Read the Reports

The Monthly Reports constitute the core of this website.  Daily activities while on the Project were recorded in the requisite Monthly Reports which have been reproduced here in their entirety, exactly as they were written between January 1985 and February 1988. Images taken during the same time period have been added to the text for visual interest.


January 1985


Background Skills and Resources


  • Training on LIAS
  • General Orientation to Library (Suzanne Striedieck)
  • Staff/Faculty Introduction (Suzanne Striedieck)
  • Practicing on LIAS

Identifying, Locating and Photocopying Necessary Resources

  • Newspaper bibliographies
  • County histories
  • Cataloging newspapers
  • Newspaper histories
  • Microform evaluation and preservation (lots from Jack Pontius)
A Pic W308 Office Sue and Beck June 1985

The Project Team: Sue (Left) and Becky checking county histories, W308 Pattee Library Office.


  • Familiarizing ourselves with resources gathered
  • Reviewing cataloging procedures
  • Searching PA titles on LIAS to observe previous newspaper cataloging
  • Reading background sources


  •  Trial run of cataloging on workform.  Ran into same problems Ruth Carter outlined in her “Report on Newspaper Cataloging Test”, e.g.

    a)     Condition recognition
    b)     Labeling discrepancies (box label vs. actual film)
    c)     Cataloging from microform difficulties
    d)     Film reduction and type (identification of)
    e)     Determining page size/physical description

  •  Futile Attempt.  Need to wait for training and/or workform instructions.
  •  Attended “Making LIAS work for you” program and discussion  sponsored by the LIAS Implementation Team

Survey PreparationB Pic 100_3896 Centre Co Card File

  • Compiled a Master Card File of institutions and individuals who responded to the Survey sent out by State Library in September of 1983 (92 returned).
  •  Located additional repositories to contact by searching directories for public libraries, county courthouses, historical societies, museums, special libraries, schools, academic institutions, newspaper publishers, private collectors, and antique dealers.  (409 identified so far).
  • Composed 4 Letters and 4 Questionnaires to be mailed out to contact sites.
  • Composed Publicity Articles for the University Libraries Bulletin, the Penn State Intercom and local newspaper publishers.
  • Composed a “Call-In” form to collect data from in-coming calls regarding unidentified collections.

 First Hand Experience Shared by West Virginia University (WVU)

  • Made phone contact with Susan Beates Hansen, Assistant Curator at West Virginia University, who is working on NEH Newspaper Project – answered numerous questions during telephone conversation.
  • Received follow-up letters from Susan, which included forms and data used by WVU in its first year of operation.  Good suggestions and tips provided.

Pattee Library Newspapers 

  •  Identified and located (with Dr. Peter Gottlieb’s help) newspaper holdings in Pattee.
  • Created master list of 4 major files: current titles in periodicals; current and retrospective titles in microforms; original un-cataloged newsprint in Labor Archives; other “hidden away” titles soon to be discovered.
  • Total # of titles unearthed so far: 720 (represents PA/US titles in Pattee Library.

466 in microfilm
194 in Labor Archives
60 Centre County newspapers in 9 miscellaneous volumes (maximum count)

C Pic W308 Office Sue and Beck at desk June 1985

The Project Team at work, W308 Pattee Library office.


February 1985

Cataloging and Related Tasks

  1. Titles and Variant Titles of Newspapers (Sue Kellerman)

a) Titles had to be searched in county histories and reference sources.

b) Dates correlating with title changes – researched.

c) Area covered were titles in Microforms, Labor Archives, Penn State Room, Rare Books Room, Pattee Library stacks, and Tower Room.

d) Concentrated on Centre County titles.

e) This has been tedious, time-consuming, and difficult – but necessary.

2. Local Data Records – LDRs (Sue Kellerman & Rebecca Wilson

Two-Part Process –

1) Holdings statement and

2) Condition report for each title

a) Made brief LDRs for all titles reported from all counties so far.

b) Completed in full holdings statements and condition reports by examining each title for Centre County in the Pattee Library, hard copy and microform, and by examining all titles at sites visited, regardless of county of publication.

c) Listed from all responses received so far (on a workform and LDR form) which institution has what title, and its earliest date.

