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Houghton Lake
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Titles & Timespan​:

Alpena News, 1899-1905; 1909-10

Michigan Labor Journal, 1884-90

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

Published in Alpena, Michigan both the Alpena News and the Michigan Labor Journal are treasure troves for genealogists and researchers. Alpena's history as an extremely active port city surrounded by a large agricultural community lends itself to a unique catalog of newspaper publications. These publications focused on city news and county news respectively, the publications documented the comings and goings of local people, illnesses, accidents, marriages, deaths, events, and advertisements for local businesses. The Michigan Labor Journal in particular paints a detailed picture of the lumbering, farming, and agricultural communities of the area.

As a port city, records of arrivals and departures of marine vessels, including incidents and wrecks, make up a large component of the local sections of the papers. The Thunder Bay area was well known for its Lighthouse and Life-Saving Services, the men and women of which were often highlighted in the papers. This primary source complements the Great Lakes Maritime Database housed and maintained by the Library in addition to the work of the NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary also based in Alpena.

Stories of state and national events featuring in the publications provide an insight into local mindsets and opinions at the time and are an invaluable primary source for research by students of the high school and Alpena Community College.

Reason why you believe this paper should be made available online

Accessibility to our collections is important to the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library. We believe strongly in the preservation of primary resources, but we believe just as strongly in assuring the availability of these resources to the public. Digitizing the newspapers and uploading them to an online database will accomplish both of these goals. As an example of this mission, the Library recently launched the Northeast Michigan Oral History and Photograph Archive Database, accessible through the Library's website. Recordings on cassette, VHS, and reel-to-reel are being digitized, carefully transcribed and uploaded into an easily searchable database. This singular oral history archive focuses on the history and culture of northeast Michigan, with particular emphasis on Great Lakes maritime history. The Alpena County Library's historical resources, including our genealogical and local history records, are a source of great pride for the community. Scholars and researchers from across the state and country regularly utilize our collections. Providing access to the Alpena News and Michigan Labor Journal will enrich this experience and assist in more in depth research.

Titles & Timespan
L'Anse Sentinel
, 1896 -

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

The L'Anse Sentinel is the largest weekly newspaper in the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is available on-line through subscription only.

This paper was established in 1890 and still operates today. Records exist back to 1896. This paper includes a history page each week which features an actual copy from older editions correlating to the date of the present edition. Many elderly residents who have grown up in the area love seeing the history page each week. Younger generations who have connections to historical events reported, by family relations or living in a certain location, also enjoy the Sentinel. This paper also covers headline events in the area as well as recaps sports events. Weekly features include obituaries, which provide a reliable reference for citizens of the area. Outlying news from the greater geographical area is also a weekly feature. The geographic coverage of this paper covers a reader radius of 1,265 square miles. Other weekly features include, outdoor, dining and entertainment, four national columnists and a local human interest feature called "The Fireside Chat." Most local advertising is done in the L'Anse Sentinel and residents of the area have come to use it as a necessary tool for reference information.

Reason why you believe this paper should be made available online

We believe this particular newspaper, The L'Anse Sentinel, should be made available on-line through the L'Anse Area Schools / Baraga County Public Library as it would provide local digitalized access to historical events in the area. The current access to historical pages of the L'Anse Sentinel is difficult at best. The pages are on microfiche / film that have to be used on a reader that is old and difficult to use. It would make easy access for interested persons to research ancestral, sports, geographical or other events of interest within the local geographical area. Several environmental episodes have been reported in this paper over the years in regards to pollution of the Great Lakes as we are positioned on the shores of Lake Superior. Making this paper available on-line would make researching topics affecting the environment by larger companies looking to locate in the area possible. Environmental activist groups who are striving to protect the environment of this beautiful area, especially its fresh water and clean air, find this particular newspaper a way to make their voice heard.​

Dewitt District L​ibrary (Clinton County)

Titles & Timespan​:
Clinton County Republican News, January 1, 1920 - December 31, 1930

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

On May 18, 1927, one of the deadliest school bombings in United States' history occurred that, to this day, affects the lives of Bath citizens and the surrounding community. Nearly every family in the community was touched because of the forty-four lives that were lost. Every time a new school tragedy occurs, this community and the entire country recall the horrific events of years past. Unfortunately, the story did not get the national coverage a similar event would receive today due to Charles Lindberg's simultaneous completion of his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. As the local newspaper, the Clinton County Republican News provided extensive coverage. If this segment of the newspaper was online, original documents would then be available not only locally, but nationally as well.

