In today’s podcast, Julie Clements, one of our Chief Solutions Officers, discusses learning about history via digitized historical books and documents.
Preserving History at Arizona CapitolnnSativa Peterson, the news content program manager for the State of Arizona Research Library has been working on the Arizona Memory Project with the objective of digitizing Arizona’s newspapers that date back to the 1800s. There are major papers from the earlier days before Arizona became a state as well as smaller newspapers that contain much of the history. Among the significant papers are a paper written in both English and Japanese from internment camps, the Arizona Times, a paper created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s daughter as a challenger to The Arizona Republic, and papers from almost every city and county.
Sativa, who has a background in journalism and libraries, considers it a great opportunity to be able to work on this project. In fact, it is the largest newspaper collection in Arizona that dates from 1859 (when the first newspaper was published in the state) till the present.
So, learning history through newspapers is really amazing. The first Arizona paper was The Weekly Arizonian that was out of Tubac and the newspaper contains much of the history of the state. There are papers containing information about the US-Mexico border and from the newspaper we can see how views from the border change throughout history, sometimes more welcoming, sometimes less, and how that correlates to other things in U.S. history. There are newspapers from 1917 which is the era of women’s suffrage movement. A newspaper from 1909 has a title“What if Halley’s Comet hits you” which gives practical advice about what to do if a comet hits you. A newspaper from 1926, The Winslow Mail carried news about a local girl who grew up in Winslow, taught in Winslow and it was the first time that someone from the town had become an educator in the town. Significantly, she taught Sativa Peterson’s grandparents. Thus, preserving history by digitizing helps learn the past and also connect with the community.
Around 80 papers are available on the Arizona Memory Project and this year they are releasing sections of 40 new titles. There are 700 Arizona newspaper titles in the collection as a whole. And with the 40 new titles coming out, about 8 percent or 9 percent of the collection will be digitized. They are planning to release six Spanish language papers from Phoenix and Tucson within the next few months. Six pre-1963 African-American newspaper titles and papers of the U.S-Mexico border will be made available online. Sativa Peterson is also interested in papers that were published during Arizona’s growth after World War II. Her objective is to start with military papers published in Arizona and as towns started to form. What’s the co-information there?
So, digitization of newspapers takes you back to old times and you can also learn how the world has changed over a period of time. Converting papers into digital format is very challenging, tedious and can be quite time-consuming but is a worthwhile effort. Conversion of documents into digital form becomes easy with efficient support from a reliable document conversion company. They are professional in handling fragile and old documents without causing damage and they can handle large volumes of documents and convert them into electronic format without losing accuracy and clarity. Document scanning service is an affordable option when it comes to bulk document scanning and conversion.
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