Forthcoming book about Coquille features ODNP newspapers!

Bert Dunn, an avid Oregon Digital Newspaper Program supporter and contributor, will soon publish a book on Coquille, Oregon that uses ODNP newspapers for source material. It will be published by Arcadia Publishing as part of their “Images of America” series, and it will feature about 200 pictures and captions, as well as chapter narratives.

Bert described his searches on Historic Oregon Newspapers and how he used the website:

“I have been using the UO site to search for information on early sawmills, creameries and other businesses and individuals related to Coquille’s past.”

“As I work to write for a book about my hometown of Coquille, I have found the UO Digital Newspaper website to be an essential tool. I am consistently finding new information that fills gaps in our stories. Not only am I able to search my hometown papers for historic content but many other papers in the state in the same search. The search tools are flexible and powerful. With the papers fully digitized, even ads are preserved offering additional information about business products and services.”

“I really appreciate this UO service.  [Above] is one example of an ad from the Coquille City Herald, June 17, 1884.”

Thank you, Bert, and we look forward to reading your book!

Do you have a publication or project that uses newspaper content from ODNP? Let us know and we will feature it!

 

Posted in Project Highlights

New Content from Nyssa, OR!

Nyssa Gate City Journal. (Nyssa, OR.) March 4, 1937, page 1. https://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn99063863/1937-03-04/ed-1/seq-1/

This summer, thanks to the generosity from the Friends of the Nyssa Library, Oregon Digital Newspaper Program was able to add new content from Nyssa, Oregon. This new content makes available the Nyssa Gate City Journal during an interesting time span we usually don’t see on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, from 1937 to 1953!

This span of the Nyssa Gate City Journal covers life in Nyssa through the last of the Great Depression, WW2, and post-war American life. More locally specific, this selection chronicles the introduction of sugar beets to Nyssa’s agricultural economy, a crop that quickly became the foundation upon which the far eastern Oregon town came to survive on.

Nyssa Gate City Journal. (Nyssa, OR.) September 30, 1937, page 1. https://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn99063863/1937-09-30/ed-1/seq-1/

The start of our available issues of the Nyssa Gate City Journal could not be timelier for they coincide with the construction of the Amalgamated Sugar Company’s factory in Nyssa. The newspaper positioned itself as a promoter of the budding industry and began to push the people of Nyssa to grow sugar beets.

Nyssa Gate City Journal. (Nyssa, OR.) February 4, 1937, page 4. https://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn99063863/1937-02-04/ed-1/seq-4/

The Amalgamated Sugar Company did well in Nyssa; its factory remained operational until 2005. Perhaps it was due to solely the quality of the town’s surrounding land, but looking through the Nyssa Gate City Journal’s aggressive advertising campaign it seems that paper-based factors may have been equally at play.

To see more of the Nyssa Gate City Journal, feel free to browse the span of issues we have digitized on our website. This title, as with all our historic newspapers, can be browsed and searched by keyword thanks to optical character recognition (OCR). In addition, content can be downloaded as a PDF or JPEG file and saved for future reference or research purposes. All of these services are free and open to the public, so don’t wait and take a look at Oregon’s historic newspapers today!

Posted in New Content

New website for Historic Oregon Newspapers!

Yesterday, the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program launched the new website for Historic Oregon Newspapers. Developed from the Open-ONI initiative, the new site has an updated look-and-feel that’s easier to navigate and more consistent with web presence of UO Libraries. It also has a “This Day in History” feature that showcases a different newspaper every day that corresponds with that day’s date. New functions include browsing by date with the Calendar and an improved Advanced Search. An updated Map, along with a Location list, allows for simplified title access by city. Along with the updated site, we have developed a fundraising how-to guide to assist the public with funding their newspaper digitization. Several digitization projects are underway. We are frequently adding new stories and updates to the blog, so check back regularly!

Screenshot of the new homepage.

Today, we are featured on the Digital Library Federation website as part of their Contribute Series!

