About: Errol

Errol is the Director of the Virginia Newspaper Project at the Library of Virginia. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a graduate degree from Columbia University.

Author Archives Errol

Our Back Pages: The VNP Adds Three Current Newspapers to Virginia Chronicle

Given copyright restrictions, the majority of the text searchable issues of newspapers found on Virginia Chronicle were published prior to 1923.

However, thanks to two forward thinking publishers, three Virginia newspapers are now available online from the earliest extant issues right up to the beginning of the 21st century.

This is exciting stuff. The titles that have been digitized and added to Virginia Chronicle are:

The Recorder (formerly the Highland Recorder. Monterey),

Highland RecorderThe Rappahannock Record (Kilmarnock), and

Rapp RecordThe Southside Sentinel (Urbanna)

SS

The three titles represent over 300 combined years of newspaper publishing. That means newspaper issues from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, right up to the early 2000’s can be searched using the time saving features found at Virginia Chronicle.

The three papers mentioned above have publishing offices that span the Commonwealth, from a few miles from the WV border to publishing offices located in the Northern Neck and Southside Virginia.

These new additions to the Library’s online newspaper database provide readers with free access to the news and stories that helped shape this state over the past 100+ years.… read more »

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US News Map: Newspaper Coverage over Space and Time

This will be quick because we want you to drop what you’re doing and try out the latest newspaper resource.

When alert colleagues at the Virginia Newspaper Project find a research tool or web site that we think might be useful and cool, we want to pass it along to our faithful readers.

So check out USNewsMap.com

map

Brought to you by a joint effort from Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, the US News Map database allows you to search words or terms and then to track how coverage traveled over time and geographically throughout the U.S.  The smart folks at Georgia Tech use Chronicling America as its source database, which currently holds over 10 million pages and nearly 2,000 newspapers, not to mention hundreds of millions of words.

From John Toon’s article about the initiative, he writes, “With U.S. News Map, it is easy to trace the evolution of a term – to see where it originated and how it spread – something that linguists are deeply interested in…Historians will be able to see how news stories moved across the continent, and rose and fell over time.”

To read more, please go to, http://www.news.gatech.edu/2016/03/06/what-going-viral-looked-120-years-ago

And for the total Youtube experience, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrL-eZWNRiMread more »

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Journey to the Center of the State: Appomattox and Buckingham Times enters Virginia Chronicle

Those who are members of the smart set like to think they are at the center of things.  But Appomattox, a small town in Piedmont Virginia, literally is at the center of Virginia. If you don’t believe us, see the image below. If you’re like me and believe everything you read, then here’s the proof:

Road MarkerDespite the important geographical distinction, few newspapers remain from Appomattox and the Buckingham County region. In fact, it seems they are as rare as hen’s teeth.

But the Library has cleverly managed to pull together a collection of the Appomattox and Buckingham Times (1892-1909) and has made them available online, thanks in large part to a private donation which helped give wings to this initiative. Herein is one recipe for success: a generous donation to the Library of Virginia’s Foundation coupled with Team VNP’s seasoned technical know-how to process in a few short months the pages now present on Virginia Chronicle.  As with just about every title found on the database, the titles are fully text searchable and available for text correcting by enthusiastic volunteers.

We cannot thank enough those who participate in what we like to call citizen history.

When you get a chance, please visit Virginia Chronicle to view our select but important collection of issues of the Appomattox and Buckingham Times. And while you’re at it, check out Slate River Ramblings, an engaging blog about life in Buckingham County. Actually life and death. You’ll see what we mean as you fall into engrossing stories involving murder and lawless gangs terrorizing the countryside at the turn of the 20th century.Appomattoxread more »

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Newsies! Not the Movie!

Richmond’s Style Weekly published an engaging cover story about “Children of the Streets of Richmond, 1865-1920,” a book recently published by local writer, Harry Ward.

cover27_streetkids

We’ll let the article do the talking, but suffice it to say, the book covers a lot of ground about an era of Richmond history that often makes the state capital sound like a wild west boom town:  5-6-7 year old newspaper boys, a rasher of neighborhood  gangs, red light districts, and other sordid stories describe a city quite different from the one we know today. Which is no surprise given that many of the tales told took place over 100 years ago.

As it relates to Fit To Print, the author appears to make good use of newspapers to support his research into an array of court cases.

http://www.styleweekly.com/richmond/street-wise/Content?oid=2222010

The Virginia Newspaper Project recommends the Style Weekly article as the images and text provide a glimpse of Richmond history now gone but not lost thanks to thousands of stories and reports found in our local newspapers.

 

 … read more »

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Buckingham County historian gives nod to Virginia Chronicle

The Virginia Newspaper Project will jump at any opportunity to publicize itself and Virginia Chronicle.

To that end, the 2015 issue no. 1 of the Library of Virginia’s Broadside magazine (page 8) offers an excellent article by Joanne Yeck that describes using Virginia Chronicle for genealogical and county research. Ms. Yeck wastes no time providing helpful search tips!

If your interest is at all related to Buckingham County and the immediate surrounding area, please take a look at Ms. Yeck’s blog, slate river ramblings, as well as her print publications, though they cover a wide range of topics.

Here is an image from a recent slate river ramblings blog entry:

Hanes Chapel

 … read more »

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The Mountain Laurel

Virginia Chronicle is currently home to over 50 newspapers online. We are particularly happy to include late 20th century newspapers such as the Virginia Farm Bureau News as part of the array of titles that provide rich content, documenting the events and lives of citizens throughout the commonwealth.

Main Page Mt. Laurel

Another newspaper/journal of note from the late 20th century is the Mountain Laurel: The Journal of Mountain Life, a publication that for years recorded engaging stories, both big and small, about the people living in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in an area known as the Meadows of Dan.

