Back issue of the News Enterprise
For years, loyal readers, researchers and editorial staff have been yearning to flip through back issues of the News Enterprise, whether its two years in the past, 20 years or all the way back to when the paper was founded in 1924. Well, we have some good news.
We recently signed an agreement with the Potsdam-based Northern New York Library Network to have the News Enterprise issues from 1924 to the present digitized and placed on a searchable website. We will soon be part of the Northern New York Historical Newspapers project, located online at http://news.nnyln.net.
“The Network …. has identified the News Enterprise as an excellent candidate for treatment,” wrote NNYLN Executive Director John Hammond.
The Northern New York Library Network is a consortium of public, academic, school and specialized libraries chartered to improve library service to North Country residents. It has a long history of newspaper preservation, including preservation microfilming in the 1980s and local coordination of the New York State Newspaper Project in the 1990s.
In 2004, the Network launched Northern New York Historical Newspapers to enhance access to the region’s local history. Serving seven counties — Essex, Franklin, Clinton, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Jefferson and Oswego — the online collection now contains almost 2.3 million pages from 52 newspapers. The newspapers span more than 200 years.
The oldest issues on the website come from the Plattsburgh Republican, dating to 1811, three years before the famed Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. It is in the April 12, 1811 issue we find out who has mail left at the post office, who died that week, who got married, who wrote letters to the editor, and which state senators’ seats will need to be filled during the lieutenant governor’s election.
For the history buff, the genealogy hobbyist and the serious researcher, Northern New York Historical Newspapers is a treasure trove of information. People can easily get mesmerized by the volumes of stories here, and time will certainly fly when you are having fun learning about local history.
The process of digitizing the News Enterprise from 1924 to the present will be a standard process. The Adirondack Museum librarian has graciously given us permission to use their microfilm copies of the paper and will loan them to the NNYLN. The microfilm will be scanned, and images will run through optical character recognition (OCR) software and be indexed. The indexed images will then be placed on the Network’s web server, interfaced with a search engine and made available to the public over the Internet.
When we began researching this project in February, we didn’t know how much the digitization project would cost or where we would put the issues online. After all, the Northern New York Historical Newspapers project does not serve most of the News Enterprise readership: the Warren County town of Johnsburg and the Hamilton County towns of Indian Lake and Long Lake. Luckily, it does serve the Essex County towns of Minerva and Newcomb, so we were welcomed into the Network’s family.
And, because we are part of the family, digitizing the News Enterprise will be free for us. We can’t thank the Network and the Adirondack Museum enough for their generosity.
We’re not sure when the back issues of the News Enterprise will be available online, but we’re hoping for sometime in 2012. When that happens, we’ll be easy to reach; you can find us camped out at our computers, flipping through the online pages of Adirondack history.
Andy Flynn is the Assistant Managing Editor at Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.