3.  Rossell (Sue Kellerman)

a) Resolved the many discrepancies between the Pennsylvania Library Association bibliography city breakdown and the bibliography’s county breakdown by checking every title in both places.  Added missing ones.

b) Checked the institution breakdown against Penn State University Libraries holdings lists and uncovered 80 titles Penn State Libraries should have and which aren’t listed anywhere.  Spent time trying to locate some of these.  Must do more digging later.

 4. Inventorying (Sue Kellerman)

Concentrated on Centre County.

a) Finished inventorying the 9 “miscellaneous” volumes of newspapers (where many titles for a single year were bound together) for Labor Archives.  Made a complete list of titles and dates for Dr. Peter Gottlieb.

b) Examined and listed all Centre County titles found in all Penn State University Libraries locations – Tower Room, Pattee Library stacks, Rare Books Room, Labor Archives, Room 9 (Life Science Library, Keith Roe), Microforms, Penn State Room, Slavic Room.

c) Inventoried by drawer the Master Negatives in Labor Archives.

 5.  Workforms (Sue Kellerman)

a) Actual cataloging on workforms begun.

b) 34 workforms completed and in “Pitt-ready” condition.

c) 16-20 more in progress.

d) Will run workforms by Karen Nadeski before submitting.

e) Will mail workforms out after David Hoffman provides holdings symbols.

f) 27 workforms can be mailed out immediately.

 6. OCLC / LIAS (Sue Kellerman & Rebecca Wilson)

a) Have regularly scheduled terminal time [on LIAS].

b) Searched Rossell’s titles on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) for Centre County, Clearfield County, Clinton County, Columbia County, and part of Union County.

c) Small percentage (about 10%) being found.  All others have to be originally cataloged. 

B. Public Relations / Field Work

1.  Master File of Institutions and Addresses  (Rebecca Wilson & Sue Kellerman)

a) Continued search for sources of newspapers.

b) Identified and made cards for total of 476 (68 more since January).

c) Compared the Master List from the State Library (of places they had contacted) against our file to assure completeness.  60 institutions identified for Centre County.

2. Letters / Contacts (Rebecca Wilson) 

a) Sent information on some of our procedures and copies of our letters to Glynes Waldman at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

b) Mailed out 450 letters and forms to all categories of institutions identified (first contact, second contact, private individuals, etc.).  Notations of all activity made on Master Card File.

c) As responses have been received – categorized into “yes” – has holdings, “no holdings,” and “needs further action”.  All responses listed in master file.  LDRs filled out (in brief) for titles as they are identified.

d) Other correspondence.  Thank you’s to site visited, other letters of inquiry and/or information.

3. Telephone Calls (Rebecca Wilson)

a) Contacted all institutions in Centre County which had not responded to survey.

b) Contacted all major institutions (with many holdings) to see how work was progressing.

c) All activity recorded in Master Card File.

 4.  Site Visits (Rebecca Wilson & Sue Kellerman)

a) “Visited” and cataloged Penn State University Libraries holdings for all areas for Centre County titles.

b) Examined and cataloged Slavic newspapers from Dr. Luciw’s Slavic Library.

c) Visited and cataloged original titles at Aaronsburg Library and Museum Association.

Our very first site visit ever!  We ventured over to Aaronsburg Library, Centre County – close enough to get our feet wet but far enough to make it “real”.  Sue takes time for a picture.

The Journal Entry for February 25, 1985 is remarkably brief. 

Sue writes:  “Made first site visit to Aaronsburg – ran across paper not seen before – Berichter Anzeiger  – Sept. 6, 1867.  Spent 1 ½ hours there in Library – came to Boalsburg for lunch.  Back to office by 1:00 pm.”   An inauspicious beginning to what would become a magnificent journey…                                — Image and text added 10/17/2012

d)  Visited and began cataloging original titles at Centre County Library and Historical Museum, Bellefonte.

e) Visited Centre Daily Times office but need to go back again.

