We are happy to announce that we have added four newspapers to Ohio Memory since the beginning of May! These new keyword-searchable collections total 35,000 pages and represent four different communities:
- Akron Reporter, 1969-1999, 2003-2016 (courtesy of the Akron-Summit County Public Library)
- Lima Times-Democrat, 1900-1902, 1905-1907, 1909-1912
- Shelby County Democrat, 1869-1883
- Salem Homestead Journal and Village Register series, 1842-1855
The Reporter was established in 1969 to serve the African American community in Akron and surrounding areas in northeast Ohio. Its founder, William R. Ellis, Sr., strove to fill the gap in coverage of this community by the mainstream press, and his family continues to operate the weekly newspaper to this day. It records the lives and perspectives of Akron’s African American residents, including church events, biographies, politics, social events, news of the day and much more. This newspaper was digitized in partnership with the Akron-Summit County Public Library, with some funding support from the Dick and Chris Chenoweth Fund of the Akron Community Foundation.
The Lima Times-Democrat and Shelby County Democrat collections provide additional coverage of northwest Ohio history. The Lima Times-Democrat was strongly Democratic in politics and served as the “Official Paper of Allen County” until it ceased publication in the 1920s, having been absorbed by what is now known as the Lima News. It was also at the forefront of technological advances in newspaper publishing, being the first in Lima to use linotype machines and leased newswire services, such as the Associated Press. Ohio Memory features the semiweekly edition of this newspaper, but it was also issued as a daily.
Established in 1849 and a predecessor to today’s Sidney Daily News, the Shelby County Democrat has a long history in Sidney, Ohio. At one time, it was considered “one of the best and most enterprising papers in Northwestern Ohio.” It was Democratic in politics and its masthead featured the following motto: “‘Obey the laws and support the Constitution of the United States’–The dying words of Stephen A. Douglas to his children.” As papers of record for their communities, both the Lima Times-Democrat and Shelby County Democrat covered a variety of news related to local, state and national politics, events, people, legal affairs and businesses. They also featured agricultural information and items of general interest, such as poetry, short fiction and the occasional youth section.
In 1842, the Village Register published its first issue in Salem, Ohio, a rural town not far from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. This newspaper sought to serve its growing and industrious community and was “Devoted to Agriculture, Education, Domestic Economy, Temperance, Morality, and General Intelligence.” A variety of content filled the pages of the Register, including local, state, national and international news; business and agricultural reports; advertisements; poetry and literature; political editorials; and community notices such as legal actions, meetings, births, deaths and marriages.
The Register, also known as the Homestead Journal and Village Register for a short time before changing its name to the Homestead Journal in 1848, was progressive and supported several reforms, including abolition, which Salem, Columbiana County and northeast Ohio had a long history of supporting. The Journal also supported the “Plan for National Reform” which focused on issues of equality, “regardless of Color or Clime”; free elections, schools and soil; direct taxation; and labor protections. Of particular importance was land reform, and the Journal soon adopted the motto “Freedom of the Public Lands, Land Limitation and Homestead Exemption.” In 1854, the Journal gave its allegiance to the Republican Party, and in 1855, the paper became known as the Columbiana County Republican. The publication continued to change hands and names over the next few decades until 1920 when it, then known as the Republican-Era after its 1890 merger with the Salem Era, was absorbed by the Salem News which is still published today.
These are just a few of the newspapers you can find on Ohio Memory–we host about 35 separate newspaper collections (nearly half of which are funded by Ohio Memory partners) totaling over 360,000 pages of Ohio newspapers covering 1832-2016. If you’re looking for more newspapers, don’t forget Ohio’s contributions to Chronicling America, the free Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities digital newspaper website, which hosts over 315,000 historic Ohio newspaper pages (with another 100,000 to be added by the end of 2018 through the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio!). To learn more about Ohio’s digitized newspapers, click here.
Thanks to Jenni Salamon, Coordinator for the Ohio Digital Newspaper Program, for this week’s post!