Electra Public Library tackles history preservation through online newspaper archives

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - History is being preserved in Electra.

The public library took on the task several years ago to put as many of the area's newspapers, that volunteers could find, online.

Terry Holbert became the Director of the Electra Public Library in 1990.

In the early 2000s, she went to some workshops and found out other Texas libraries were digitizing old newspapers.

Instead of shying away from the new technology Holbert and many volunteers jumped in feet first.

In 2010, Holbert along with volunteers began gathering newspapers dating back to before the Great Depression.

After gathering years of newspapers copies they began getting them ready to be shipped off and scanned.

"You know when you mess with newspapers you're black. We were just black from ink for like two weeks," Holbert said.

The newspapers made their way to Texas Tech to be scanned and put online.

Once Holbert made the process a finely tuned machine, she retired and passed the baton to Stacy Nelson.

"To save that history so that our young people don't lose the respect of what this was, how huge this town was during the oil boom and all the amazing things that have happened and all the Texas history that is around us, is just outstanding," Director of the Electra Public Library, Stacy Nelson said.

There are copies from ten different newspapers, mostly from Electra, from 1907 to 2014.

To take a look at the newspaper archives click here.

Holbert and Nelson are proud of what history they have been able to preserve thanks to computer technology.

"You never know what's going to happen in the future with the library. So, if we can preserve it, our small history, in some way that people can use it, it's just really a good feeling," Holbert said.

Friday, the next batch of newspapers, to get the online archives more up to date, are being sent out to the business that will scan them and put them online.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

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