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Friday, November 20, 2015

1870's TO THE EARLY 1940'S: AN HISTORIC TREASURES

Take a very close look at this photo. It is the very first row of my personal collection of VERY RARE Trenton Evening Times, Daily State Gazette and Daily True Americans that will be the property of the Hamilton Township Public Library's "Hamiltonia" collection when I am forced to retire and no longer able to perform the physical and mental requirements of Township Historian. While you are taking that close look, you will see through the first row to the second row which houses the collection from the 20th century....1900 to the early 1930's, and around to the front row as seen in the photo which starts in the mid 1930's and ends up with those volumes you see in the lower right which are only a small part of the 1940's. Not seen in the photo is the very back of the room in which these valuable volumes are carefully stored in a temperature controlled, insect free room (that would be my Library Local History workshop.) That back row houses the 19th century volumes from 1870 up to the 20th century. I got tired of patting myself on the back for having the foresight to preserve these treasures. When I acquired them, computers and digital imaging technologies were just evolving. "MICRO FORMS" (Microfilm) was the flavor of the day. Bell and Howell took on the monumental task of photographing trillions of pages from daily newspapers all over the world and selling them to the libraries all over the world. The libraries were delighted to be able to get rid of those huge, heavy bulky bound volumes and the space they took up. They sent them to the recycle bin and replaced their collections with a cabinet full of 4 inch 35 millimeter reels of microfilm; which over time and use develop vertical scratches as they pass through the film viewing gateway. I have never heard any librarians mention it, but I would bet that many if not most librarians regret the destruction of their bound newspaper collection. I have become moderately proficient in using "PhotoShop" computer software and digital reproduction technology. Indeed, there are some photos in those older newspapers that have been scanned into the computer, enhanced and tweaked and are superior to the original copy on the original source page.
BOTTOM LINE: This collection will be a gold mine in the future of Hamilton Township insofar as historical preservation. Indeed, the sheer volume of pages in this collection renders it an impossible feat to copy (digitize) all those articles and photos that exist within all those millions of pages. My successor, then his or her successor, and yes, even numerous successors well into the future of the Hamilton Township Public Library's Local History Collection will still be unearthing historically valuable news articles and photographs.

4 comments:

Candy Jens said...

THANK YOU!

Candy Frenking Jens

Anonymous said...

Tom - We are blessed that you had the foresight to save these historical volumes for others now and in the future. Truly a gift!
Lakeside Girl

Rich Sauers said...

In a word: W O W !

What a treasure trove of history, and you do deserve kudos for the foresight to save them from destruction.

fantasy World said...

Ditowe are blessed with your foresight in

to lakesidegirls comment!