Newspaper_views User Stories


Darrell Williams

Professor of History

Darrell is a historian who wants to use primary news sources in his classes and in his own research. He wants to easily be able to search for topics and news stories across multiple newspaper titles and regions.



Application Goals

Find articles on a topic

Darrell is teaching a class about public school desegregation efforts during the 1970s. He wants to investigate how these efforts were framed in news media stories, and compare the coverage from different regions.

Keyword search

Limit results by date

Limit results by geographic area

Add articles to class syllabus

Darrell wants his students to read articles he has found about school desegregation. He needs to put links to the articles in the class syllabus within his school’s course management system.

Link directly to article content

Citation data for articles

Add article snippet to presentation slides

Darrell is presenting at a conference about his research on school desegregation. To make his slides more engaging, he wants to download a portion of the article image and insert it into his PowerPoint presentation. He also wants the text to be searchable later, so he needs to grab the text of the snippet and embed it into the slides.

Download page image

Download image segment

Download article text


Sandra Brandt


Sandra is a local beat writer at a newspaper in a medium-sized college town. She wants to be able to look up past regional news stories. She works on tight deadlines and doesn’t have time to look in a lot of different places or learn a complicated system, and she’s often working in the field.



Application Goals

Find historical news sources about an organization

In response to the recent debate on immigration, Sandra has been assigned to research the history of various immigrant groups that helped settle her local town in the early 1800s. She needs to look up articles about various groups, organizations, and events from that time period, and quickly review the relevance of these stories to her current assignment.

Keyword search

Limit results by date

Text snippets in search results

View search results on page image

Informative metadata display

Responsive site design

Find historical news sources about a person

The newspaper is running a piece about the 10 most influential members of the community over the past 100 years. Sandra has been given the names of several of these people and been assigned to research their family history and how they lived. She wants to look up articles mentioning these people as well as do some basic genealogical research on their family history. She needs to be able to search for names within birth and death records and marriage announcements.

Keyword search

Limit results by article type

Advanced search


Maneesh Gupta

High School Student

Maneesh is a high school senior working on some assignments for his history class. He is very comfortable with technology but has no familiarity with bibliographic research databases, and will quickly give up and look for other sites if the application seems too complicated or unintuitive.



Application Goals

Find news stories from a specific date

Maneesh’s latest assignment is to do a weekly journal on local news stories from exactly 100 years ago. He needs to find one story for every day of the week from a newspaper in his area and then write an analysis of the article. He starts by doing a Google search for “news stories” plus the date, and location where he lives, which turns up several results from a historical newspaper database. He wants to continue searching and browsing from there, and needs to refine his search by date and location. When he finds an issue of an appropriate newspaper title with the correct date, he needs to browse a list of articles. Once he has found an article he wants to write about, he needs to include a citation and link to the item in his assignment, and submit a copy of the article to his teacher.

Persistent page URLs for all objects (no search or session variables in URLs)

Embedded metadata for better SEO

Limit results by date

Limit results by geographic area

Chronological browsing of newspaper issues

Intuitive controls for limiting results

Visually appealing, image-centric search results display

List articles for issue

Highlight article within page image

Rich viewing functionality with zoom and pan

Citation data for articles

Download object as PDF

Create automated feed of historical news stories

For extra credit in his class, Maneesh wants to create a Twitter bot application that will fetch historical “100 years ago today” news stories from local sources in the newspaper database and then tweet them out with a teaser image, headline, a snippet of text. He needs to be able to create a canned search that limits results to articles from a single issue on a specific day, then select a random article and retrieve the metadata, text, and first page image in a web application-friendly format (JSON).

Retrieve search results as JSON

Stable, predictable URL patterns for issues/articles

Retrieve issue contents as JSON

Retrieve object metadata as JSON

Retrieve object image sequence as JSON

Retrieve OCR text as JSON

Retrieve image content with pixel coordinates

* all images in the public domain; source: