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.


Chester Martin: When The Hercules Came To Tennessee

PLEASE BE ADVISED that I was putting the finishing touches on this story when the recent fatal C-130 accident occurred at Savannah, Ga. That tragic event, however, does not in any way diminish my high opinion of the Hercules, as its reputation has long been established - and is likely to be sustained long into the future. My story, therefore, appears here "as written". Yes, I ... (click for more)

Browns Were Pioneers Of Waldens Ridge, Red Bank Sections

John Brown Sr. was "one of the original 765 white settlers of Hamilton County,'' acquiring large tracts on Walden's Ridge and building his homeplace near Soddy. Another pioneer was James Berry Brown, who occupied a beautiful hilly section north of the present Red Bank. Two of Berry Brown's descendants - G. Russell Brown and J.B. Brown - were educational standouts. George Willis ... (click for more)

City Stormwater Board Approves Water Quality And Development Fee Increases

The city Stormwater Regulations Board on Monday recommended that the city approve water quality and land development increases sought by the Berke administration, though board members said there had not been enough time for the board and the public to study the fee hikes. Bill Payne, city engineer, said the water quality fee increase would amount to an average $11 per year per ... (click for more)

Blakemore Gets 23-Year Prison Term For Selling Heroin That Caused Death Of Red Bank Man

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday sentenced Darius Jermaine Blakemore to 23 years in federal prison for selling heroin to a Red Bank man who overdosed and died.   Blakemore, 29, had gone to trial on the case, but it was announced in the middle of the trial that both sides had agreed to the 23-year term. Blakemore had faced 30 years to life.   Blakemore ... (click for more)

Liberal Conspiracy Afoot

According to Roy Exum’s Sunday column, there are now upwards of six or seven Democrats in Hamilton County, and all of them have secretly maneuvered their way onto the boards of a couple of dozen local organizations. Unlike Republicans, some of them serve on multiple boards and some of them serve with one another on the same boards. This is outrageous. We all know that boards and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Words For The Ages

I was probably one of few people in the entire world who didn’t get caught up in the Royal Marriage of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry this weekend. I got over having any semblance of ‘pomp and circumstance’ a long time ago and, as a rule, studiously avoid those apt to ‘put on airs and graces.’ By ignoring the magnificent occasion, I made a big mistake and today it is with delight ... (click for more)