Newberry County history is a whole lot easier to research now, with the recent digitization of 72 years worth of local newspapers.
Newberry newspapers from 1865-1937 are the latest captured in the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program at the University of South Carolina Libraries. They were added to the Library of Congress web site in early August.
The program involves capturing the images of individual pages from newspapers with a special camera. The digitizing even allows for computer word searches.
That means if youre looking for a certain person or event, you type those words into a search engine. All pages with those words pop up, with red highlights over the words themselves. As with such searches, the more unusual names or the more specific events are easier to find.
The program at USC started in 2009 with a grant to digitize about 100,000 pages. A second grant in 2011 is paying for another 100,000 pages.
The effort has focused on rural newspapers and African-American newspapers, in part because they are less likely to have microfilm or print archives in local libraries.
A large collection of Newberry County papers were digitized several months ago and went up on the Library of Congress site this month, according to Laura Blair, outreach specialist with the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library. They include various iterations of The Newberry Herald from 1865-1937.
In the Midlands, Fairfield County newspapers from 1849-present, Orangeburg newspapers from 1867-1911 and Manning newspapers from 1885-1922 have been digitized. The record is much less complete for Columbia, with just the Columbia Phoenix (1865-78), The Peoples Recorder (1898, 1900-01, 1909) and The Southern Indicator (1913-15, 1921-22) digitized.
Many historic S.C. newspapers have been digitized and are now searchable online here.