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Online historic newspapers an asset

Editorial

For years, loyal readers, researchers and editorial staffers have yearned to flip through back issues of the various papers owned by Denton Publications, whether they want information from two years in the past, 20 years ago or all the way back in the 1800s. Well, we have some good news.

We recently signed an agreement with the Potsdam-based Northern New York Library Network to have News Enterprise issues from 1924 to the present digitized and placed on a searchable website. We will soon be part of the Northern New York Historical Newspapers project, located online at http://news.nnyln.net.

The Northern New York Library Network is a consortium of public, academic and specialized libraries chartered to improve library service for North Country residents. It has a long history of newspaper preservation, including preservation microfilming in the 1980s and local coordination of the New York State Newspaper Project in the 1990s.

In 2004, the network launched Northern New York Historical Newspapers to enhance access to the region’s local history. Serving seven counties — Essex, Franklin, Clinton, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Jefferson and Oswego — the online collection now contains almost 2.3 million pages from 52 newspapers. The newspapers span more than 200 years.

The oldest issues on the website come from the Plattsburgh Republican and date from 1811, three years before the famed Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. In the April 12, 1811 issue, we find out who has mail left at the post office, who died that week, who got married, who wrote letters to the editor, and which state senators’ seats needed to be filled during the lieutenant governor’s election.

For the history buff, the genealogy hobbyist and the serious researcher, Northern New York Historical Newspapers is a treasure trove of information. People can easily get mesmerized by the volumes of stories here. Time flies when you are having fun learning about local history.

Comments may be directed to denpubs@denpubs.com.

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