Preserving Local History

A few months ago, the Shenandoah County Library became the official repository for an 80-year archive of the Northern Virginia Daily. As part of that process, we contacted the Library of Virginia to see if the paper archives at the newspaper offices might be of interest to them as part of their Virginia Newspaper Project.

We are happy to report that the Library of Virginia staff was very interested in preserving these papers, and have arranged with the publisher of the Northern Virginia Daily to have them microfilmed and digitized as an important historical record for future generations.

At a recent statewide meeting, I had the opportunity to meet some of the people involved in the project and see first-hand the efforts being made to restore and preserve these papers. Errol Somay, head of the project, was especially thrilled at finding this large collection of pre-1923 newspapers. “We really thought we had identified all the large collections in the state…and because they were all published before 1923 they are out of copyright and we can post them free on the project’s website.”

Take a look at some pictures of this work being done at the Library of Virginia. Once the microfilming is complete, the Northern Virginia Daily will receive a copy and we expect to add this to the deposit collection in Edinburg.

A page from the Woodstock Times featuring a political cartoon, local features and advertisements from the early 1900s.

A member of the preservation staff works to restore a sheet of newsprint from the archive. All preservation work is non-destructive, and reversible to maintain the integrity of the historical document.

Henry Morse (front) and Errol Somay show a tour group a six-month run of the Middletown Weekly, most likely a one-of-a-kind collection found in the archives of the Northern Virginia Daily.