Many public libraries across the country are in the process of digitizing newspapers. Not all of them offer access to non library card holders though. One exception is the Wrainwright Public Library. Wainwright, Alberta is located about 200 km southeast of Edmonton.
The Wainright Public Library partnered with Wainwright Main Street Project, Battle River Historical Society (Wainwright Museum) and Buffalo National Park Interpretive Centre to digitize 110 years of the Wainright Star Chronicle
. It is free to use for everyone, and they have done a good job of having nice clear images. On the main portal entry page
, it lets you know the system requirements to be able to use the database. If you click on First -Time User Click Here
, it gives you help on making sure your computer is set up properly
When you enter the portal, a new window will open. Another screen will also pop up that gives you excellent instructions on how to use the site. If it doesn\’t make sure you allow pop ups, then exit and re-enter the site and it should work. If you\’re still having problems, click here
. This will bring them up for you.
So, enter your search term in the search bar. Out of curiosity, I used \”spanish flu\”. Genealogists and Family Historians can\’t help but see the comparisons to our current circumstances 100 years later. I got 15 results. I also tried \”spanish influenza\”, and got a further 25 hits.
Select the issue you want on the right, and click on it.This will put the particular page in full screen as a PDF. Now, the downside is that highlighted text won\’t show. You\’ll have to skim the page to find where your search term is. But, let\’s face it. Who doesn\’t end up looking at the whole page anyway? Besides, it\’s not like research time is short these days. Because of being in PDF, you can download the page, or print it. You can also zoom in and out. I would suggest if you don\’t want a full page to take screen shots.
To go back to your results, just click on the Show Form button just below the search bar. This will take you back to your results page.
Because this is a newspaper that covers a less populated area, you\’re going to get more personal stories than you would in a large urban newspaper. For instance, in the screenshot above is the annual report of the Edgerton and District Church of England. Edward Haddocks just completed his first year as the minister, and he gave a report on how it went for him.
Here\’s some tidbits from a column they ran in 1938 that highlighted local residents\’ comings and goings from past issues. The ones listed here are from 1928.
Here\’s a third, that appeared on the same page as an influenza article in 1918. This one tells about how the local curling club is getting ready for a new season.
The Wainwright Public Library is allowing people to sponsor a publication year for $50. The sponsor would receive a receipt for tax purposes. If you are interested, they have contact information on their page here
. It also lists what years have already been taken, and their sponsors.