The Library’s online collection matches the print run of the Mountain Laurel: 1983 – 1995.

But the Mountain Laurel lives on online at http://www.mtnlaurel.com/.

backroads_logo

Bob Heafner, one of the founders of the Mountain Laurel, continues to add stories and photographs to the site and with each contribution the journal provides yet another tantalizing glimpse of mountain life.

I don’t think the founders and editors of the Mountain Laurel would be offended if it is said that the journal is redolent of the best that the Foxfire series had to offer over the years.  By reading the pages of the ML online at Virginia Chronicle or at the mtnlaurel.com, get ready to learn a few practical things about living in the mountains and to soak up a bit of timeless wisdom from voices that stretch back generations.

Roza

For example, I was curious about a couple of the more arcane food items that I have heard about over the years: ramps and poke sallet. Sure enough, a search on Virginia Chronicle of the pages of the Mountain Laurel gave me a nice starting point for additional research when it comes to local usage of each … read more »

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Mind the Gaps: The Virginia Newspaper Project Adds Issues to Fill Gaps on Virginia Chronicle.

The Virginia Newspaper Project recently added issues to three titles that are currently available on Virginia Chronicle.

The Monocle.
Peninsula Enterprise.
Alexandria Gazette.

The added issues help to fill gaps in three popular titles published in three different parts of the state.

The Monocle was the high school newspaper for John Marshall High School in Richmond, VA while the Peninsula Enterprise was published for years in Accomac and eventually superseded by the Eastern Shore News.MonPEAnd then there’s the Alexandria Gazette, a daily that has origins dating back to the early 19th century. The Newspaper Project’s plan is to eventually have a complete run of the Alexandria Gazette from 1836 through 1922.AGThe new issues push the total number of pages in Virginia Chronicle to just fewer than 400,000. Look for another spike in Virginia Chronicle’s page count in the coming weeks as we add new issues as well as brand new titles to our ever growing database.

 … read more »

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Read About It: New Titles and Issues Added to Virginia Chronicle!

The Virginia Newspaper Project is excited to announce that we have added new titles and new issues of existing titles to the ever growing Virginia Chronicle database/repository.

We are especially happy to note that the Project has added the finishing touches to a complete run of the Richmond Times-Dispatch from its inaugural publishing year in 1903 through 1922. We’ve also added 1852 – 1859 of a related title, the Daily Dispatch (Richmond). The Newspaper Project considers the pre-Civil War era a point of focus for adding titles and issues to Virginia Chronicle.

But there’s more. A diverse group of titles, including new additions, The Casket and Institute Jewel, provide texture and depth to the Library’s growing newspaper database and repository.

We’ve also added issues of the Richmond high school newspaper, The Monocle (John Marhsall HS), and the Peninsula Enterprise, a historically significant newspaper published on the Eastern Shore.

As for the Casket and Institute Jewel, only a few issues exist but we felt it important for researchers to have access to these unique items published at private schools located in Suffolk, Virginia.

So if you love researching newspapers, please visit Virginia Chronicle. As reported on the main page this collection contains 55,858 issues comprising 385,724 pages.

CasketDaily DispatchIJMonocleread more »

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Set The Way-Back Machine!

The Library of Virginia is the home of the Virginia Newspaper Project. In 1997, the Library of Virginia moved to a new building at 800 East Broad Street in Richmond, Va. The building takes up the entire block between 9th and 8th street going east and west and between Marshall and Broad Street looking north and south.

The Library of Virginia.

The Library of Virginia.

When a Project colleague mused that he remembers taking a bus from a station he thought was near the Library’s current location, we scrambled to do a bit of research. And sure enough, on the north-west corner of 9th and Broad Street sat the local Trailways bus station.

It stood there for decades until the late 1980′s when Greyhound established a centralized depot at a new location in Richmond. The colleague reminisced about catching a bus at the old Trailways station at 9th Street, which got him to Staunton, Virginia where he often cooled his heels for hours waiting for a connection to take him north toward Winchester and Woodstock. Here is a photo from the late 1950′s. The local Trailways bus station stood at the same location as where the Library of Virginia stands today.

    Broad Street looking west. But what does this have to do with newspapers? We're just making a momentary stop as we travel back to around 1888.

Broad Street looking west. But what does this have to do with newspapers? We’re just making a momentary stop as we travel back to around 1888.

We’ve talked about the 1950s, now let’s go back 125 years ago. Back then, the Swan Tavern occupied the East 800 block of Broad Street. Built in the late 1780′s, the Swan Tavern managed a remarkably long life until it was demolished in 1904. And, yes, notable people such as Thomas Jefferson and Edgar Allan Poe were known to have slept there and most likely to have enjoyed an evening cordial or two.

But more to the … read more »

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University President Ed Ayers Boosts Digital Scholarship

In September 2013, the National Digital Newspaper Program held its annual meeting in Washington, DC. Over 30 participating states attended. Included in the varied agenda were a series of presentations, beginning with a captivating talk by Ed Ayers, President of the University of Richmond and former professor of history at the University of Virginia. While at UVA, Ayers became one of the creators of a landmark digital history project titled, The Valley of the Shadow, a digital repository concentrating its scanned content on two localities on opposite sides of the Civil War.

Following Ayers on the video is a fascinating talk by Ryan Cordell and David Smith from Northeastern University on the old newspaper tradition of re-publishing items from one newspaper to another. Republished content included news items, poems, short stories, and the like, while often being edited or “improved” upon as it moved from newspaper to newspaper. Talk about digging into data!

The final presentation by Ahmed Johnson from the Library of Congress provides a concise and informative overview to doing genealogy at the Library of Congress.… read more »

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