Historic newspapers are such a rich source of information, especially for our small towns of Western Slope Colorado. When newspapers and letters were the only choices for the dissemination of information, the content was rich and the local goings-on were well documented. If Chester Mayer went to the County Seat in Red Cliff to conduct business, there would be a paragraph mentioning his trip in the Eagle Valley Enterprise. If our friend, Dr. O. W. Randall, the dentist, was going to be in town, that was mentioned. It is certainly a great resource, then, to have our early (pre-1923) Eagle County papers digitized and online at www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org . The Colorado State Library and the Colorado Historical Society joined forces with the Collaborative Digitization Program to start a partnership dedicated to getting these newspapers on-line and keyword searchable. Using the microfilm for these papers, they began the digitization process using Olive Software. No longer does a researcher need to find a library with the microfilm for an old newspaper, a microfilm reader/printer, and hours of accessibility. Searching can be done at home at one’s convenience. Currently, there are seven historic newspapers available online: Basalt Journal, Dubois Chronicle, Eagle County Blade, Eagle County News, Eagle County Times, Eagle Valley Enterprise, and the Fulford Signal.
Eagle County Examiner July 3, 1897. J.L. Herwick, husband of Ida [Ida: Her Labor of Love, by Carol McManus
Recently, a folder of additional Eagle County newspapers was found at the Colorado Historical Society that was to have been microfilmed in 1990. For whatever reason, that didn’t happen until June 2010. We now have the microfilm and the original pages of the Eagle County Examiner July 3, 1897; Eagle County Blade February 4 and June 10, 1897; Gypsum Democrat May 8, 1915 and June 12, 1915; and the Camp Hale Ski-Zette April 21, 1944. These will be digitized in the near future and will be available online, as well. While newspapers were intended to be throw-aways – ephemera – their contents provide access to information not available in other sources. The libraries and historical societies that have saved these papers for our new technologies certainly deserve our gratitude for preserving another avenue to the past.