magnifying Glass
You may find this Virtual Magnifying Glass is useful.
For Fibiwiki editors
- 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
- Great War Forum thread Dragon Dictation - IPad, iPhone (retrieved 6 June 2014)
- Mac Basics: Dictation lets you speak text instead of typing (retrieved 6 June 2014)