Tricia Carzoli wrote an article about the project entered in to by the Harvard Diggins Library to make local history more accessible. The Harvard Herald (and the different iterations of how it was titled over the years) will be digitized and hosted on a portal provided by Advantage Preservation. The dates available will cover 1867-1986 with the exception of two missing years (1970 and 1971).

The Harvard Diggins Library Director, Karen Sutera. Was quoted in the article as saying:

“We have newspapers on microfilm dating back from 1869. There is quite a lot of information in this collection from the local newspapers, but putting them in digital form is exciting for us and is something not very many libraries are capable of right now,”

Tricia’s article can be found here.

“The very idea that the entire collection would be made available for free access to anyone anywhere is amazing,” Sutera said.

The article touches on the Harvard Diggans Library relationship with Advantage Preservation in relation to this project:

The staff has chosen Advantage Companies located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to complete the digitization. The microfilm is captured into a digital PDF that is uploaded to the library’s website and available to print.

“We visited libraries and looked at their finished product and believed that this was our best value. We were quite pleased with the results,” she said.

She also shares a couple of success stories resulting from having digital access to this content previously only available on microfilm, and reading the article will give you a bit of insight as to how various patrons will likely use the archive. For instance one patron is quoted as simply stating: “This is really an amazing resource for those interested in genealogy.”

Karen Sutera goes on to say:

The database is extremely easy to use and that many area libraries are looking to the Harvard Diggins Library as a model for the transferring of increasingly outdated microfilm.

Check out the files using the library’s website, and look under “More Links” and click “Harvard Newspapers.” Viewers will see the actual newsprint, complete with advertisements, pictures and inkblots.