5.  Results

a) Have had about 15-20 call-ins from people asking about the Project and describing their papers.

b) We know the Lock Haven Express ran our ad, in addition to the Centre Daily Times as a result of our publicity.  Four callers reported seeing our ad in those papers.

c) We have received 134 letters so far in response to the 450 sent out.  Fourteen returned unopened with “undeliverable as addressed” or “no mail receptacle” (Amish schools).  Of the 134, 74 report “no holdings.”

 d) After contacting all of Centre County, only 15 institutions had any holdings, and many of those are schools with “current holdings only.”

e)  Rossell lists 59 titles for Centre County, 9 of which did not include a holding library.  We have found one of those 9 (The Snow Shoe Times – Moshannon, PA).  In addition we found 11 not listed in Rossell, and we have found earlier issues of 2 titles that she listed.

 f) 24 new titles have turned up from Potter County.  (There may be more – have not done a systematic check yet).

6.  Publicity (Rebecca Wislon & Sue Kellerman)

We continue to publicize the Project.

a) News release to all newspaper publishers sent through Public Information.

b) Charles Ness sent release through AP Wire Service also.

c) Assisted Debbie Benedetti on a feature article of the Project.

d) Wrote cover letter to accompany Charles Ness’s “Guide for institutions” to be mailed to libraries and historical societies.

e) Mailed second news release to Centre County publishers.

f) Pulled and wrote background notes on 10 important Penn State University Libraries titles, for “Show ‘n Tell” if necessary.

C.  Other

1.  Meetings (Rebecca Wilson & Sue Kellerman)

 a) Did preparation for and had several meetings with:

Dr. Barbara Smith – on training, progress reports, information from the State Library, publicity, other Project-related contacts (student help, reference sources, etc.).

Charles Ness – publicity

Dr. Peter Gottlieb and Suzanne Striedieck – Project progress and update, OCLC schedules, etc.

2.  Training (Rebecca Wilson & Sue Kellerman)

a) Prepared for Harrisburg trip – reviewed data on cataloging and preservation.  Assembled questions and problems to be resolved.

b) Met with Karen Nadeski.

c) Attended 2-day training session in Harrisburg at the State Library (February 11 and 12).

 d) Reviewed and discussed (and tried to assimilate) information obtained at the training session.

3.  Miscellaneous

a) Time spent on Xeroxing, tracking down reference sources and addresses and making lists prompted us to write a proposal for student help.

 b) Peter Gottlieb has already provided some for us.

 c) Dr. Barbara Smith was instrumental in getting needed reference tools very quickly.  (Only Brigham still needed).

d)  Sue continues to update her journal diary, a valuable account of our step-by-step procedures

e) Kathy Roos continues to provide speedy, excellent and friendly secretarial services to our Project.  The volume of typing has been more than originally anticipated.

D.  Summary

a) In future, as we do a county – contact historical societies first to allow them the full 2-3 weeks.  Most of them are understaffed and the collections are not always organized.

 b) All of the short-term goals have been met, except that Penn State University Libraries’ holdings for Centre County only have been done.

 c) Some of the “long-term goals” work has been done.

 d) In general, responses from Centre County have been poor.  The Penn State University Libraries undoubtedly is the major holder in the County, with the Centre County Library and Historical Museum being second.  Seven new titles were found there.

e) Centre County is 90% done.   Still awaiting holdings lists from Bellefonte, and full information from the Philipsburg Historical Foundation.

f) It was undoubtedly a time-saver to have both project people on the site visit.  We could do original cataloging on site, check for holdings data and condition reports, gather ILL policies and the release statement, and complete in one day what would have taken a single person two days.


March 1985

In addition to a monthly progress report of our activities, this report will include statistics, summaries, overviews and problems challenging the newspaper Project Staff for the first quarter of 1985.

A.  Cataloging and Related Tasks

1)      Titles and Variant Titles of Newspapers

a) Researched Clearfield County titles in county histories and reference sources.

b) Identified dates of title changes within a run.

c)  Prepared 3×5 [i.e., 4 x 6] Card File of Clearfield County newspaper titles, and dates when title changes occurred.

2.  Local Data Records

 Two-Part Process – 1) Holdings statement and 2) Physical condition report for each title

a) Continued to make brief LDRs for all titles reported either through call-ins or write-ins.  This has turned out to be an excellent way to get a handle on all titles identified.

b) Completed in full holding statements and physical condition reports:  for all Clearfield County titles at the Penn State University Libraries Pattee Library, where only hard copies were found, and for all titles at sites visited, regardless of county of publication.

c) Continued to record from all responses received which institution has which titles and earliest date information on LDRs.

