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Support - EBSCO Help

Historical Digital Archives - Features and Functionality FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions about the features and functionality of EBSCOhost's Digital Archives Collections:

Q. What is the EBSCOhost Digital Archives Viewer? How does the viewer for Digital Archives content meet user's/researcher’s needs?

EBSCO has developed a “viewer” for Digital Archive content based on the same powerful, intuitive, flexible, data-driven approach that our EBSCOhost platform provides. The viewer brings the content “alive” and allows the user to explore, manipulate, collect, take notes, and export the content. The most important aspect of the EBSCOhost Digital Archives Viewer is that users have long asked for the ability to retain the “browsability” of the book in the digital age with software that gives the user the ability to feel that they are using the book and as well as searching it with good search capabilities. This Digital Archives Viewer achieves that aspect of presentation. The viewer includes a wide range of features and functionality designed to best meet the needs of users:

  • Search within the full text of the document.

  • Many ways to navigate – by Table of Contents, turning pages, or via EBSCO’s exclusive “Document Map” feature.

  • Ability to limit results by major information sources and document types to quickly hone in on the content source most desired.

  • Unique “Hover” feature in which the user just hovers over the items in the result list to view related citation excerpts.

  • Keywords searched are highlighted in text and distinguish between direct matches and “fuzzy” matches or approximate search matches.

  • Easy zoom-in for detailed close up views of a document with the ability to rotate the page image and carry over the zoom setting to the next page viewed.

  • View one or two pages at a time.

  • Unique “Page Note” feature that allows the user to take notes related to a particular page in the text, and save it for future reference as well as email it to others.

  • Conduct cross-database searches on relevant EBSCOhost databases for related articles and texts.

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Q. Does the Digital Archives Viewer work on Opera Browser? Is it supported?

According to the primary web developers for the Digital Archives project, “Opera is a great browser and the Digital Archives interface works perfectly in it — fully functional and really fast.” It was tested by EBSCO engineering team and it was compatible. However, technically we do not “support” Opera because the Quality Assurance (QA) group currently tests for the top four browsers accounting for approximately 97% of web traffic worldwide:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Google Chrome
  • FireFox
  • Safari

According to most browser statistics sources, Opera accounts for <1%. Therefore EBSCO does not currently conduct QA testing for Opera.

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Q. What are the minimum requirements to use the Digital Archives Viewer?

The following requirements are the minimums and apply for other EBSCO databases and interfaces as well.

  • PC or Mac Platforms 
  • JavaScript must be enabled in all cases.
  • Adobe or any other “plug-ins” are NOT required to view content.
  • Minimum recommended screen resolution is 1024x768 pixels.

Please see Minimum Browser Requirements for EBSCO Interfaces for web browser compatibility information.

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Q. Is the viewer technology for the Digital Archives Collection compatible with Macs?

Yes – it is. The usage and behavior has been well tested by EBSCO’s engineers and designers who work on Mac.

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Q. Questions / Highlights on Viewing

  1. I like the Document Map in the lower-left-hand corner of the page, but it does take up space that might be better used for something else.
    Answer: It's collapsible in order to address this very issue. Just click on the triangle in the lower left corner of the box to collapse it.

  2. I really wanted but could not find a full screen display of the page. It's hard to read such a small piece of an article, and when I zoomed up to a size of print that my eyes could handle, I was often looking at only a paragraph or two.
    Answer: Full-screen display details are on the help documentation. Users can currently maximize screen display by either clicking on the small dark blue triangles above, and to the left, at the perimeter of the page viewing area, or by hitting F11 on their keyboard

  3. There's an issue with the quality of some of the images, both online and when printed. The backgrounds are very gray, and the type in some is fuzzy.
    Answer: Microfiche sources="fuzzy" -- difficult to avoid

  4. When I zoom in on a page image in the EBSCOhost Digital Archives Viewer, I can't scroll down the page to read the rest of the passage I am looking at.
    Answer: Users can navigate and move (aka "pan") the page image by simply clicking and dragging the page image to the area they want to view. Additionally, users can drag the gold rectangle overlaying the Page Map in the lower right corner to view a different section of the page.

  5. I found the document map and the page map intrusive and immediately closed them.
    Answer: This is why the settings are “sticky” so they wouldn’t keep “intruding” for those that don’t like them. You can close them and they will remain closed for the remainder or your session in the Digital Archives Viewer.

  6. When you zoom in to take a closer look at part of a page can you print just the piece that you are zoomed in on – this will allow the ability to print a readable piece of the document that might appear in fine print and be unreadable in the usual size.


    (a) The user can zoom in and print a page so it is readable, but right now the whole page will print out, not just a piece or “snippet” of the page. Printing just a piece of the page is a future enhancement. Printing “zoomed” is more a function of the user’s control of their printer settings.

    (b) Users can use the PDF zoom control for viewing zoomed in. Currently PDFs are delivered for printing at the original page dimensions, so if the original document required a magnifying glass to read, so will a printout at the original page dimensions. However, because PDF delivery is at a higher-than-screen-resolution (200 dots per inch vs. 72 dots per inch), users will be able to use the zoom function in PDF Reader to zoom to a legible degree, and can print at an increased scale to achieve a similar legibility in print. On the list of future enhancements is a “Clipping” or “Dynamic Zoning” tool that will enable users to select a snippet of the page image at any zoom level for saving or printing.

  7. It appears that when individual articles appear on a page, the article that contains the search phrase is outlined in red. Can you print just one article from the page?


