The first phase of the Hall County Newspaper Digitization project has been completed; the funds to digitize seven newspapers in their entirety and the Grand Island Independent up to 1900 have been raised.
As additional funds are raised, more newspapers will be added to the digital community archives, according to Hall County Historical Society Vice President Michelle Setlik, who is one of the leaders of the project.
The newspapers included in the first phase include: Platte Valley Independent (1870-1884); Grand Island Times (1873-1892); Grand Island Independent (1884-1900); Wood River Gazette (1884-1892); Doniphan Eagle (1892-1895); Staats-Anzeiger und Herald (1894-1918); Wood River Interests (1894-1919); and Wood River Sunbeam (1906-2003).
The Hall County Nebraska Digital Community Archives can be found at hallcountyne.advantage-preservation.com. Due to the generous financial support of the community, this site is free and open to the public, Setlik said. There are no fees or subscriptions required to access this digital archive.
Community members who would like to learn how to navigate through the site are invited to attend an open house at the Maltman Library in Wood River from 2 to 3 p.m. or the Grand Island Public Library from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.
In May 2019, the Hall County Newspaper Digitization project was launched with a goal to digitize the 28 historic newspapers published in Hall County since 1870, and also to make them accessible to the public through an online digital community archive.
The collaborative project is led by Setlik and Prairie Pioneer Genealogical Society representatives Deb Waggoner and Laura Mattingly, and includes representatives from Cairo Roots Museum, Clipper Publishing Company, Doniphan Herald, The Grand Island Independent, Grand Island Public Library, Maltman Memorial Public Library and Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer.
To see a list of all of the newspapers that will be included upon project completion or learn more about the project, visit www.hallnehistory.com/newspaper-digitization.
Donations can be made online through the Hall County Historical Society at www.hallnehistory.com/store with a designation of “Newspaper Project” in the designated project section or by check made payable to the Hall County Historical Society, 603 N. Plum St., Grand Island, NE 68801.