Middletown Historical Society Makes Searching the Town’s Newspaper Easy

A few weeks ago, we reported that The Middletown Historical Society had digitized the Middletown Transcript, enabling members to view the original products digitally from 1868 to the early 1990s.  This text searchable creation is an outstanding contribution to the study of local history in southern New Castle County and nearby points.

We spent this Friday afternoon at the Society, using those weekly runs to research several questions.  Once a time-consuming, hit or miss undertaking, the work has quickly moved from the old crank that microfilm to the point where papers are viewable and searchable in full text.  In those few hours we covered a number of subjects, completely scanning all the pages for our topics.

Most major newspapers have been digitized, but at the local level in Delaware these efforts are just getting underway.  There are, of course, some exceptions in that some of the national subscription content providers have created images of early Delaware products, but not much has been done beyond that.  Thanks Middletown Historical Society for being a trailblazer with local hometown papers in Delaware and for aiding historians and genealogist.

To use the volumes you need to visit the Society and be a member of the organization.  Membership for an individual is a bargain at ten dollars for individuals.  Also on Friday, the organization’s museum professional, George Contant, is there is to provide guidance on the use of the system, if that’s needed.

George Contant, the museum professional at the Society, uses the dedicated newspaper workstation to search the Middletown Transcript. The town had one other paper, the New ERa, and he’s holding a copy of the print product.

The New Era was the competing paper in Middletown. It hasn’t been digitized, but the society has a few issues from the print runs.

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