Thank you to Jeremy Echols, Linda Sato, Duncan Barth, Azle Malinao-Alvarez, Tyler Stewart, and Holli Kubly for their hard work and contributions to the website!

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us.

-Carolina and Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized

A Cure-All?

Oregon City Enterprise. (Oregon City, OR.) January 8, 1897, page 6. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn00063700/1897-01-08/ed-1/seq-6/

If you think direct-to-consumer prescription medication advertising is bad today, take a look at the historic newspapers we have digitized on the Oregon Historic Newspapers website! Likely, if you have taken the time to peruse just a few issues, you will have noticed an overabundance of strange medication advertisements.

Rogue River Courier. (Grants Pass, OR.) December 13, 1900, page 2. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088281/1900-12-13/ed-1/seq-2/

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a lack of adequate medical care in combination with few government regulations resulted in a flurry of business called the patent medicine industry. These questionable concoctions promised lofty claims, and in large part helped fund Oregon’s early newspapers through their advertisements.

 

The Dalles Daily Chronicle. (The Dalles, OR.) January 15, 1901, page 2. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn85042448/1901-01-15/ed-1/

 

Merchants had little obligation to truthfully describe the contents and effectiveness of their products, creating tonics, pills, and syrups that often contained dangerous substances such as opium, morphine, cocaine, and alcohol. While consumers might have found temporary relief from these ingredients, patent medicines were an unfortunate cause of accidental overdose, intoxication and addiction.

 

The Eugene City Guard. (Eugene, OR.) January 26, 1889, page 8. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn84022653/1889-01-26/ed-1/

 

Next time you are on the Oregon Historic Newspapers website reading your favorite historic papers, take notice of the patent medicine advertisements on the side of the page; I’m sure you’ll find something that surprises you!

 

The New Age. (Portland, OR.) May 12, 1900, page 7. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025107/1900-05-12/ed-1/seq-7/

Posted in Project Highlights

New paper from Newberg, OR!

Newberg Graphic. (Newberg, OR.) December 22, 1888, page 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088233/1888-12-22/ed-1/

We have recently been able to add a new paper to the Oregon Historic Newspapers website, this time coming from Newberg, OR! Thanks to the generosity of the Newberg Public Library, ODNP has been able to digitize a large span of the Newberg Graphic, one of the historic newspapers from Newberg dating back to 1888. The large span of the Graphic we now have available, from 1888 to 1922, records the growth and development of Newberg and interestingly, small snippets from the early life of our 31st United States President Herbert Hoover.

In 1885, Herbert (Bert) Hoover moved to Newberg, OR at age 9 after both his parents passed away. Though Hoover moved to Salem to work with his uncle at age 13, he continued to visit his friends and family in Newberg and thus remained a figure in the local news section of the Graphic. These entirely commonplace mentions offer insight into the young president when he was still regarded as a regular small town Oregon boy.

Newberg Graphic. (Newberg, OR.) December 29, 1888, page 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088233/1888-12-29/ed-1/seq-3/

Newberg Graphic. (Newberg, OR.) February 16, 1889, page 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088233/1889-02-16/ed-1/seq-3/

To see more of the Newberg Graphic, feel free to browse the large span of issues we have digitized on our website. This title, as with all our historic newspapers, can be browsed and searched by keyword thanks to optical character recognition (OCR). In addition, content can be downloaded as a PDF or JPEG file and saved for future reference or research purposes. All of these services are free and open to the public, so don’t wait and take a look at Oregon’s historic newspapers today!

Newberg Graphic. (Newberg, OR.) March 30, 1889, page 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088233/1889-03-30/ed-1/seq-3/

Newberg Graphic. (Newberg, OR.) July 13, 1889, page 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088233/1889-07-13/ed-1/seq-3/

Newberg Graphic. (Newberg, OR.) June 14, 1890, page 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088233/1890-06-14/ed-1/seq-3/

Posted in Uncategorized

New Content from Cottage Grove, OR

Cottage Grove Sentinel. (Cottage Grove, OR.) September 22, 1911, image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088073/1911-09-22/ed-1/seq-1/

Thanks to the generosity of the Cottage Grove Historical Museum, we have recently been able to expand upon our available issues of the Cottage Grove Sentinel! This new content added to the Oregon Historic Newspapers website covers the early years of the Sentinel, a wonderful addition to the current issues we already have digitized. The new issues span from 1909 to 1918, and showcase the aspirational personality of one of Oregon’s most famous editors, Elbert Bede.