    (a) Currently when you print an article, you get the entire page(s) that the article is on. There is no selective article printing.

    (b) The article that was selected from the result list is outlined in red when entering the EBSCOhost Digital Archives Viewer. Additional occurrences of the term searched are highlighted in the issue or monograph, beyond the boundaries of the selected article. The user can select other articles within the issue or monograph, or select no articles at all. Currently, articles are output within the context of the entire page for printing as a PDF. If an article spans 3 pages, the 3 pages on which it appears comprise the PDF.

  8. The Notes feature – can the user to save these notes to a personal My EBSCOhost folder?

    Answer: When a user creates and saves a note, the note is automatically saved to the EBSCOhost folder for the duration of that session. Notes can be printed, saved, and emailed from the EBSCOhost folder. All notes retain a brief citation and persistent link to the original context of the note. However, to save, retrieve and share after session is over, a user should remember to sign in to their My EBSCOhost account to save the folder content for future retrieval or else they risk losing any thing they saved upon exiting the session.

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Q. What is the Document Map?

The document map has several useful features. Here are few highlighted items:

  • The document map provides a quick browse view of the entire issue or title with hover thumbnails for a quick view of what content is represented. (e.g. illustrations, and pages with keyword matches.)

  • The pink pages are especially useful for serials in the Digital Archives collection. If someone wants to save an entire article to their folder, they won’t have to page forward until they find the end of the article. They won’t have to try to figure out whether an article was printed all together on consecutive pages, or was split up and continued on later pages.

  • The missing page icon is very helpful. It reflects pages that are missing or could not be scanned. That way, a researcher knows right away whether an article they are viewing was scanned in its entirety, or if some pages of it are missing.

  • The icons also quickly convey how long an article or chapter is or how many illustrations are in the particular issue or title.

  • The map is collapsible giving a larger view of the page in viewer.

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Q. What is the Page Map?

The Page map plays an important role in orienting the user especially when the user has zoomed in on a page or document. It allows users to drag and focus on different sections of the page and eliminates the need for a scroll bar.

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Q: How do I save an article in the EBSCOhost Digital Archives Viewer in my folder?

First, make sure that you have selected an article on a given page by single-clicking on the text area of that article. Please note that articles can only be selected for periodicals, not for monographs. When an article is selected in a periodical, a red line will outline the article. Now, expand the Citation Pane in the left-hand column, and click on the folder icon. The folder icon will change to indicate that the article has been added to your folder.

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Q: Can I save individual pages, or a range of pages to my folder without selecting an individual article?

Yes. When viewing a page (or two pages, in Facing Page View), a folder icon (or two icons) will appear in the gray bar above the Page Image/s displayed. Simply click on the folder icon displayed above the page image to add that page to your folder.

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Q. Can you export the entire book to PDF and print it? Or chapters?

You can export PDFs (email, download, and print) up to 25 pages at a time.

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Q. Is the interface accessible to visually impaired users and 508 compliance?

  • In addition to the mouse and interface controls for zooming and panning, the access keys can be used to zoom and pan. For low-vision and visually impaired individuals that use screen-reader software, the machine-generated full text from each article and/or page image is made available to the screen-readers to read.

  • In short, this interface is far more accessible to visually impaired users than competitors’ products. Upon release it will be fully compliant with Section 508 and the latest WCAG accessibility standards meeting all federal and state guidelines for accessibility.

  • Currently the background color of the “Viewport” area of the EBSCOhost Digital Archives Viewer is set to display as gray only. However, the zoom and panning features enable users, including low-vision users, to zoom in on Page Images to a degree that the background gray is not displayed at all

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Q. Are MARC records provided for these collections? If so, will EBSCO provide the OCLC number in the record and will there be a cost for this?

Yes - MARC Records are provided as part of the purchase. Sample records for AAS and ATLA are available on the EBSCO support site. Cost for MARC records is included in the price. OCLC numbers are included where provided by the IP in their MARC records.

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Q. Does the collection have color images? Can you give some good color illustration examples?

Please remember that in earlier publishing times, color inks were rarely used in publishing - although sometimes black and white illustrations were hand-painted following printing.

  • Flowers Image: May 1761 of “Lady's Magazine; or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to Their Use & Amusement”

  • Military Image: November 1798 of “Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction”

Issue Date

Color images in the following AAS Magazines Image # AN
1/1/1832 Title 18  
1/1/1832 Ladies' Magazine and Literary Gazette 22  
10/7/1809 Ladies' Magazine and Literary Gazette 15 35644677
6/1/1761 L'hemisphere 1 35740348
7/1/1798 Lady's Magazine; or Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated Solely to Their Use & Amusement 2 36782084
7/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 8 36782084
7/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 73 36782084
8/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 2 36782084
8/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 64 36782084
8/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 65 36782084
9/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 64 36782084
9/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 65 36782084
11/1/1798 Lady's Monthly Museum, or Polite Repository of Amusement & Instruction 64 36782084

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Q. Are there any reference material included with the collection that describes the collections or the content?

Yes. Each collection has its own section of Overview Essays. These essays are reviews and summaries written by prominent historians who have used this collection for historical research and recapitulate the importance of the collections and speak either to specific collections or the content therein. The essays provide invaluable insight into the collection and highlight the research value of the content. The overview essays feature original essays from active scholars such as historian Martin Marty and many others. Please see the individual collection descriptions for more specific information about the essays for each collection.

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Q. What other Reference Material is available besides overview essays?

Digital Archives collections feature a 19th Century Archaic Terms dictionary. The content is compiled by Britannica.

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