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Newspaper: Adrian Daily Expositor

Dates: 1860-1862

Special Features:

The Adrian Daily Expositor is one of many newspapers that has published in Adrian over the years. All of these papers have contributed greatly to our historical record, but the Daily Expositor is unique in that it is one of the few papers in the Adrian District Library’s (ADL) collection that was published during the Civil War, a time period that is both generally fascinating and under-represented in our other local history materials. Adrian declared its support for the Union in 1860 and sent out many troops for the war effort, and the Daily Expositor is the most complete surviving record the ADL has of those events.

Adrian has also had a long history with the Republican party, as demonstrated by a November 2, 1860 parade before the general election. The parade prefaced a number of speeches from politicians and political thinkers of the time, including Cassius Clay of Kentucky. The Daily Expositor has coverage of those events that cannot be found elsewhere.

Events of local importance occurred during this era as well and were covered by the Daily Expositor. Adrian was a hotbed of industry in the 1860s, especially where the railroads were concerned. One of the first sleeping cars was even produced in Adrian in 1861. On a more academic note, construction of Downs Hall at Adrian College was completed in 1860. Downs Hall is the oldest building on the Adrian College campus and is still in operation as a classroom building to this day.

Reasons Why These Newspapers Should be Digitized:

First and foremost, the Adrian Daily Expositor should be made available online because its current format is untenable for long-term use and maintenance. While the microfilm copies are in fair condition, they cannot improve with age, and microfilm as a format is not user-friendly for our community. Having the Daily Expositor digitized and available online would make it accessible for both our local patrons and non-local researchers who have an interest in the subject matter. 

Digitizing the Daily Expositor would also fill a gap in the Digital Michigan Newspaper (DigMichNews) collection. While there is some representation of Adrian and Lenawee County, there is no coverage of the 1860s specifically, which were a pivotal time in United States history. There is also no coverage of neighboring Monroe County in the DigMichNews collection, nor of Lucas County in Ohio, which borders Lenawee County to the south. While the primary stories in the Daily Expositor focus on Adrian and Lenawee County, events of local importance that took place in those neighboring counties are mentioned as well. Having the Daily Expositor in the DigMichNews collection would provide some needed information on those counties and supplement resources available in all three of the areas mentioned here.

Lastly, the AdrianDaily Expositor should be digitized and available because it covers an era of American history that is no longer in living memory. While information from all time periods should be preserved and accessible, it is especially crucial that primary sources from eras long past are saved for current and future citizens to read and learn from. These documents are the only real-time records that the Adrian District Library has from the 1860s, and it is unlikely that more will be discovered. They cannot be allowed to go to waste.


Grandville Star
Grandville Star-Alliance Star

Dates: 1916-1933

Special Features:

These papers published local Grandville area news and events. They contain the history of Grandville and the areas surrounding it. Grandville was the first settlement in the Grand River Valley. The times we have requested cover many events in the area or things that widely affected the area. These are valuable to Historians and Family researchers.

Reasons Why These Newspapers Should be Digitized:

Although these papers have been microfilmed, the films are not readily available. In order to read these files a researcher needs to travel to Grand Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, or Lansing. Having them digitally reproduced would make them more readily accessible to researchers.

In the past years, the microfilms have been used in several different ways. High School classes have used them to document events for reunions. The Grandville Historical Commission has used them for a cooperative project with Grand Valley State University, “Connections Along the Grand River’. In the later project posters were created to document the affect of Grand River floods and gypsum mining. Articles have been published in the Grandville Newsletter  that could have better details, had the information been more readily available. Genealogists and Family Historians could have found some interesting stories about their families Digitizing the films will allow other area communities, Jenison, Georgetown, Walker, Wyoming and their historical societies to easily consult the films. Microfilms can deteriorate over time and digitization allow them to be useful for many generations into the future.

2020 WINNER!!!

Hazel Park

Newspaper Titles:
The Hazel Park News
The Ferndale Gazette Times
The Legal Examiner

The Palladium

The Hazel Park New
s ranges from 1956-1980

Ferndale Gazette Times & Legal Examiner  ranges from 1936-1980
Paladium Newspaper ranges from 1939-1955

Special Features:

The Paladium Newspaper features the news, advertisements, comics and obituaries of Hazel Park, MI.  The Ferndale Gazette Times and Legal Examiner features advertisements, comics, obituaries and news from Ferndale, MI.  The Hazel Park News features advertisements, obituaries, and news from Hazel Park, MI. 

