Tag Archives: Northern Virginia

Strasburg Discovery Delivered To LVA, Newspaper Project

After the passage of 80 years, let’s go ahead and submit that publisher and editor E. E. Keister had a worthwhile idea-the consolidation of his four Northern Virginian newspapers in 1932 to form (why don’t we call it…) the Northern Virginia Daily whose ownership remained in the Keister family all of those 80 years until last February.  Presumably the new owners, Ogden Newspapers of West Virginia, will maintain a self image that boasts at the bottom of their website (nvdaily.com), “Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!”.

The Library of Virginia microfilm holding of the Northern Virginia Daily is strong, in fact almost uninterrupted since its first issue.  Our interest in this blog entry is the happy announcement of a major addition to a rather weak holding, the Project catalog of those four newspapers dissolved back in 1932:  The Strasburg News, Woodstock Times & Edinburg Sentinel of the Shenandoah Valley, the Chief Justice of Marshall in Fauquier County, and Warren County’s Front Royal Record.  Some 50 volumes of these papers were loaned and transported to the LVA last month from the basement of the Northern Virginia Daily’s Strasburg office with the permission (and assistance, for which I was grateful on a hot July day) of the paper’s editor, Michael Gochenour.  Among those volumes were two discoveries not at all anticipated, one of them a newspaper without archive in any institution in Virginia (or elsewhere)-the Middletown Weekly (Clarke County, north of Strasburg) published between 1912 and 1916 (?).  I’ve borrowed that question mark from the Project’s go-to reference of 1936, Virginia Newspapers 1821-1935, compiled by the gray eminence of Virginia newspaper cataloging, Dr. Lester Cappon of UVA.  His description includes those three words we enjoy retiring, “no copy known”.  We now know 24 copies, about six … read more »

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Metro Virginia News/The Public Pamphlet Two Papers/Two Dynamos

An earlier posting promised some additional remarks about a pair of recent arrivals to the LVA/VNP microfilm collection:  the Metro Virginia News and the Public Pamphlet of Leesburg, Virginia.  Rather than just a masthead, as earlier, let’s take a look at a complete front-page for each of these Northern Virginian papers.  First the weekly Metro Virginia News:

This copy of July, 1974 is an example of the paper at its best. It provides to readers detailed coverage of a local governing decision relating to an issue of increasing concern and debate: managing economic growth. The goal was to provide an alternative to the more established Loudoun Times-Mirror, a paper without competition since the mid 1950’s, and to the advantage of interested readers, they often succeeded. But, as journalist A. J. Leibling reminds,  “The function of the press in society is to inform, but its role in society is to make money.”  The enterprise was ill-timed.  It coincided with a recession.

The Metro Virginia News published for just over two years, November of 1972 until December 1974, reaching a circulation of about 4000, some 8000 shy of the Times-Mirror.  A financial sinkhole, not profit, beckoned.  The newspaper, as well as ownership of the more solidly grounded Fauquier Democrat to the county south, was sold to Arthur Arundel, publisher of, pause, the Times-Mirror.  The Democrat continued while the Metro Virginia News, to no one’s surprise, was shuttered.

But to return to the paper’s origin – an experienced editor, a young and extremely capable staff cannot simply will itself into being.  Who provided the catalyst of money?

Again Leibling, a remark in greater circulation than of previous:  “Freedom of the Press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”  Helmi Carr, unhappy with her representation in the local … read more »

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Fit To Add: New to LVA/VNP Microfilm Archive

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.


Loudoun Times-Mirror Masthead

 

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,

Masthead of the Washingtonian.

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.


washingtonian1815-page-001


washingtonian1901-page-001

 

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 … read more »

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