One of my favourite online resources to use in my research is TROVE, a collection of information by the National Library of Australia. (trove.nla.gov.au)
If you search Trove, you will find an amazing resource, the envy of other countries. Of course you can search for books as you would expect from a library website. But you can also find maps, photographs, journals, archived websites, diaries, letters, music, people and organisations and lists. Access is free. So if I do a search for my ancestor and type Dixon in the Trove search bar, I get over a million different resources where Dixon is mentioned, broken into 10 broad categories.
One category of Trove that I use mostly for family tree research is the Digitised Newspaper section.
This is where newspapers from all over Australia are scanned into an electronic format We get to keep a photograph type image thus preserving the document image forever and allowing you and me to access it electronically at any stage. Digitisation of our newspapers is a wonderful thing. I've been told many times by overseas researchers how lucky I am to have Trove as a primary resource.
For example, if I wish to search for my family of Dixon in a newspaper, I find a box with a pale grey heading with the category of "Digitised Newspapers and more". In this category I got 849,126 results for Dixon. Click on "view all 849,126 results" which is a hyperlink and will take you a new page showing only the Digitised Newspaper results. (Not the music or books or the other results, just the newspapers. - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper)
Now your results will show various newspaper article headings each with a fragment of the article below, showing the word Dixon within it.
The newspaper article headings are also hyperlinks, and if you click on them, they will take you to a new page showing that actual article you are interested in.
But I am not going to search 849,126 Dixons mentioned in the newspapers of Australia. This is where your detective skills come in, by refining your search and all our other tricks.
If you do find an article you are looking for, you can save a photograph like copy of it (called a pdf file) onto your computer or USB. This is all for free, you understand. You also have the option of printing a copy from your own printer directly from the website.
Tomorrow I will explain the other part of the newspaper digitisation process, and how it can help our research. I will write in detail about refining results soon too.
Trove is well worth a look. Have fun and play. You will be astounded by what you find.