Reasons Why These Newspapers Should be Digitized:

These four newspapers chronical the unique perspective of the Detroit border suburbs in Southern Oakland County.  The papers highlight the tumultuous conflicts of the 20th century including the civil rights movement, race riots in Detroit, Vietnam era, etc.  Suburban papers of this era give a unique insight to what were then new environments.  Suburbs became the homes of the newly affluent working class.  The Hazel Park Memorial District Library patrons deserve access to this valuable window to the world in which their families and friends lived.  This history should be preserved for anybody that is interested in learning about the Oakland County area during that era.      

South Lyon 

Newspaper Title: The South Lyon Herald

Dates: 1929-1938

Special Features:
The South Lyon Herald  has existed in one form or another since 1879, a total of 140 years. Previously known as The South Lyon Sentinel, The Excelsior, and The Picket, the paper has been published under the title The South Lyon Herald   for at least 90 years, when our microfilm archive begins.

While South Lyon’s initial economic boom was in agriculture, earning the nickname the Horse Capital of Michigan, its location between Detroit and Lansing made for an ideal railroad site. The Detroit, Lansing, and Northern Railroad arrived in 1871, followed by the Grand Trunk Railway in 1884. With the arrival of the railroads came an influx of people, and by the time South Lyon incorporated as a city on August 19, 1930, the population was up to 1,000 residents. Around this time, the Michigan Seamless Tube Co. was founded. A major employer for the area, this manufacturer had a significant impact on South Lyon’s future.

The proposed time frame, 1929-1938, marks an exciting period in South Lyon’s history. It encompasses the year leading up to the incorporation of the city, and the years immediately after. During this time, the city weathered the Great Depression, and articles through these years recount thefts of potatoes and livestock. In 1934, for instance, an article entitled “Chicken Thieves Get Big Haul” reports that “124 Barred Rocks were stolen. Thieves evidently did not want their White Leghorns (26 of them) which they did not molest.” The tensions of Prohibition are evident in The Herald  as well. An article from 1930 details a raid where a deputy, disguised as a furnace repairman, confiscated “259 pints of alleged home brew and a small quantity of what officers said was white mule.”

The South Lyon Herald chronicles a cultural shift from an agricultural community becoming increasingly involved in manufacturing. Advertisements for milking machines and articles encouraging farmers to “dip and drench your sheep” are published alongside articles about Michigan Seamless Tube Co. picnics and expansions at the plant. The 1930s were a formative decade in the city’s identity, and we are eager to preserve what remains of our deteriorating microfilm.

Reasons Why This Newspapers Should be Digitized:

The Salem-South Lyon District Library hosts an online archive of The South Lyon Herald from 1929 to 2007. Three historical societies exist within our service area, and local genealogists offer weekly appointments at the library to assist our residents in their inquiries. The Herald provides a wealth of information of local interest, including wedding announcements, birth notices, and obituaries. There are also many columns detailing the comings and goings of local residents, from hosting out-of-town guests, to family vacations in other states, to social calls. Sometimes readers were even privy to the meals guests enjoyed! This level of detail brings South Lyon’s history to life and captivates readers today.

While the library underwent a massive digitization effort in the 2000s, the archive is not without its technical challenges. No staff members remain who know how to use the software powering the archive, and many of the CD-ROMs containing the original scans are formatted for Windows 95. Thus, the march of time has rendered our only backup copies inaccessible.

On some scans with degraded image quality, the optical character recognition does not work. Coupled with the fact that the search functionality is case sensitive, the archive frequently fails to retrieve pertinent articles. There is some inconsistency in the scans; some images feature two page spreads, while others are individual pages. There are occasional scanning oversights, as well; in the issue from May 24, 1934, for instance, the front page and back page were scanned twice, meaning the issue is missing two of its other pages. Because of these inconsistencies, it can be difficult to browse without opening all of the images from a given issue. We do not own a microfilm reader, so we are reliant on the scans that were made.

We had the microfilm assessed by a company that scans and cleans up images, and the official diagnosis was that the microfilm is deteriorating, making it all the more urgent to properly preserve this archive. The quote we received to rescan the archive was beyond the means of the library, and we feel time is against us as this piece of history crumbles away.

Better access to the city’s history would be of great aid to our residents, historical societies, and active genealogy community. If we could preserve the earliest and most deteriorated portion of our archive, particularly during the exciting first years after South Lyon was incorporated as a city, it would provide innumerable benefits to local researchers. Many families stay in South Lyon for generations, and we would love to offer our residents a link to their past.

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