Anyone interested in historic newspaper preservation should take a look at this recent article from the Eugene Register-Guard: ‘Springfield history in limbo.’ (Appeared in print Sunday, March 14, 2010.)
The story concerns the fate of the Springfield News, a city paper that ran from 1903 to 2006. While a microfilm record of the title run is kept at the University of Oregon’s Knight Library, bound volumes of the original papers have resided for the past four years in a storage locker, cut off from public access. The article recounts the obstacles to procuring the funds that would be necessary in order to preserve the papers in a permanent, accessible home.
Yes, the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program also receives a mention! Unfortunately, as our Director, Karen Estlund notes in the article, the Springfield News was not among the titles selected by our advisory board for inclusion in the first phase of our project. Sadly, it is beyond our present means to digitize every deserving paper. Even with two years of federal and state funding, we estimate that we will be able to cover the cost of digitizing perhaps 5% of the total historic newspaper content for the years 1860-1922 currently held on microfilm in the UO Library. So the lamentable situation of the Springfield News is by no means unique; there are many papers stuck in the same ‘limbo’ of uncertain preservation and questionable long-term public accessibility.
If you are an organization or individual who might be interested and able to donate funds that would allow us to digitize the Springfield News–or any other historic local newspaper from the state of Oregon–please visit the Become a Partner/Contribute page at our ODNP Website.