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    The Lone Woman and Last Indians Digital Archive

Navigating the Digital Archive

The Lone Woman and Last Indians Digital Archive facilitates research on both the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island and on historical representations of the American Indian. The features of this website enable users to efficiently browse, view, and interact with the 450+ documents collected here.


The Browse function allows users to view all documents contained in the digital archive by title of publication, publication date, place of publication, article title, and literary tropes appearing within. Browsing by document group enables users to track patterns of reprinting. Inside these browsing groups, individual texts are listed either chronologically or alphabetically by title, as appropriate.

First Browse Image

Once users select a document, they are directed to the Document Viewer. The left panel displays the digital surrogate of the document (often including front and back matter to provide context) and the right panel displays the transcription of that document. In the left panel, users can click the left and right arrows at the top of the Document Viewer to page through the digital surrogate; use the magnifier buttons to zoom in to a specific portion of the page or zoom out to the larger image; and press the "Expand Document" button to view the surrogate in full screen. Within the textual transcription, users can click on underlined words to read additional information about the people, places, groups, and organizations discussed in the text.

Second Browse Image

Interpretive Mode

Clicking the "Interpretive Mode" button allows users to interact with a set of literary tropes identified within the document being viewed. A new panel appears, inviting users to select which tropes they want to see highlighted in the transcription. When two or more tropes overlap, they will display differently so users can identify each. Clicking on the highlighted portion of the text will generate a description of the encoded trope, as defined by this digital archive.

First Interpretive Image


The Search function allows users to perform basic or advanced searches of all fields within the metadata (e.g., author’s name, publication title) and/or full text of a given document. Users can also elect to search critical annotations. The advanced search feature enables searches to be limited by date range or type of publication (e.g., newspapers, books, manuscripts). The terms "and," "or," and "not" can also be used to limit searches. ​To find alternate spellings and variant phrasing, an asterisk (*) can replace letters and/or words (e.g., George N*dev*r will find instances of both George Nidever and George Nedevier). Quotation marks cannot be used when performing a search. With the exception of asterisks, all searches are phrase specific. For example, a search for Helen Roberts will not return instances of Helen M. Roberts and vice versa.

Search results appear in a new panel and are grouped based on where those terms were found: document metadata, document transcriptions, and critical annotations. When users select a result found in document metadata or transcriptions, a preview of the digital surrogate and transcription appears along with a link to that document page. When users select a result found in critical annotations, the text of that annotation appears along with a link to all documents in which that annotation is present.


The Circulation of the Lone Woman’s Story is a world map that allows users to see how the Lone Woman’s story circulated across the globe in real time. The slider moves in monthly increments. Users can zoom in to a particular geographic location by using the zoom keys or by entering city, state, or country names into the search bar. The dropdown menu allows users to track reprintings of the Lone Woman’s story by selecting from a list of "parent" documents.

The historical maps show all geographic places mentioned in documents across the archive. The historical maps have been georeferenced, or stretched and warped, to match the projection used by Google Maps. This enables users to see the geographic location of historical events with the benefit of modern technology like satellites and GPS, which lend greater accuracy.