Tag Archives: Gifts

The Wawaset Disaster, August 9, 1873: An “Extra” Alexandria Gazette, Over The Transom And Into The Archive

Not the Wawaset, but very close. No archived photo of the Wawaset, to our knowledge, is available.

Each year the Newspaper Project receives papers from private collections which are generously offered as archival candidates.  Many are duplicates of papers already cataloged.  But some aren’t.  Some are added to our select collection of singular editions with headlines announcing moon landings, assassinations, the end of wars, and dramatic presidential elections. Then there is the unexpected item that provokes the response,  “Wait…what is…that?”   Most recently, the following:Virginia Gazette Extra

Curious, the masthead’s absence of a year and its resemblance to the precursor of the “extra” edition — the single page, single-sided broadside of early newspaper history.  Much like below (which I wish was in our collection, but is taken from a volume from the Library main stacks):

Boston Gazette extra


Alexandria GazetteBut do we already have this in our possession? Is this Gazette upstairs in the archive in original or on film?  Or both?  Our hard copy archive of bound editions of the Alexandria Gazette is as extensive and space consuming (and heavy, not to be dropped on a foot) as any on the shelf. But there is a gap of some years after the Civil War and among the years in that gap, yes, 1873.

What about the microfilm?  The film, shot by the Library of Congress, includes a complete run of 1873, and is the source of the digital images on both Chronicling America and Virginia Chronicle. While it does contain the standard edition of the Gazette for the 9th, there is no indication of the earlier extra edition.  In short, while we can’t conclusively speak to its rarity, so far our research points to a genuine find. Google map



In the links I’ll provide to the press coverage of the Wawaset’s demise you’ll see references … read more »

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Big Thanks to the Halifax Public Library

Recently, while visiting the Halifax County Public Library as part of a cooperative digitizing effort, Carl Childs, Local Records Services Director at LVA, was given a donation of historical newspapers by the library’s director, Joseph Zappacosta. The generous gift, comprised of thirty eight unique in state and out of state newspaper titles, turned up more than a few surprises. With newspapers from locales as near as South Boston, Virginia and as far as Laramie, Wyoming, it also contained two extremely rare finds, the Petalumian (Petaluma, CA) and the Investigator (Wilson, NC), which, until now, had never been cataloged. The newspapers, in fragile condition when they arrived, were lovingly mended and repaired by the Virginia Newspaper Project’s own Silver Persinger. With repairs completed, the newspapers will be microfilmed and then housed with LVA’s boxed newspaper collection. The preservation of this wonderful gift ensures its content will be studied for years to come without damage to the originals.

 … read more »

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