Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Searching The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1841 - 1902) for Information About Pelham

Please visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at

Yesterday I discussed how to obtain free access to, and search, the ProQuest® Historical Newspapers' New York Times Database for historical information about Pelham, NY. There is another excellent online database provided for free to the public by the Brooklyn Public Library. It is the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online 1841-1902™" database. It contains full-text searchable online images of copies of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle published between 1841 and 1902.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on significant events that occurred in the New York metropolitan area including Pelham during that period. In fact, much can be learned about Pelham's history through searches of this excellent database. Below is information regarding how to access and search the database.

While online, use your browser (e.g., Internet Explorer) to go to the following Web address: http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/eagle/. You will see an opening page like that shown below where you should click on "Enter the site".

The next screen you see is the "Date Search" screen where you may select a particular issue of the Brooklyn Eagle by date. This is a slight design flaw in an otherwise excellent database. The default screen here should be the "Keyword Search" screen since most users likely will not know what specific issue they wish to peruse until they have conducted a keyword search of the database. You should click on the tab near the top of the screen labeled "Keyword Search".

On the "Keyword Search" screen, you will be able to enter search terms. You may use quotation marks around phrases and Boolean terms to create fairly complicated searches such as the following search: "Travers Island" and Pelham. That search will locate articles in the database that contain the phrase Travers Island and the word Pelham in them. You may limit the time scope of your search by selecting "Date Range" and you may choose to search all content, articles only, pictures only or advertisements only. You may choose to have your search results returned to you sorted by score (how well they match your search query), title, word count, date ascending, date descending, section or publication. For historical research, of course, I have found a sort by "date ascending" to be most useful.

When you click on "Go" next to the search query you created, if there are search results you will see a screen listing your search results in date ascending order. Although the search results page offers a host of alternatives for viewing the content of each issue in which responsive results may be found, you likely will want to read each of the articles simply by clicking on the image of the headline for each one. By so clicking, a floating window will appear with the article in it. The search terms located by the system will be highlighted. In the floating window you will have the ability, among other things, to email a link to the entire article to yourself or even to download a copy of the entire page on which the article appears in PDF format (Portable Document Format viewable with the free Adobe Reader®).

You likely will be pleasantly surprised regarding the amount of information concerning events in Pelham, NY that you will be able to locate in the database. Happy hunting!

Please visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at


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