Quoted by Oregon’s historic newspaper expert George S. Turnbull, Elbert Bede was “the one man who spent the most time, did the most work, [and] became the best known as the Cottage Grove Editor.” (Turnbull, 269) Bede’s entrepreneurial spirit is evident throughout the newly added historic issues of the Cottage Grove Sentinel, especially in articles like the ones below which were published shortly after Bede took ownership of the paper.

Cottage Grove Sentinel. (Cottage Grove, OR.) October 20, 1911, image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088073/1911-10-20/ed-1/seq-1/

 

Cottage Grove Sentinel. (Cottage Grove, OR.) November 24, 1911, image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn96088073/1911-11-24/ed-1/seq-1/

If you want to learn more about the Cottage Grove Sentinel, Elbert Bede, or historic newspapers in general check out our collection of digitized historic newspapers on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website! Doing research through ODNP is easy thanks to optical character recognition (OCR), which allows all of our historic newspapers to be keyword searchable. In addition, this newspaper can be downloaded as a PDF or JPEG file and saved for future reference or research purposes. All of these services are free and fully available to the public, so don’t hesitate and take a look at what historic Oregon was like through the newspapers that documented it!

References:

Turnbull, George S. History of Oregon Newspapers. Binfords & Mort, Publishers. Portland, OR. 1939.

 

Posted in New Content

New Paper from Independence, OR!

We’ve recently added more content from Polk County, this time coming from Independence, OR! This batch was made possible by the folks at Independence Public Library. The added issues come from The Polk County Post, going back to the start of the paper in 1918 and through 1921.

The Polk County post. (Independence, Or.) April 2, 1918, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2012260080/1918-04-02/ed-1/seq-1/

During that time, it was the second largest newspaper coming out of Independence. Though it was a lot newer than the other town newspaper, the Independence Enterprise, it still managed to develop a circulation of 705 in a town of about 1,380 by 1920, its third year in existence, according to the American Newspaper Annual and Directory from that year.

Even though it was a relatively small paper, The Polk County Post still managed to squeeze in a lot of important news tidbits from around the world and across the state in its weekly issues. The newspaper also had a focus on the agricultural leanings of the town, particularly hops which were a major part of the town’s economy during this time.

The Polk County post. (Independence, Or.) March 7, 1919, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2012260080/1919-03-07/ed-1/seq-1/

The Post also started to include film listings from the local movie theater, a glimpse into the entertainment available at that time.

The Polk County post. (Independence, Or.) September 10, 1920, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/2012260080/1920-09-10/ed-1/seq-1/

As with all of our digitized papers, you can browse through more issues on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website. Each issue of The Polk County Post can be browsed and searched by keyword, thanks to optical character recognition (OCR) technology. In addition, content can be downloaded as a PDF or JPEG file and saved for future reference or research purposes at absolutely no cost to visitors to Historic Oregon Newspapers.

Posted in New Content

Oregon Digital Newspaper Program Update

This fiscal year we added 87,606 pages of historic and currently published newspapers to the ODNP site!

We made improvements to the system and workflow for handling currently published e-editions of newspapers, and we are looking forward to adding more content this next year. There are several digitization projects underway!

Also, we have a few exciting additions to the goals of ODNP for next year:

To assist the public with fundraising for historic newspaper digitization, we will be creating a fundraising how-to guide with resources, strategies, and grant writing best practices for users of ODNP around the state to fund newspaper digitization.

We are also looking forward to updating the website with better usability, features, and search functionalities. The new blog header, designed by Azle Malinao-Alvarez, provides a small preview of the upcoming updates to the look and feel.

