This weeks tip: Sometimes you just have to use microfilm.

On Tuesday, I enjoyed the hospitality of the Edmonton Public Library from 10:30 in the morning until they shut the doors at 9:00 p.m. Thank you to all the lovely staff at EPL, and those who hosted my colleagues at the Calgary Public Library as well. Thank you also for hanging on to those microfilm reader/printers.

If you are looking for a couple of years worth of historical advertisements, even if you are just looking in one issue a week, it takes a lot of time. Advertisements occassionally (not too often thank heavens) have value for a legal research project. Advertisements are not indexed in online services for newspapers, like Informart or Canadian Newsstand – those sources contain articles but not ads.

There is a newspaper service called Press Display that has the newspapers as they appeared in print. It is an excellent service that carries major newspapers from around the world. Unfortunately, if you are looking for ads older than 3 months you are out of luck.

So, suck it up princes (I said to myself) and take your rolls of coins over to the microfile reader/printer at the public library and get the information you need. So what if it isn’t on the internet, it still exists.

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