Category Archives: Indiana Historic Newspaper Digitization

“Indiana history is the product of local events, and local events tend to be captured within the pages of the community newspapers. The Indiana State Library has worked tirelessly to provide Hoosiers with free access to this information, traditionally on microfilm. Digitization of these newspapers is the ‘next step’ in providing 21st century access for Hoosiers to local events in Indiana history.”

Boy! Do We Have a Christmas Present for You!

Just in time for Christmas we have a lot of new digitized newspaper content available for you!

We recently uploaded another 23,000 pages into Hoosier State Chronicles including over 10,000 pages from the South Bend News-Times, and new Indianapolis Journal content from 1893-95.

As a special present for Hoosiers, any Indiana resident can now access over 400,000 pages of digitized Indiana newspapers via a special agreement with Newspapers.com.  To access the content follow these instructions:

1. Go to INSPIRE.in.gov .  If you try accessing INSPIRE at an Indiana library you shouldn’t need to log-in.  However, if you try accessing INSPIRE via your home, coffee shop, work place, etc. you will need to create a log-in.  Again, if you are an Indiana resident access to the select content is free via INSPIRE.

2. Once you are into INSPIRE, click on the Newspapers link, which will give you several options for digitized newspaper content.

3. To access the select 400,000 pages via Newspapers.com, click on the Newspapers.com link.

In the coming year, the Indiana content on Newspapers.com is expected to grow at a rate of 50,000 pages a month!

Didn’t I promise you a GREAT Christmas present?

10,000 more pages of the South Bend News-Times added

We recently ingested another 10,000 pages of the South Bend News-Times from November 1919 through May 1921.  That brings our total to 1,930 issues, or 30,000 pages of the South Bend newspaper from 1913-1922.  Over the next two months, we’ll upload another 20,000 South Bend pages which will fill in the current gap from October 1915 to December 1917, and finish digitizing the title through 1922.

One story you can find in the recently uploaded pages is about the death of University of Notre Dame football legend George Gipp.

 

The Evansville Daily Journal

Masthead

The Evansville Daily Journal of Vanderburgh County was established in 1834 by William Town but did not appear as a daily until 1848, a year after Evansville was recognized by official charter as a city of Indiana. Town relocated to Evansville from the east and worked as both a grammar school teacher and printer. In March 1834, he disseminated the first issue of the Evansville Journal and General Advertiser, which was a pro-Whig (later Republican) paper. He remained the newspaper’s owner until his death in 1839.

William H. and John J. Chandler became the joint owners and editors of the paper in 1839. Under their management the paper was published as the Evansville Journal and Vanderburgh Advertiser. The title was eventually shortened to Evansville Journal. A year later John left the paper and his brother William became the sole owner, publishing the paper under the firm name of WM. H. Chandler & Company. William Chandler debuted the Tri-weekly Journal in 1846 and the Evansville Daily Journal in 1848.

Capture
The Evansville Daily Journal endorsed Whig Party candidate Zachary Taylor in the 1848 presidential election. Taylor was nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready” for his victories in the Black Hawk War and Second Seminole War. He died in office on July 9, 1850.

In 1848, Addison H. Sanders purchased the Journal from William Chandler. Sanders oversaw the increased circulation of the Journal throughout southwestern Indiana between 1849 and 1856. He focused on improving the city department portion of the newspaper. The expansion of the paper paralleled the economic growth of Evansville during the 1850s, when the population of the city grew to 4,700. White newcomers were attracted to jobs with railroad firms, saw mills, and factories. Free blacks living in Evansville (about a hundred) also held both skilled and blue-collar jobs despite being barred from coming into Indiana in 1851 by Article XIII of the state constitution.

In October 1856, the Journal passed to Francis Y. Carlile. By April 30, 1858, Carlile had partnered with Indiana printers Frank M. Thayer and John Henderson McNeely. They formed the Evansville Journal Company (later Evansville Journal-News Company) and started to publish the paper under the name of that firm. Among the improvements the new proprietors made to the newspaper office was the installation of a steam engine and power press. Before more improvements could be made the newspaper office was destroyed in a fire. Its proprietors immediately arranged for the Journal to be printed from another newspaper office until it could be relocated. The company ultimately purchased a building located on Fifth Street between Main and Sycamore.

Carlile left the Journal in November 1859, selling his interests to James H. McNeely. By 1860, Evansville was the third largest city in Indiana behind Indianapolis and New Albany with a population of 11,484. Under the maintenance of the McNeely brothers and Thayer the Journal advocated for the election of Abraham Lincoln for president and unflaggingly supported the Union side during the Civil War.