Please be sure to check the blog frequently for new posts. This year, we will be focusing on finding connections between the ODNP collections and other UO Library collections in our Special Collections and University Archives and Oregon Digital. See our most recent blog post by our student Jane Conway, which features Colonel John “Watermelon” Redington (1851-1935), an Oregon scout turned newspaper editor.

Thanks to the ODNP team for their hard work and agility this year as we have been refining the digital and born-digital processes and workflows. A special thank you to our programmer, Jeremy, and our production manager, Randy, who have worked the hardest on this project to create better systems for quality assurance.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let us know!

-Sarah and Carolina

Posted in Uncategorized

John “Watermelon” Redington and the Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) December 13, 1883, image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn97071041/1883-12-13/ed-1/seq-1/

Available at the University of Oregon Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is a collection of correspondences, scrapbooks, newspapers, and miscellaneous papers pertaining to Colonel John “Watermelon” Redington (1851-1935). An Oregon scout turned newspaper man, this eccentric character was editor of the Heppner Weekly Gazette in Heppner, Oregon during its frontier days. The Colonel published quite an unusual periodical for such a small western town, and University of Oregon alumnus Brant Ducey used Redington’s editorial career with the Heppner Weekly Gazette as the focus of his master’s thesis (John Watermelon Redington: “Hell on Hogthieves and Hypocrites” 1963). To add to the bulk of resources available on John “Watermelon” Redington, the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP) has also made digital issues of the Heppner Weekly Gazette available online from the period of his editorial management. Drawing upon the research already completed by Brant Ducey, and the resources made available by SCUA and ODNP, this post takes a quick look at the editorial career of Redington, which Ducey remarked as perhaps one of the most unique moments in the history of Oregon’s periodical publications.

Redington Scrapbook

Scrapbook in the John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.

As Brant Ducey explains in his research, Colonel Redington was propositioned with an offer to run the Heppner Weekly Gazette following his service in both the Nez Perce and Bannock Indian wars. He was hesitant to accept the job, as an editorial position didn’t quite match the excitement of his nomadic life as an Oregon scout. After hearing that the previous publisher of the paper had been run out of Heppner by the town “baddies,” Redington felt that the proposition might provide enough of a challenge to stay entertained.

"The Original Boy Scout"

“The Original Boy Scout.” John. W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.

In the 1880’s, the city of Heppner, Oregon was much like the majority of early frontier towns scattered throughout the west: chaotic. Redington embraced the challenges accompanying his role as editor and sought to establish a paper that prioritized the best interests of the fledgling town, despite the often raucous environment he was surrounded by. Tensions between law-abiding citizens, gamblers, saloon-keepers, and horse thieves ran high, with each constituency having their own ideas as to what the political position of the paper should be. The small, but vibrant town of Heppner was anxious to see what their new editor was made of, and Redington did not disappoint. In his introductory address, the Colonel made clear the position of the Heppner Weekly Gazette:

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Undated clipping from the Heppner Weekly Gazette in one of the John W. Redington scrapbooks. John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway photo.

The hardy and strong-willed homesteaders, which composed the Gazette’s readership, resonated with their new editor’s straightforward approach to journalism, and the publication quickly garnered support. But the paper’s eventual infamy and nationwide readership cannot be solely credited to Redington’s blunt tone of authorship. A dry sense of humor, which he let infiltrate all aspects of his paper, proved to be the defining source of the periodicals success.

Image of John W. Redington

Image of John W. Redington in the John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway Photo.

The Colonel knew that homesteading was a grueling task that left little time for reading newspapers. The comedic tone he chose to adopt for the Heppner Gazette gave the news a readable quality to worn out pioneers and a popularity unusual for periodicals of its time. The Colonel was a natural comedian and found a special talent in giving the routine or mundane a comedic spin:

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) June 22, 1883, image 2. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn97071041/1883-06-22/ed-1/seq-2/

More often than not left without much news to tell, Redington also wrote comedic shorts to fill his columns:

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway Photo.

