Over 60 Years Of Historic Door County Newspapers Now Online
2/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
By Bob Dohr
Whether your interest is in researching genealogy, looking up local history or getting a Door County perspective on historical events, the task is now a whole lot easier.
Thanks to a recent digitization project more than 60 years of Door County newspapers -- 6,325 issues spanning from 1862 to 1923 -- are now available online.
The effort was spearheaded by Door County Library adult services librarian Laura Kayacan, who watched people giving the library's one microfilm reader a workout.
"I saw people coming into the library constantly doing genealogy and history research and they were kind of tied to the one microfilm reader that we have here and the microfilms were getting beaten up over the years so I thought, 'There's got to be a way we can put this online.'"
Kayacan says people can now go to http://www.doorcountynewspapers.org/ and have access to articles printed in the 12 newspaper titles which were published in Door County between 1862 and 1923.
So interested readers can find out more about Allen Bradley, a.k.a. "the Giant of Gills Rock" or get the Door County perspective on events like the Civil War or the sinking of the Titanic.
Kayacan says all the microfilms are now searchable by keyword which was impossible before.
The project -- which cost a bit more than $22,000 -- was funded through grants from the Maihaugen Foundation and the Door County Library Foundation.
The bulk of those funds went toward the cost of scanning. Kayacan says the website uses open source software (read: "free") and the County of Door is hosting the site on one of its servers.
"That's saving us a lot of money," says Kayacan. "I think we've done this in a very frugal way and yet it's really a lot of fun to have all of these newspapers available to the public online."
Kayacan hopes to do another phase of digitization to cover issues from 1924 through 1940.