New Cazenovia library digital database offers 200-year local newspaper archive

— Local historians, history enthusiasts and genealogists now have a new tool at their disposal to track down people and events that occurred in the Cazenovia area dating back nearly 200 years — and it can be used in their own home or on a mobile device.

The Cazenovia Public Library has recently gone live with its new digital newspaper database that allows users to read and search in nine different Cazenovia and Madison County newspapers for the years 1800 through 1989.

The database, which took eight months to create and cost the Friends of the Cazenovia Library $6,600, is the first stage in the library’s digital archive project. The second stage will include extending the archive from 1989 to the present.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for years and the Friends have been so generous to fund this,” said library Director Betsy Kennedy. “I know I’m having a great time looking things up. I noticed that over 100 years ago the Cazenovia Republican had a ‘Years Ago’ column.”

The new digital database was created by the library gathering all the Cazenovia and Madison County newspapers on microfilm in its collection — as well as microfilmed newspapers in the collection of Lorenzo State Historic Site — and sending them all to a company in Iowa for digitization. The database is indexed to allow for keyword searches by publication or year, and there is a help tool to suggest the best way users can create the most effective search parameters.

The database includes issues of the Cazenovia Republican, The Pilot, Republican Monitor, Madison County Whig, Observer and Recorder, Madison Observer, Madison County Eagle, Madison County Journal and American Legion Scrapbook. Users can not only read the articles they want, but also capture and print or digitally save them as well, Kennedy said.

Database use is free, and can be accessed from within the Cazenovia Public Library, at home or on any mobile device, Kennedy said.

The access the library’s digital archives, go to the library’s website at cazenoviapubliclibrary.org, scroll to the bottom and under the “Newspapers now online” header, click on the cazenovia.advantage-preservation.com link.

The library soon will offer class demonstrations on how people can use the digital newspaper database most effectively, Kennedy said.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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