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New Partnership Works to Digitize Local News for Future Generations

New Partnership Works to Digitize Local News for Future Generations

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is partnering with The Gazette and Advantage Companies to digitize past issues of The Gazette from 1857 through the present day.

“In the past we would have been totally reliant on an outside vendor to provide access to this important historical archive,” said Erin Horst, Materials Manager at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. “This allows us to make these items available through our website to anyone who needs them at no additional future cost.”

Advantage Preservation, a company based out of Cedar Rapids, focuses on the microfilming and digitization of newspapers.  This partnership emerged as part of the IAhistory project with the State Historical Society of Iowa, making the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Gazette the first participants in this initiative.  In furthering the objectives of the IAhistory project, Advantage Preservation is collaborating with Iowa publishers, libraries, educators and community leaders to actively preserve and ensure access to the invaluable history contained within Iowa’s newspapers.

“Our archives are an important part of community history,” said Zack Kucharski, Cedar Rapids Gazette Executive Editor.  “They help us understand events in our community’s history, help us understand contributions of generations past from a truly unique vantage point: as they were happening.”

“The first rough draft of Cedar Rapids’ history was recorded in the pages of our community’s newspapers for over 160 years,” said Jeff Kiley, Chief Operating Officer of the Advantage Companies.  “And now, thanks to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, our history will not only be preserved for the future, it will be easily accessible today.”

Two million images will be available upon initial release, and approximately a million more images will be added over the upcoming 18 months.

“Making these archives accessible to the public is a great service to the community,” said Mr. Kucharski.  “We’re appreciative of Advantage’s approach and understanding for the value of the archive and their willingness to work as true partners.”

Content has already been digitized and uploaded.  This content is available for the public at http://cedarrapids.advantage-preservation.com.

To access this database and to explore other online offerings from the library, visit: www.crlibrary.org/resourcesservices.

This project is made possible through the support of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation. For information, visit www.crlibrary.org/foundation.

For more information on this and other Library services, call the Cedar Rapids Public Library at (319) 261-READ or visit CRLibrary.org.

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