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Chronicling America—Fresh Content!

In 2016, the Hart Research Library at History Colorado was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize historic Colorado newspapers from the library’s microfilm collection. Since receiving the grant, the Colorado Digital Newspaper Project has digitized and contributed four titles, nearly 18,000 pages so far, to the Library of Congress Chronicling America website.

Chronicling America is a free, searchable database of well over 12 million pages of US newspapers dating as early as 1749 through 1949. Through a collaborative partnership with the Colorado State Library, the digitized newspapers are also available in the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection (CHNC). With many more pages and titles in production, the Colorado Digital Newspaper Project will digitize 100,000 pages from twenty historic Colorado newspapers by the end of 2018, and all of them will be available on Chronicling America and CHNC.

The following titles are now free to read and search on Chronicling America! Click the title links to see all the front pages for that title.

The Statesman (1905–1912) later the Denver Star (1912–1918), “Colorado’s Greatest Race Paper,” began weekly publication in 1888 and served the African American community in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and New Mexico. The paper, also known at times as Franklin’s Paper The Statesman and Franklin’s Paper The Denver Star, acted as a channel through which its readers could “voice their opinions, assert their rights, and demand their due recognition.” One of the founding editors, Edwin Hackley was the first African American admitted to the Colorado Bar. Hackley’s wife, Azalia Smith Hackley, was a co-editor as well as an internationally renowned vocalist and the first African American to graduate from the University of Denver’s School of Music. An article featuring the remarkable Azalia Smith Hackley appears in the Winter 2017/2018 issue of Colorado Heritage magazine and on the History Colorado blog.

Begun in 1903, the Jewish Outlook (1904–1909) was the first Jewish affiliated newspaper published in Colorado and the unofficial organ of the National Jewish Hospital, begun as a  special charity hospital for the victims of tuberculosis who crowded to Denver for the curative powers of the Colorado air described as “an elixir to the breath and velvet to the cheek.”

In February 1915, the Central Jewish Council of Denver began publication of its official newspaper, the Denver Jewish News (1918–1922). The weekly newspaper was, at its time, the only Jewish newspaper in the state of Colorado, following the Jewish Outlook, which ceased publication in 1913. The Denver Rocky Mountain News of February 27, 1915, pronounced that the Denver Jewish News would become a “permanent feature of Denver’s newspaper field.” The newspaper still publishes today as the Intermountain Jewish News.

The Bent County Register (1886–1889) began as a weekly publication in June 1886 in the fever of the real estate boom precipitated by the founding of Lamar, Colorado.  Lamar sprouted up literally overnight between May 23 and 24, 1886, thanks to some land-dealing by the town founders and the clandestine relocation of an entire train depot to the new townsite in time to accommodate the “boom train” arriving the from Garden City, Kansas, filled with investors. The paper was published by Judge W.R. Davis, who arrived in the new boom town with an antiquated printing outfit, rented space with a floor and walls (no roof), and published the first issue during a driving rainstorm. The first issue was so popular that Davis sold copies as fast as they came off the press, the news-hungry settlers of Lamar paying “such fancy prices that not even a sample copy for the files was left when the supply of paper gave out.” The newspaper changed names in 1889 to the Lamar Register and was published until 1952 when it was sold to the Holly Chieftain.

A number of titles are currently in production, which involves scanning microfilm to digital files, digitization and making the digital content searchable, and quality review by both Colorado Digital Newspaper Project staff and project staff at the Library of Congress. We’re looking forward to seeing the following go live on Chronicling America this spring.

  • Cheyenne Wells Record (1912–1922)

  • Delta Chief, later the Delta Independent (1883–1907)

  • The Fremont County Record, which became the Cañon City Record (1880–1909)

  • La Junta Tribune (1898–1909)

 

The Colorado Digital Newspaper Project announces the addition of new titles to Chronicling America and CHNC on History Colorado’s Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HistoryColorado/), Twitter (@HistoryColorado), and the History Colorado blog (https://www.historycolorado.org/discover-colorado/about-colorado/blogs). Stay tuned for not only newly available content, but also snips of weird, wild Colorado news and the history of the newspapers that captured Colorado’s history in the making.