Over the years, our library has received numerous reference queries relating to the Bath Bombing. A college student recently visited the library to conduct research for a Michigan History course paper. Other uses have been of a more genealogical nature. We anticipate increased and certainly enhanced use if this newspaper were available online. Currently, few resources exist that cover this event. An even smaller selection of these could be considered primary resources. The newspaper remains unique in this respect. We believe the digitization of this newspaper would facilitate accessibility both locally and nationally, ultimately promoting an increased awareness of a tragic event that will resonate with us forever.

Unique parts of this newspaper are the columns that were created to provide coverage of the social life of the county's community. The travels and everyday lives of residents are mentioned in such detail that would never receive attention in a newspaper of today. Anyone with roots in the area might find information that would be almost like a diary of their family.

Reason this paper should be made available online

This range of the newspaper covers an era when Clinton County was made up of small towns far less connected than they are today. When rapid travel was limited, people expected to fill all their daily needs locally. Lack of television and limited radio access forced communities to look to newspapers for both local and national news. This newspaper includes articles, advertisements, and other agricultural information relevant to these types of communities. As a whole, this paper paints a portrait of one of the many farming communities in Central Michigan, a perspective often neglected in other resources from this time period.

Houghton Lake ​Public Library​

Titles & Timespan​:
Houghton Lake Resorter, 1940-

Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

The Houghton Lake Resorter has been published at Houghton Lake since 1940 and it still is published and printed in house here at Houghton Lake today. It has documented the happenings of the area each week and serves as the primary historical record for Roscommon County and Eastern Missaukee County.

The area serves as a home to many people and also as a home away from home to many. Many families have raised their children here, built businesses, and developed the area into what it is today and others have found the area to be their place of respite or outdoor activity all year round. The newspaper and the library receive a number of requests each year for the historical information contained in the pages of the newspaper from individuals with a connection to the community. Families that have roots here come back looking for information and answers to the questions that help them build an understanding of who they are and where they came from with respect to the area. The library and the newspaper work together to try to find as much information fill each request as possible in order to help these families explore both their physical and emotional connections to this area of home and recreation. The ability to make this rich and diverse family history digitally accessible to those that have been a part of it would be a wonderful addition to the community resources.

The Houghton Lake area is also home to current and historical projects and out posts for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Michigan Fireman's Memorial and Research Site. Chronicling the happenings at these sites and preserving the history of these valuable community assets is a priority and honor to the Houghton Lake Resorter. Through digitization the role that sites such as the current CCC Museum located within the North Higgins Lake State Park can be shared remotely with all that are interested.

The current newspaper archives are a utilized resource and the newspaper takes the responsibility of being the caretaker of this community gem seriously. The ability to offer preservation in perpetuity and remote access to the wealth of information that is housed in these newspapers would be cherished by the community.

Reasons why this paper should be made available online

The histories of the Houghton Lake and Roscommon County areas have been told almost exclusively in the pages of its newspapers. The fact that the greater Houghton Lake area serves and has served as a vacation destination for so many people is one of the remarkable aspects of the coverage of the Houghton Lake Resorter. Many of the people that vacationed in the area in the 1950s and 1960s now seek information about the Houghton Lake area. Personal stories such as one woman bringing her 80 year old mother back to Houghton Lake to visit the cottages she and her husband rented while on while on their honeymoon in the 1940s would not have been possible without the archives of the newspaper.

Both Roscommon County and Eastern Missaukee County are filled with natural beauty. The lakes, rivers, and woods that make up the landscape are precious natural resources. These are features of the area are enjoyed through fishing, hunting, canoeing and kayaking, golf, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and ORVs. The Houghton Lake Resorter illustrates these uses and chronicles important impact information such as lake levels and invasive species that have been hot topics in recent years.

