Despite its rich history, Hamilton County, TN has few digitized newspapers.*
Chattanooga’s history is recorded in its newspapers. It’s the same city that served as the launching point for Sherman’s March to the Sea during the Civil War, and was also where a young Adolph Ochs career grew as the publisher of The Chattanooga Times, and later The New York Times.
Historic newspapers offer a unique and valuable view into every aspect of history, culture and daily life. It provides a better understanding of the events and news in the context in which it was made.
It’s no surprise that newspapers have been described as the first draft of history.
Newsprint has an approximate shelf-life of 50 years, so many older newspapers were microfilmed years ago and remain preserved in that medium (estimated lifespan at 200 years). However, microfilm is not searchable and cumbersome to work with. Current technology has broadened digitization options.
Ultimately, the institutions and/or individuals who possess microfilm are the gatekeepers of preserving history through digitization. An entire industry has evolved to serve those needs - but via costs that are only attainable through significant grant programs such as The National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Library of Congress.
There are options today to professionally scan & digitize historic newspaper microfilm at little to no cost to the loaning institutions. Images and OCR embedded files can be provided within a matter of days. Anyone with connections or influence for institutions holding historic Chattanooga newspapers on microfilm is encouraged to contact us for more information.
* PRE-1923 Page estimates based on data from the two largest digitized newspaper resources newspapers.com (paid), Chronicling America(non-paid) - UPDATED 6/2016
Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.