Chattanooga’s Historical Newspapers To Be Made Accessible Online, Moon, Hall Say

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Chattanooga history advocates David Moon of Picnooga and Sam Hall of Deepzoomchattanooga.com said they are planning to make over 6,000 pages of Chattanooga’s historical newspapers searchable online as a free, open resource to benefit researchers, students, genealogists, and the general public. 

Mr. Moon said, "One of the most valuable historical assets is local newspapers, which have been available on microfilm at public libraries for decades.
  But the old process of accessing newspapers on microfilm is extremely time-consuming and tedious, requiring points of reference and manual searching. Because of these obstacles, wel believe that Chattanooga’s papers remain largely inaccessible to a wider audience.  We both have been proactively working to find affordable and sustainable options to bring newspapers online over the past four years.    Digitalization can produce accurate keyword search results from tens of thousands of indexed pages within seconds.

"In 2016, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) provided selected reels of Chattanooga newspapers on microfilm from their collection to be digitized via a 3rd party partner and coordinated by Sam Hall.

"The resulting 6,000+ digitized pages are just the beginning and will be accessible online at chattanooganewspapers.org.  The content is from multiple publications that date from as early as 1854 through 1907."

Mr. Moon said, “We've found an affordable, scalable, and user-friendly solution to make the papers available online.  Within a year, we want to include more content to give users a wider selection of titles and dates to search from.

"Access is extremely important—anyone with a computer and internet access can connect and search the archive anytime, eliminating the physical barriers of the Public Library, or any library with microfilm copies of Chattanooga newspapers titles within their collections."

David Moon and Sam Hall said they are passionate "that there’s a great value in providing this information free to the public. We also hope it will create a heightened interest in local history beyond Chattanooga. " 

Mr. Hall said he is very optimistic. “A very attainable goal of $1,500 will allow this first batch to go online. We’re hoping this will generate interest and funding to continue the process for hundreds of additional reels to be digitized and placed in the collection.”

Mr. Moon and Mr. Hall said they are looking for investors "who can see the long-term positive value of local digitized newspapers. They hope to attract local organizations and companies to help fund this initial start.  But there is also an opportunity for individuals to contribute.  All contributor names will be added to the completed website."

Donation levels will include $50 for individual donors or "Friends."  $250 for "Sponsors" and $500 for "Partners."  Money raised in excess of $1,500 will go to future digital newspaper content.  

Visit ChattanoogaNewspapers.org to donate.


The Papers Of Andrew Jackson Project Receives NEH Award To Publish 3 New Volumes

The Papers of Andrew Jackson project has received a $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to prepare three new volumes for publication, covering 1833 through 1835. This grant is the second highest among the 21 awarded this year within the NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations program. "This generous grant is the largest we have ever received from ... (click for more)

Chester Martin: My 6th Grade Class Picture At Sunnyside School

With many thanks to a faithful reader, I recently received a flood of old memories when he sent the picture you see here. He had found my name written with all the others on the back and wondered if that might be me. It was, and it required no further descriptions or explanations, as I suddenly became a 6th grader again for a few moments, and the year was 1946(!) WOW! I know most ... (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, a former Hamilton County jailer, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front porch who said he was "butt naked" and said ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Harold Austin Was Hamilton County's Crown Jewel

My dear friend, longtime public servant, Mr. Harold Austin, will be greatly missed. He was with the state of Tennessee and Hamilton County for many years. Doyle Ray Marler * * * Harold Austin was Hamilton County’s crown jewel.   He was beloved by generations in municipal and state government. He knew so many involved in local, state, and federal roadway ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Many Math-Tragic Replies

The reaction to my Sunday story, “90% Can’t Do Math,” was fast and furious yesterday. A surprising number of the replies were from teachers, confirming the fact that only nine percent of the pupils in our Hamilton County Public Schools are getting the education that every taxpayer know will actually shape the lives these students will live. Because my stories are shared on the ... (click for more)