What follows is a listing of some recent additions to the Project microfilm archive, each from Northern Virginia and each resulting from a generous loan by the Thomas Balch Library of Leesburg.
The Times-Mirror publishing history begins in 1924 and continues today in a decentralized form, with separate bureaus and editions spread across Northern Virginia. Our holdings are strong from the mid century on but there are gaps especially in the late 1920’s and into the early years of the Depression. It is most gratifying then, for this addition from the Balch which addresses one year, 1934, in a complete January to December run.
The image above (click to enlarge) is the front page of February 22. The paper, a weekly, with its seven column width and assortment of staggered, vertically stacked headlines suggests the vitality of a more metropolitan base than its actual home in Leesburg. The use of the Cheltenham font in three headlines (“Racing Bills Pass Today In House”, for example) and, for that matter, the design of the masthead, lend a curiously contemporary quality to the Times-Mirror by mirroring (sorry) today’s New York Times (print edition, for readers of only the internet).
That drawn depiction of George Washington on this same front page provides a segue to the next paper from Leesburg,
With a lifetime five years shy of a hundred (1808-1903) perhaps no other Virginia newspaper crosses the breadth of the 19th century with so continuous an identity. You’ll see below examples here of The Washingtonian early and late from its history.
The roughly 300 hundred copies loaned to us by the Balch Library filled numerous gaps in our microfilm archive and replaced earlier images with improved versions. Restoration prior to filming was no minor undertaking, so credit here to Silver Persinger of the Project staff for his careful, detailed work and time-consuming efforts. And credit to me too, for not messing up the less challenging newspapers that I was assigned to repair and deliver to photo-readiness.
are of the more recent present and again from Leesburg. Each has a strong, though very different, editorial profile.
The Pamphlet was the product of a most singular individual, a respected member of the business community, and offers a chronicle, somewhat inadvertently, of the working life in a small town while packaged in the guise of a “good news” publication. The founder did not consider it a newspaper. It is, however, a newspaper by Project definition and is previously without archive in our film collection.
As for the Metro Virginia News of the early 1970’s, it lifespan was brief, only about two years, but the strength of coverage on issues of county and municipal governance seems exceptional in retrospect.
They’re deserving of further description. Look for a future posting.