The Fairfield Public Library is undertaking a project to upload all newspapers in Jefferson County’s history so that they will be searchable online.
The ambitious project involves digitizing newspapers from as long ago as 1847, and covers newspapers such as The Fairfield Ledger as well as newspapers that have not published for decades such as The Fairfield Tribune, The Lockridge Times and The Batavia News.
The library is relying on the services of Advantage Archives in Cedar Rapids, which scans microfilm and uploads the scan to the internet. It converts the scan into a searchable document, so that a person doing research on a subject can enter certain keywords and discover all instances where those words appear in a newspaper article going back more than 150 years.
Fairfield Public Library Director Alecs Schmidt Mickunas said that this service will be free, and can be accessed through the library’s website under the “Digital Library” tab and then clicking on “Electronic Resources.
The project is already underway, and about 15 percent of the library’s microfilm collection has been uploaded to the website. The initial round of funding came from a $10,000 gift from the Fairfield Public Library Foundation. Schmidt Mickunas said the library will need to raise $53,000 to upload its entire microfilm collection, which it hopes to do gradually over the next five years as donations or grants come in.
You can read more in an article by Andy Hallman published in the southeastiowaunion.com web site at: https://www.southeastiowaunion.com/news/fairfield-librarys-newspaper-archives-being-uploaded-to-internet/