Scarsdale Public Library Digitizes Historic News

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The Scarsdale Public Library is helping to digitize historical newspaper copies. Photo Credit: File

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – The Scarsdale Historical Society has teamed with the Scarsdale Public Library to digitize back issues of local newspapers that will be added to the Hudson River Valley Heritage (HRVH) database.

The undertaking was kicked off with a $25,000 grant from the Historical Society in April 2011, which will fund digitization of issues of the Scarsdale Inquirer from 1901 to 1936. In the 18 months since the project began, more than 10,000 pages have been added to the database, into editions from 1929.

The Inquirer joins newspapers from Newburgh, Rockland County, Bronxville, Kingston and Vassar in the database.

The HRVH is managed by the non-profit Southeastern New York Library Resources Council. The idea behind the database is to provide access of historical newspapers from around the Hudson Valley region. Each paper has its own page with publication history and date range of what is available online.

The digitization is being performed by the Hudson Microimaging group with microfilm. In certain instances, new images of hardbound volumes have been filmed to improve image quality. All articles are listed, and can be searched by keyword, or by date. There is also printing capabilities.

The back issues of the Scarsdale Inquirer have been accessible at the library in both print and microfilm, but many were in poor condition and needed to be digitized to preserve the documents. Many issues are the only known copies in existence, and this project ensures that they will withstand the test of time.

“Our older copies are deteriorating, as are our older microfilm copies,” said Elizabeth Bermel, director of the Scarsdale Library. “With this grant, we can make these important original source materials more readily available to members of the community in searchable format. In the future, we hope to expand the project.”

Randy Guggenheimer, the Scarsdale Historical Society Digitization Committee chair, said that the years covered through the grant – up to 1936 – should be completed in a few months.

“The collaboration on this important digitization project exemplifies the successful outcome possible when two Scarsdale village organizations work in concert,” he said. “We hope to continue to work with the Scarsdale Public Library to digitize additional issues.”

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