The Indiana Farmer captured rural Hoosier life between 1851 and 1917. The newspaper recorded the evolution and growth of the Hoosier state during that time. These publications provide a rich history of the Hoosier farmstead that was not addressed in other agricultural magazines of that time period.
During and immediately following the end of the Civil War, the newspaper emerged as the agricultural magazine for Hoosiers returning to the farm. Published in Indianapolis until 1873, it was the "magazine of rural life." The newspaper was known for providing tips to Hoosier on their daily life.
The Indiana Farmer has been digitized by Carl Snow, an associate professor library science, and others at Purdue University libraries. The Indiana Farmer project is part of the Indiana Memory Digital Library and is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Indiana State Library.
"We wanted to make the information more readily available to stop unintentional damage as people looked for materials," said Vicki Killion, an associate professor library science at Purdue. Copies of the newspaper were fragile and had started to tear, she said. Digitization addresses the needs of researchers who have utilized the print publication for many years and now provides full-text access without further destruction of the material. However, digital versions also require preservation. Snow said the digital copies have several backups and as technology changes, the formats will be updated as well
Snow and student assistants used a scanner that allowed the newspapers, bound with hard covers, to be face up for minimal contact. They then used software to enhance the images and allow people to search the pages.
You can learn more about the project and access the digital Indiana Farmer at http://goo.gl/5CnNu.
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