Putting Chattanooga’s Historical Newspapers Online

Chattanooga history advocates David Moon of Picnooga and Sam Hall of Deepzoomchattanooga.com are planning to make over 6,000 pages of Chattanooga’s historical newspapers searchable online as a free, open resource to benefit researchers, students, genealogists, and the general public, but they need your financial help.

According to the project’s web page at http://chattanooganewspapers.org:

One of the most valuable historical assets is local newspapers, which have been available on microfilm at public libraries for decades. But the old process of accessing newspapers on microfilm is extremely time-consuming and tedious, requiring points of reference and manual searching. Because of these obstacles, Chattanooga’s papers remain largely inaccessible.

There are now affordable and sustainable options to bring newspapers online. Digitization can produce accurate keyword search results from tens of thousands of indexed pages within seconds.

Just the beginning…
In 2016, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) provided selected reels of Chattanooga newspapers on microfilm from their collection to be digitized via a 3rd party partner.

The resulting 6,000+ digitized pages are just the beginning and will be accessible online at chattanooganewspapers.org. The content is from multiple publications that date from as early as 1854 through 1907.

Moon and Hall are looking for investors who can see the long-term positive value of local digitized newspapers. They hope to attract local organizations and companies to help fund this initial start. But there is also an opportunity for individuals to contribute.

Donation levels will include $50 for individual donors or “Friends.” $250 for “Sponsors” and $500 for “Partners.” Money raised in excess of $1,500 will go to future digital newspaper content. All contributor names will be added to the completed website.

You can help this worthwhile project by donating at: http://chattanooganewspapers.org.

3 Comments

I wish someone would do this for the Dover, NH, newspaper titled “Foster’s Daily Democrat,” 1873-today. This brings up an observation of mine. The Library of Congress chroniclingAmerica has free access to newspapers from all over the USA, BUT, there are none at all for Maine, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, and maybe a few other states, last time I looked, which was quite recently. Why is this?

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David Paul Davenport April 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm

If I read this correctly this newspaper project has found a way to digitize and make available as searchable images 6,000 pages of newspapers for $1,500. Could you, Dick, do a follow up that explains how they are doing this? I’ve been trying to find a way to digitize the microfilm for three newspapers in Fresno California for roughly 1880 to 1922 (approximately 600 35mm reels of film) and the “vendors” I have contacted give quotes of close to $300 per reel.

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