How One Library Digitized Its Community’s Newspapers

By: Allison Quam | American Libraries

The Winona Newspaper Project, an open, noncommercial digital archive, is providing access to a number of historic periodicals of Winona, Minnesota, a mid-sized city in the southeastern part of the state. The project is an indispensable resource for Winona State University’s Darrell W. Krueger Library and university faculty and students, as well as for local journalists and historians.

The success of the Winona Newspaper Project has hinged on decisions made by state legislators, newspaper publishers, university administrators, and librarians. The project is unique in that it has been financed exclusively through funds from the Krueger Library’s acquisitions budget. Considering the current economic climate and the financial constraints under which many libraries are operating, it is remarkable the project came to fruition.

The digital archive contains over 385,000 pages encompassing 116 years of reporting by four newspapers: the Winona Argus (1854 and 1857), the Winona Daily Republican (1860–1901), the Winona Republican-Herald (1901–1954), and the Winona Daily News (1954–1976). Each digitized issue can be browsed in its entirety. Additionally, each page of each issue is fully indexed and keyword searchable, including articles, advertisements, and photos.

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