SPRINGVILLE—Searching genealogy and past events in the Springville area just got a little easier, thanks to the Concord Historical Society and the Lucy Bensley Center.
Past editions of the Springville Journal and the Springville Express are now available to be looked at and searched digitally at the Lucy Bensley Center. There are a few editions of the Springville Express dating back to 1840 and all Springville Journals from 1867-2016 have been digitized, Research Assistant Jolene Hawkins said. While researching, people will be able to save and print sections or entire pages once they find what they are looking for.
“It is so easy to use,” Hawkins said. “Something that used to take me two weeks now takes me about an hour.”
The Historical Society saw and advertisement through www.newspaper.com about getting old papers digitized, Hawkins said, which prompted them to submit their collection. Since the Historical Society was able to send the microfilm instead of the physical newspaper books for digitization, Hawkins said it was a lot cheaper and it allowed the newspapers to be searchable.
With many of the older newspapers starting to fall apart, Hawkins said it was hard for the Historical Society and researchers to go through them without damaging them. Now that they are digital, those physical copies can be better preserved for years to come.
“[The newspapers] are hard to scan because the paper is not in good shape so it is going to make it a lot easier to do research,” Hawkins said. “The ones in 1900 are in terrible shape … the edges are tearing off and we have to be really careful so these we are really glad we digitized them.”
People have already started using the digital copies, Hawkins said, since they became available three weeks ago. The service has already been used to look up old advertisements, genealogy and researching names and places from Springville’s history.
The Historical Society is also working on getting their collection of high school annuals digitized as well.
The Lucy Bensley Center, at 23 N. Buffalo St., is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and the second and fourth Sundays from 2-4 p.m.
For more information on the Concord Historical Society, visit www.concordnyhistoricalsociety.org or call 592-0094.