Excerpt from a letter written by a soldier in the 17th Indiana Regiment, Napoleon B. Risinger, published in the Journal on September 17, 1861.
Excerpt from a letter written by Napoleon B. Risinger, a soldier in the 17th Indiana Regiment, which was published in the Journal on September 17, 1861.

John W. Foster purchased the interest of James McNeely and replaced him as partner in June 1866. Edward Tabor, a former bookkeeper for the paper, subsequently joined Frank M. Thayer, John McNeely, and John W. Foster as a partner in the Evansville Journal Company. In 1869, the Journal reported a circulation of 2,000 for its 8-page daily issues and 5,000 for its weekly issues.

Claude G. DeBruler purchased Foster’s interest and replaced him as partner in November 1872. Thayer left the Journal in 1883. James McNeely purchased DeBruler’s interest in 1885 although he had been listed in the newspaper as a proprietor since 1883. Following the departures of Thayer and DeBruler as well as Tabor’s death, the McNeelys became the joint owners of the Journal in March 1885. By 1889, James McNeely was editor-in-chief while his brother John fulfilled the role of river editor. Jessie McDonald (later Mrs. William Torrance) eventually oversaw the society department of the newspaper.

The Journal published a “Colored News” column in or near the want ads section between the early 1890s and 1909. The column had a black editor and covered goings-on in the black community such as church events as well as illnesses and funerals. Outside of the short, segregated column the newspaper’s derogatory tone towards blacks reflected the intense racial bigotry that affected the city’s black population, which at 7,405 approximated that of Cleveland, Ohio.

During the McNeely brothers’ maintenance of the Evansville Journal-News Company the circulation of the Journal grew to 9,844 for daily and Sunday issues, which were 8 and 16 pages respectively, by 1900. That was more than the Evansville Courier the Journal’s pro-Democratic competitor, which had a circulation of 8,555 for dailies 10-20 pages and Sunday issues 24-36 pages, in the same year. By 1920, the Journal had a circulation of 15,765 for week-days and 12,232 for Sunday issues. The Courier surpassed the Journal that year with a circulation of 23,893 for week-days and 20,978 for Sunday issues.

In 1923, the McNeely brothers sold the Journal to the Evansville Courier Company. The Courier office published its Sunday edition together with the Evansville Journal as the Sunday Courier and Journal between June 24, 1923 and 1936. The Evansville Courier Company suspended the Evansville Journal in November 1936. The newspaper’s masthead displayed slightly different titles over the course of its run including the Evansville Daily Journal, Daily Evansville Journal, Evansville Journal, Daily Journal, and the Evansville Journal-News. A former city editor at the Journal during the 1880’s characterized the paper as “a power in the republican party of the state” that supported the elections of several Republican candidates for state and federal offices including Benjamin Harrison (Senator from Indiana 1881-1887; President 1889-1893) and Charles Warren Fairbanks (Senator from Indiana 1897-1905; Vice President 1905-1909).

Books:

Bigham, Darrel E. We Ask Only A Fair Trial: A History of The Black Community of Evansville, Indiana. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987. Published in association with the University of Southern Indiana.

Bigham, Darrel E. An Evansville Album: Perspectives on a River City, 1812-1988. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988.

Esarey, Logan. History of Indiana from its exploration to 1922. Rochester, Indiana: Tombaugh Publising House, 1981.

History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana, From the Earliest Times to the Present, With Biographical Sketches, Reminiscences, Etc. Madison, Wisconsin: Brant & Fuller, 1889.

Iglehart, John E., ed. An Account of Vanderburgh County from its organization. Dayton, Ohio: Dayton Historical Publishing Company, 1923.

Patry, Robert P. City of the Four Freedoms: A History of Evansville, Indiana. Evansville: Friends of Willard Library, 1996.

Thornbrough, Emma Lou. “African-Americans.” In The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, ed. David J. Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, 5-14. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994. 

Census Record:

U.S. Bureau of the Census. “Population of the 100 Largest Urban Places: 1860.” Internet Release date June 15, 1998. https://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0027/tab09.txt .

Clipping File:

Evansville—Vanderburgh County. Newspaper histories. Library Development Office, Indiana State Library, 315 W Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

Directories:

Geo. P. Rowell and Company’s American Newspaper Directory. New York: Geo. P. Rowell & Co., Publishers & Newspaper Advertising Agents, 1869.

Geo. P. Rowell’s American Newspaper Directory. New York: The Printer’s INR Publishing Company, 1909.

