The Conway Public Library recently received a $3,600 grant from the Henney Historical Fund for the purpose of digitizing a significant portion of its historic newspaper collection. Working with Advantage Preservation of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Library plans to digitize a portion of its microfilm collection of the North Conway Reporter and make it available through the Internet. Researchers will be able to access the digitized content this spring. This initial investment is part of a long-term goal to digitize the entire Reporter collection, which published continuously for about 100 years starting in the 1890s. Library Director David Smolen said, "We thank the Henney Historical Fund for their support of this project, which will vastly improve access to an important collection of local history information."
There are many advantages to using historic newspapers in a digitized form over traditional microfilm. Researchers would be able to perform keyword searching of the Reporter for the first time so the speed by which information can be found would be much greater. In addition to this, one would no longer need a specific date to find information in a timely manner. As the collection would be searchable over the Internet, the material would always be available for use.
The first portion of this project will digitize 24 of the 70 reels of microfilm. The Library is now seeking contributions from the community to digitize the additional 46 reels. One reel of film costs $125 to digitize. If you are interested in sponsoring the digitization of one reel of film (or more), please contact Library Director David Smolen at (603)447-5552 for more information.