(Image courtesy of Washington State Library)
Today’s newspapers are moving to digital platforms, and thanks to the work of the Washington State Library and the Chronicling America program, so are many newspapers from the past.
The Washington State Library is nearing completion of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), digitizing more than 300,000 pages of historic newspapers with a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress.
Early editions of the Northwest Enterprise (from Anacortes), Mason County Journal (from Shelton), Oroville Gazette and Yakima Herald have been added to the Chronicling America website.
These additions cover periods from the 19th and 20th centuries. The exact dates for each paper are: Northwest Enterprise (1882-1886); Oroville Gazette (1909-1922); Mason County Journal (1889-1901); and Yakima Herald (Feb. 3, 1889 – Dec. 29, 1892).
Browsing these collections proves that there’s always more to the story than what makes the front page. For example, the Oroville Gazette was initially a conservative newspaper. It wasn’t until the 1920s that political editorializing diminished and more column space was used for hard news.
And the Yakima Herald went through several changes in ownership during its early history. These frequent changes in ownership are perhaps the result of financial difficulties in the Yakima Valley after the Panic of 1893.
These newspapers, all in the public domain, are free to the public. Educators, historians, genealogists, students and other members of the public are welcome to use these pages for their primary research, history presentations and educational projects.
To learn more about Chronicling America and NDNP, start here and click on “NDNP Extras.” You’ll find a list of popular research topics, teaching resources and primary sources that meet the new Common Core Standards. Search tip for Washington titles: Select “State: Washington” option under the “All Digitized Newspapers 1836-1922” tab at the top of the page and click “Go.”
All of the historic state newspapers can be searched by keyword, date and title to view on the Chronicling America website, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.