The Heppner Weekly Gazette and its “comedic journalism” achieved a moderate amount of fame, and Redington’s office was often flooded with letters from all across the country. This would have been normal for a newspaper published in Chicago or New York, as during the last quarter of the 19th century papers included a high level of correspondence, but for a town the size of Heppner it was strange indeed! Readers were delighted that as the Colonel published some of the correspondences he received, it only increased the Gazette’s comedic quality:

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) January 24, 1884, image 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn97071041/1884-01-24/ed-1/seq-3/

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway Photo.

Heppner Weekly Gazette

Heppner Weekly Gazette (Heppner, OR.) John W. Redington Papers, 1880-1935. University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives. Jane Conway Photo.

Throughout the rest of Redington’s life, he continued to publish newspapers, but none of them ever achieved the same comedic quality as the Heppner Weekly Gazette. Something about the small town of Heppner inspired the Colonel; perhaps it was the rural isolation or the vivacious assortment of town folk. Only a small sampling of Redington’s humor has been able to be featured in this blog post; to read more of his entertaining anecdotes, check out the digitized issues of the Heppner Weekly Gazette at ODNP.

Written in reference to:

Ducey, Brant. “John W. Redington- Hell on Hogthieves and Hypocrites,” MA Thesis. University of Oregon, 1963.

Stewart Redington, Elizabeth. “Col. John Watermelon Redington, my Papa.” The Pacific Northwest Forum, vol. 5, no.1, 1979, pp. 12-22.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Papers from Dallas, OR!

With support from the Dallas Public Library and the Polk County Cultural Coalition, we were recently able to digitize and add more newspapers from Dallas, Oregon! Issues from The Polk County Signal, Polk County Times, and Polk County Itemizer are now available online. Of these newspapers, the issues available from the The Polk County Signal cover the earliest period from 1868 and 1869, while the Polk County Itemizer covers a later period from 1903 to 1914.

The Polk County Signal

The Polk County signal. (Dallas, Or.) June 8, 1868, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93051616/1868-06-08/ed-1/seq-1/

In 1868, J.H. Upton started the The Polk County Signal in Dallas, OR. As a small weekly paper, it covered issues of both local and national import. The paper had strong political leanings, supporting the Democratic party of that time and often arguing in favor of states’ rights. However, this meant that articles in this paper ranged widely, from simply offering support for Democratic politicians to using extreme and racist rhetoric.

Article from Polk County Signal

The Polk County signal. (Dallas, Or.) June 22, 1868, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93051616/1868-06-22/ed-1/seq-1/

In 1879, the Signal would merge with the Dallas Itemizer to form the Polk County Itemizer, which for a time billed itself as “the best and largest paper in Polk County.” However, that was relative for the time as its circulation in 1884 would have only been about 950. In this transition, the newspaper became more politically independent, not affiliating itself with either party while moving away from the Signal’s sometimes harsher language.

Polk County Itemizer

Polk County itemizer. (Dallas, Or.) October, 1, 1903, Image 1. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn94049693/1903-10-01/ed-1/seq-1/

Meanwhile, the Polk County Times had a brief run during this time between 1869 and 1870, published by F.R. Stuart. It often printed news briefs from across the county, but focused mainly on state and local news. Though the paper was short-lived, it is still an interesting glimpse at life in Dallas and Polk County during that time. Take for example the below clipping from the County News and Town Gossip section:

Polk County times. (Dallas, Or.) February 12, 1870, Image 3. http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn93051615/1870-02-12/ed-1/seq-3/

In this article about a singing class taught by a Professor McNutt, we get a sense of the type of pleasurable activities “Dallasanians” would have taken part of back then. To find out about other aspects of life in Dallas in the mid to late 1800s, browse through more issues of each of these newspapers on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website. Each issue of The Polk County Signal, Polk County Times, and Polk County Itemizer can be browsed and searched by keyword, thanks to optical character recognition (OCR) technology. In addition, these historic Dallas, Oregon newspapers can be downloaded as a PDF or JPEG file and saved for future reference or research purposes at absolutely no cost to visitors to Historic Oregon Newspapers.

Posted in New Content
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