Early Hood River Glaciers, The Dalles Weekly Chronicles, Maupin Times to be digitized

Historic newspapers from Hood River and Wasco counties will soon be made available online thanks to several grants, Hood River Library Director Buzzy Nielsen announced.

Titles to be digitized include 1889-1922 issues of the Hood River Glacier, 1889-1900 issues of The Dalles Weekly Chronicle (1901-1922 are already available digitally), and the 1914-1930 issues of the Maupin Times.

Early issues of the Hood River News also are closer to being digitized thanks to recent grants from the Hood River Cultural Trust and Gorge Community Foundation.

All of these titles will be digitized by experts at the University of Oregon’s Oregon Digital Newspaper Program. Once digitized, which will happen over the next several months, the titles will be available on the Historic Oregon Newspapers, oregonnews.uoregon.edu.

In addition to simply making images of the newspapers available, the full text of the articles will be searchable, making the newspapers accessible in ways not possible before. UO is also committed to the long-term preservation of the digitized newspapers, helping ensure future generations can access these critical documents.

The Hood River Glacier was selected as the top title to be digitized this year by the ODNP. It will be digitized as part of grant UO received from the National Endowment for Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program. The Glacier was chosen in part because of its coverage of Japanese immigration to the Columbia River Gorge as well as the birth of Hood River County’s fruit industry.

In addition to being made available on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, the Glacier will also be put on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site, chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. The 1901-1922 issues of The Dalles Weekly Chronicle were digitized as part of an earlier cycle of this grant.

Two Wasco County newspapers, the 1889-1900 issue of The Dalles Weekly Chronicle and the entire run of the Maupin Times (1914-1930) will also be digitized thanks to a $3,800 grant from Google’s The Dalles Data Center community grant program.

This digitization effort is part of a larger project to ensure continuing access to the Columbia Gorge’s heritage. The effort is a partnership among cultural heritage institutions throughout the Gorge including Cascade Locks Historical Museum, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center/Wasco County Historical Museum, Eagle Newspapers, The History Museum of Hood River County, Hood River County Library District, North Bonneville and Stevenson Community Libraries, Southern Wasco County Library, and The Dalles-Wasco County Library.

Not to be forgotten, early issues of the Hood River News are one step closer to being made available online. The History Museum of Hood River County and Hood River County Library District recently received a $1,000 grant from the Hood River Cultural Trust to digitize 1909-1922 issues of the News. This amount is in addition to an earlier $640 grant from the Richard and Kathleen Nichols Fund of the Gorge Community Foundation. Approximately $3,500 is still needed to digitize the early issues of the News.

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Newsprint and photographs were not made always made to stand the test of time. While heritage institutions are committed to preserving the paper copies of these items, having additional formats through which to access them both increases people’s ability to use the resources and ensures their long-term survival.

Many of the newspapers, for instance, are preserved additionally on microfilm. Digitizing provides yet another backup of these critical historical documents. It also takes advantage of new technologies to make the documents available online, allowing a much larger audience to access them.

There is still more work to be done. Heritage partners are waiting to hear back about a grant application to digitize the Bonneville Dam Chronicle, a newspaper that ran between 1934 and 1939 documenting the construction and early operation of the Dam. They are also continuing to seek funds to digitize the 1909-1922 issues of the Hood River News, 1923-1933 issues of the Hood River Glacier, and the entire run (1936-1952) of the Hood River County Sun.

For more information, or to contribute to the project, contact Buzzy Nielsen, library director, at 541-387-7062 or buzzy@hoodriverli-brary.org. More information about the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program can be found at oregonnews.uore-gon.edu.

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