The signature events of the area are also recorded visually and in writing within the issues of the Houghton Lake Resorter. These include the 66th Annual Tip-Up-Town USA, the 36th Annual Michigan Fireman's Memorial Festival, and of course Summer Reading at the Library.

The Polish Mission​​

Titles & Timespan​:
Polish Daily News (English Edition) 1970-89


Special Features or Unique Aspects of this Paper

First published in 1904, the Detroit based Dziennik Polski newspaper, also known as The Polish Daily News, continues to leave its mark on Polonia. Our project will bring online a newspaper that currently is only available to families who visit campus or other regional institutions where it is currently only available in bound or microfilm formats; and even then, with limited access. Volunteers at PARI have retrieved over 25,000 names from obituaries published in this newspaper between the years 1944-1980 (non-inclusive). This database development is just one of the many projects people are able to create when they have access to a long run of the newspaper. The newspaper's earlier editions are in Polish, while publications that are more recent are bi-lingual, as well as the recently microfilmed Dziennik Polski- English Edition.

We have developed an accompanying reader's guide to translate birth announcements, marriages announcements, and obituaries if there are any Polish terms used in the text. Bringing a resource like the Dziennik Polski online allows readers to unlock the immigration story. Having access to articles about such topics as the Vietnam War and "White Flight" from a Polish-American viewpoint, not to mention the announcements and obituaries about researchers' Polish ancestors, will aid in this process. The tension between Poletown and General Motors will be played out in the pages of the newspaper.

Digitization work has already begun on the Polish language microfilmed issues from 1958-1985. Your grant would allow us to bring online the complimentary English Edition for the years of publication and stimulate the fund raising efforts to complete the entire 1904-1985 collection. Our actions with digitizing both the Polish and English editions will demonstrate that the Polish language uses the same Roman alphabet and should encourage the digitization of other Polish community newspapers; and they should not be overlooked.

Reason why you believe this paper should be made available online

Digitization of the Dziennik Polski will allow us to better focus on Polish immigration, assimilation, and cultural history not only here in metro Detroit; but state wide. The once thriving Polish communities of Michigan have dissipated into the suburbs; and the schools and parishes in which life in the late nineteenth and twentieth century revolved around, have shut their doors. The Polish Mission has become a repository for artifacts from this time. We feel a sense of urgency to document and widely share this earlier way of life with today's generations, young and old alike. Those who knew the immigrants and witnessed the assimilation into American life will enjoy accessing the newspaper available for reference; and those who are unaware will now have the articles readily at hand.

Additionally, we know the community has queries ready awaiting the ability to search the Dziennik Polski database. Using social media, we assessed the community's interest and received the following replies:

  • "I would like to look up my Grandmother's obituary"
  • "I would like to search to see where people were from or visiting Buffalo with the same surnames as mine"
  • "Just reading the reactions of our relatives would be interesting ... Totally different perspective when reading history as a current event"
  • "I would also want to search for names in general. There are many times that a news article would contain names of people"  
  • "My grandfather was struck and killed by a car in Hamtramck. His name was Joseph P... think it may have been in that newspaper?"
  • " ... marriage or other genealogical relevant information ... and a short story about me hitting a grand slam when I was nine!"  

The mayor of Hamtramck, Karen Majewski, is quoted "This project is so important! I would use it to do research for the Chene Street History Project, Polish American progressives, Polish American women business owners, as well as an upcoming book on Polish immigrant writer, Helena Stas." ​

There are many times that a news article would contain names of people"  

"My grandfather was struck and killed by a car in Hamtramck. His name was Joseph P... think it may have been in that newspaper?"​

" ... marriage or other genealogical relevant information ... and a short story about me hitting a ​grand slam when I was nine!"  

The mayor of Hamtramck, Karen Majewski, is quoted "This project is so important! I would use it to do research for the Chene Street History Project, Polish American progressives, Polish American women business owners, as well as an upcoming book on Polish immigrant writer, Helena Stas."

This grant is made possible by the Robert and Susan Clarke Endowment.