My Little Town Way Back When


Some of the information available in databases is fascinating. I've recently become enchanted by the Historical St. Louis Post-Dispatch [ProQuest] database. It has full text articles and images from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1874 to 1922. I'm not a history buff, but you can get an idea of what life was like way back when if you take some time to search.

For example, I wanted to find out about the early days of the suburb I grew up in, so I entered search terms Pine and Lawn. Many interesting news stories told of bank robberies, amazing rescues, divorce filings, devastating fires, missing persons, charitable acts, inheritances, collisions between buggies, street cars and automobiles, elopements, a water shortage, violations of Prohibition, teachers paddling truant students, municipal annexations and other civic activities.

One thing about Boolean searching that is evident here: stories that have Pine (as in Pine Street, or pine boards) and/or Lawn (as in lawn parties or lawn tennis) came up in addition to stories about Pine Lawn. I could have excluded some terms, but since I was just browsing, I decided to let it go.  Help is available within the database and from a reference librarian, if you need it. 

--Julie C., Headquarters

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