N.W. Ayer & Son’s American Newspaper Annual and Directory: A Catalogue of American Newspapers. Philadelphia: N.W. Ayer and Son, 1920.

30,000 More Digitized Newspaper Pages

We recently uploaded another 30,000 pages of digitized Indiana newspapers to our collection.  The additions include the Indianapolis Journal from May 1888-April 1893, the South Bend News-Times from July 1913-October 1915, and the Vevay Times and Switzerland County Democrat for 1840.

A National Digital Newspaper Program grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, in cooperation with the Library of Congress, funded the creation of most of this content.

In the next few months we’ll upload more of the South Bend News-Times through 1922.  We are also currently working to add issues of the Vevay Weekly Reveille from 1853-1901.

Chronicling America Now Provides Access to More Than 8 Million Digitized Pages from Historic U.S. Newspapers 1836 -1922

The following announcement is from the Library of Congress:

8 Million Pages Now Online and 2 New States Joining NDNP!

 The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint program of the Library of Congress (LC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has passed several exciting milestones recently. More than 8 million historic newspaper pages, published in 32 states and the District of Columbia between 1836 and 1922, are now available through the Chronicling America web site, hosted by LC, and in July, the NEH announced two new partners joining the program this year. Awards were made to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development to digitize newspapers from Nevada and South Dakota. This brings the number of participants in the program to 39, including 37 states, one territory, and the District of Columbia. NEH and the LC aim to have every state and U.S. territory represented in Chronicling America (see http://www.neh.gov/divisions/preservation/grant-news/nevada-and-south-dakota-join-the-national-digital-newspaper-progra for more information). In addition, supplementary awards have been made to eight state partners already participating in the program….Read more about it!

What You Can Look Forward to in the Coming Months

If you follow this blog, or use the resources linked on this blog, you may be wondering why there has not been much blog activity in the past few months.  Although the blog has been relatively silent, we’ve been busy behind the scenes working on content.  Here are a few things to look forward to by the end of 2014.

The last two of our batches from the 2011-13 grant were accepted by the Library of Congress (LC) today.  Once they’ve been ingested into Chronicling America, and once LC has received the duplicate master microfilm, then all the deliverables for the grant can be checked off. Once that’s done, we can move forward with submitting new data funded by the 2013-15 NDNP NEH grant.  Currently I have around 40,000 processed, digital newspaper pages sitting on my desk that are ready to submit once LC gives the okay.  The titles and dates selected for the new grant are the South Bend News-Times (1913-22), the Evansville Journal (1843-70), the Vincennes Western Sun & General Advertiser  (1835-49), and continuing from the previous grant, more issues of the Indianapolis Journal (1888-93).

We also hope to migrate some of the Indiana Memory newspapers collections that are currently displayed in CONTENTdm into our Veridian software at newspapers.library.in.gov over the next few months.  First up is the Evansville Argus.

We also have new software that will allow us to process some titles in house.  Titles that we’ll process in house are some which were previously scanned but not OCRed.  The best example being a collection of Vevay, Indiana newspapers that Switzerland County High School scanned and posted on their old school website.  We plan to OCR these scans and ingest them into Veridian which will make them keyword searchable.

Stay tuned…

Newspaper Digitization Planning and Help

Does your local library, historical society, or genealogy club want to digitize your Indiana community’s newspapers?  Does the prospect seem overwhelming?  Or perhaps you just don’t know where to start.

If so, have no worries!  The Indiana State Library staff would be happy to talk to you individually or present a public program about newspaper digitization best practices, and how the State Library could help.

If interested contact Chandler or Connie.  Their contact info can be found at http://www.in.gov/library/ldo.htm .

Indiana working to digitize historic newspapers : Munster Community News

My colleague, Connie, and I recently visited the Northwest Indiana Times in Munster (formerly Lake County Times, and Hammond Times) to discuss our newspaper digitization efforts, and to answer some of their questions about digitizing their newspaper.  You can read about our visit here: Indiana working to digitize historic newspapers : Munster Community News.

Crowd-source Your Favorite Indiana Newspapers!

We are excited to blog that the Newspaper button on Indiana Memory is LIVE!  Clicking on the button will take you to all of the newspapers we have digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program plus a few more.  The content is being displayed in Veridian software, which is really exciting because users like you can correct the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text.

If you researched with any digitized content in the past, you may have discovered that the search results you received were often only as good as the OCR.  The crowd-sourcing component of Veridian allows you to register and make corrections to the OCR.  For instance, if you find an individual’s name garbled in the OCR, you can correct it yourself, so that future users can find that person’s name in the newspapers easier.