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Library Digitizes Past Copies of the Winchester Star (Of Winchester, Virginia)

24 Apr 2024 9:00 AM | Anonymous

At long last, digital copies of The Winchester Star dating as far back as 1896 are available online for free, courtesy of the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives at Handley Regional Library.

"When I took on the position of archives manager, one of my goals was to get The Star digitized because I know a lot of people come in here and want to look up articles," said Lorna Loring, who succeeded Rebecca A. "Becky" Ebert as lead archivist after Ebert retired in June. "It's really important because The Winchester Star is the newspaper of record for this area."

The Handley archives already had copies of almost every edition of The Star, but they were all on microfilm — reels of tiny images depicting newspaper pages that are enlarged when displayed on a microfilm reader — and could only be viewed at Handley Library in downtown Winchester. However, the individual stories printed in those editions were not cataloged.

"It's very challenging when someone comes in and says, 'I want to see a story about my uncle from, like, 1973 or '74,'" Loring said on Monday. "I have to sit them down and say, 'Here's a microfilm reader, here's 24 rolls of microfilm. You just need to go through them.'"

Now, that person can just type the uncle's name into a computer to find every Winchester Star article and photo in which he appeared.

Loring said there are still a handful of editions from The Star's 128-year history that need to be digitized, including those from the paper's first week of operations, but the project is 99% complete.

You can read more in an article by Brian Brehm published in the Winchester Star at:

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