SHELBINA, Mo. -- Shelby County residents with an affection for local history will soon have a treasure trove of information at their fingertips.
The Shelbina Carnegie Public Library is digitizing the contents of eight local newspapers published in Shelby County between 1871 and 1929. The information will be made available online to anyone with a personal computer and internet access.According to Linda Kropf, the library's director, the following newspaper issues will be digitized:º Clarence Courier from 1901 to 1922.º Clarence Republican from 1898 to 1899.º Farmers Favorite from 1899 to 1901.º Hunnewell Graphic from 1896 to 1920.º Shelbina Democrat from 1878 to 1922.º Shelbina Torchlight from 1890 to 1923.º Shelby County Independent-Courier from 1925 to 1929.º Shelby County Herald from 1871 to 1923.Kropf said the digitizing project was made possible thanks to a $15,114 grant from the Missouri State Library. The project is being carried out by the State Historical Society of Missouri through the society's Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.Under this program, the historical society will convert microfilm copies of the eight newspapers to a digital format. The digitized images will then be stored in the society's database with other digitized Missouri papers. All available publications can be found on the society's website at shsmo.org/newspaper/mdnp/.The Shelbina Carnegie Public Library will put a link to the database on its own web site, shelbinacarnegie.lib.mo.us/.Kropf said the library already has a microfilm version of the newspapers available for public viewing. However, people must come to the library to look through reels of microfilm to find news on a particular date.She said the advantage of having the newspapers digitized is that the entire contents will be searchable by keywords, such as a person's name. Then any articles containing the keywords will pop up on the person's computer screen so they can be printed or copied."The searchability is going to be wonderful," Kropf said. "That makes a big difference."Kropf said getting the digitized newspapers will be particularly helpful for people interested in genealogy and researching family histories."People can find a lot of records online, but newspaper records are among the last to be digitized," Kropf said. "People will be able to access this anywhere. They won't have to come and use our reels of microfilm. They can do it from their homes."