Voters have just 10 days (Oct. 10-19) to cast their votes for the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives in a competition that could win them funding to digitize archived newspapers.
Archivist Lisette Gaudet is excited about the opportunities digitization would create. She also recognizes the importance of preserving these newspapers in a more usable form for researchers.
“These newspapers range from 1836 (the first newspaper printed in Yarmouth) to the 1950s. We’re choosing those ones first because those are the most fragile,” she said.
“Doing genealogy, people are looking for older newspapers, so the 1800 ones and the early-1900 ones are the ones used the most and they are the most fragile.”
Some newspapers have become so worn from handling they’ve been retired from use.
“Newspapers are our most looked-at objects in the archives. If they were all to be wrapped up and retired and not used, that would be a major thing to lose. We certainly don’t want to do that, but the more wear and tear there is on them, the higher the possibility that could happen." Yarmouth County Museum archivist Lisette Gaudet.
None of the newspapers have been digitized, although some are on microfilm.
Gaudet says not only would digitization enhance researchers’ visits to the archives but whole editions from the past could be emailed to anyone in the world.
“Right now we don’t have that capacity to send the entire newspaper. We can send pictures of an article or an obituary,” she said.
Eventually, all of the newspapers could be uploaded to the museum’s website and accessible with a few clicks.
“I personally think that this is the most important project that the archives have right now,” said Gaudet.
The cost of equipment rental to scan and digitize the newspapers is $21,000.
“When it’s all uploaded to a computer, people will be able to search newspapers by keyword. That will eliminate a lot of work as well of searching through them,” said Gaudet.
The digitized scans will look identical to the originals, providing people a visually satisfying experience while searching through them.
The newspapers to be scanned, should funding be secured, are: 78 years’ worth of the Yarmouth Herald, 35 of the Yarmouth Times, 17 of the Yarmouth Telegram, two of the Yarmouth Daily News, 10 of the Yarmouth Tribune and two of the Yarmouth Daily Post.
How to Vote
Those registered for the Aviva Community Fund (there is no charge to register) have 18 votes they can use at any time from Oct. 10-19 to vote for their favourite idea(s). You can spread your votes around or use them all to support one project.
Cast all 18 votes at once, or keep coming back to cast your votes. Don’t forget, once a vote is cast, it cannot be changed.
To VOTE: click here