Search Tips: Seeing the Complete Article from Your Search Results

After conducting a search, you can view any article in your results list simply by clicking on the article snippet that interests you. When you do, the full article appears in the Image Viewer. But what if you click on the snippet and the Image Viewer shows you an article that appears to have blank or missing blocks of text? Rest assured—the entire article is there, and this "Search Tips" article will explain what is going on and how you can see the entire article, every time.

To begin, let's do a search for someone named "Charles Pailer." Remember, GenealogyBank's archive contains five different collections of material for your family history research:
  • Historical Newspapers (including historical obituaries)
  • Historical Books
  • Historical Documents
  • Recent Newspaper Obituaries
  • Social Security Death Index
To do the broadest search possible, simply enter the name you are researching into the search form on the home page, and GenealogyBank's search engine will speedily examine all five collections—over 800 million articles and records—and give you the complete results. For this example, enter "Pailer" in the "Last Name" box, "Charles" in the "First Name" box, and click the big green "Begin Search" button:

The resulting Search Results Page shows that we have 19 matching documents for this search. Let's click on the Historical Newspapers collection to see the 11 "Charles Pailer" matches found there:

The resulting Search Results Page shows those 11 "Charles Pailer" matches, with five results per screen. The "Sort by" option lets you arrange the articles by "Newest items" or "Oldest items." Notice that each match shows a snippet of the newspaper article:

To illustrate the problem this "Search Tips" article is explaining, let's click on Search Result #5, which is a mortuary notice from the May 31, 1897, issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Here is what happens when you click on this particular snippet, and it's a good example of what can cause confusion when you click on some—but certainly not most—snippets:

The large blank space along the left-hand side makes it look like a big chunk of the article is missing, a suspicion reinforced by the fact that the top text is clearly not the beginning of the article, nor is the bottom text the article's ending. What is going on?

Actually, the complete article is there. GenealogyBank digitizes the entire newspapers in its historical newspapers collection, then trims each individual article and presents it separately from the page it was printed on. When you click on a snippet, you're clicking on that separate, individual article. The original article view you are seeing is cutting away the rest of the page; this truncated view is to let you focus on just your target article.

However, articles sometimes have odd shapes formed when the original editors laid out the page to make the content fit. In the case of this particular example, the article begins in the middle of column four, and then continues onto columns five and six. So, while it looks odd to have the top half of column four blanked out in the Image Viewer, the complete article is indeed there. In addition, the complete page the article was extracted from is also available if you wish to examine that as well. Let us show you the various tools GenealogyBank provides to manipulate images using the Image Viewer to see an entire article or even an entire page. First, we'll scroll down the original view to the bottom of that blank space on the left-hand edge to show that the beginning of the article is in fact there, right where the editors placed it—in the middle of column four:

You can scroll a document by clicking on the "Up," "Down," "Right," or "Left" borders of the Image Viewer, as indicated, or by clicking on the tool highlighted in yellow above—which lets you "grab" the image and move it any way you want.

The easiest way to see the complete article is to click on the PDF (Portable Document Format) tool in the Image Viewer's tool bar. The PDF view of the article (showing the entire article) will open in a new window for easy reading, from which you can also print or save the article. The PDF tool is located here:

With a full view of this alphabetically-listed mortuary notice, we easily find the information on Charles Pailer:

Sometimes you may want to see the entire page an article came from—this is helpful in figuring out the shape of convoluted articles like the example above. It is also a good way to check if there is a related article accompanying your target article on the same page, or perhaps a photograph, chart or other graphic. There are two ways to open up your target article's entire page.

One way is to use the Full Page tool in the Image Viewer's tool bar. It is located here:

Here is another way: look at the left-hand column of the article view screen. The page that the mortuary notice came from is highlighted. Click on "Page: 9" and the entire page appears in the Image Viewer:

Notice also in the left-hand column there is another highlighted choice under "Page: 9"—an option that says "List all pages in this issue":

Clicking on this option lets you see a list of each page in this particular issue of the newspaper. This sidebar feature also gives you a highlighted list of the key articles on the page you select (in this case, Page 9):

This is a handy way to browse through an entire issue of a newspaper—always giving you the option to click on any highlighted page in the list to see that entire page in the Image Viewer, as well as giving you the links to quickly pull up each article on that particular page. And, just like with any article, you can click on the PDF tool to pull up a PDF copy of the entire page.

We hope this article helps you the next time you click on a snippet on the search results page, and the target article seems to be incomplete in the Image Viewer. Remember: the complete article is there—just use some of the tools we've described and you will see the article in its entirety. Have fun searching—and good luck with your family history research!