3.  Interlibrary Loan Policies/Accessibility agreements

a) Collected all information while at site visit.

b) Gathered by mail policy forms and agreement statements from individuals who had written or called us with holdings we used.

c) We hold all workforms/LDRs until we have received the signed accessibility statements.

4.  Workforms

a) Continued to prepare brief workforms for all titles reported to us.

b) Created new workforms at site locations.

c) Modified, updated OCLC records for titles found on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).

d) Ran workforms by Karen Nadeski, Penn State University Libraries Serials Cataloger before any were submitted to the Univeristy of Pittsburgh (OCLC CONSER site for PaNP).

e) Updated and revised workforms from suggestions by Karen Nadeski.

f) Began sending workforms to Pittsburgh for inputting (authentication).

g) 38 workforms have been sent to Pittsburgh.

h) 44 workforms are in “Pitt-ready” form.

i) 27 workforms are in the process of being cataloged.

5.  OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)

a) Continued 4 hour a week regularly scheduled searching time on OCLC

b) Searched Rossell  titles on OCLC for Union County, Potter County, Northumberland County, Lycoming County

c) Re-searched “Pitt-ready” workforms as a double check for place name qualifiers

d) Searched and printed off some of our titles input by Pittsburgh

e) Pittsburgh will be begin providing us with printouts of our records that they input

B.  Public Relations / Field Work

1) Letters / Contacts

a) Continued to categorize all responses received into “yes” – has holdings, “no holdings,” and “needs further action”.  All responses listed in master file.  LDRs and workforms filled out (in brief) for titles as they are identified.

b) Composed “thank-you” letters to all sites and individuals visited.

c) Mailed out letters of acknowledgment to those who wrote to us sharing their titles and holdings

d) Sent preservation material to sites and individuals visited.

e) Other correspondence – letters of inquiry and/or information.

f) All correspondence received tallied.

2.  Telephone Calls

a) Contracted all major institutions in Clearfield County (with holdings) to “get the ball rolling”.

b) Contacted all institutions in Clearfield County which had not responded.

c) Made additional calls to major sites to see how work was progressing and to get listing of titles and earliest dates.

d) Contacted local borough / township buildings and local post offices for names of persons in the community who might have newspapers.

e) All long distance calls logged.

f) All calls recorded in master files.

3.  Site Visits

a) Cataloged additional Centre County titles found in the Penn State University Libraries Penn State Room.

b) Re-visited Centre Daily Times office to catalog two titles.

c) Visited and cataloged titles at Philipsburg Historical Foundation.

d) Cataloged titles found at Clearfield County Historical Society and Shaw Public Library.

A Pic Clearfield Co His Soc bldg Mar 18 1985

Clearfield County Historical Society, Clearfield, Pa., March 18, 1985.

e) Visited individuals with obscure local titles in Houtzdale, Coalport and Madera, Clearfield County and cataloged their holdings.

f) Visited and cataloged the newspaper holdings of the DuBois Public Library and Courier Express office in DuBois.

g) Made a return visit to the Centre County Library and Historical Museum to catalog earlier dates of titles and early Clearfield County titles.

5) Publicity

a) Mailed out 64 letters and “Guidelines for institutions” to historical societies, academic libraries and public libraries in our 15 county area.

b) Assisted Associated Press reporter on a feature article of the project.

c) Met with Zoe Osbourne, Daily Collegian reporter who interviewed us for a feature story.

C.  Other

1) Meetings

 a) Had several informal meetings with:

  • Dr. Barbara Smith – on project updates, upcoming visits, “finds”, information from State Library, topics to be brought before the Project Steering Committee at State Library, other project-related contacts (student help, reference sources, etc.)
  • Dr. Peter Gottlieb – project updates.
  • Karen Nadeski – discussion of workforms, serials cataloging.

2)  Miscellaneous

a) Spent time photocopying, locating reference tools, etc.

b) Solicited help from Peter Gottlieb’s work-study student to list titles and dates of newspapers found in the Libraries Rare Book Room.

c) Through Dr. Smith’s efforts we now have all needed reference sources including Brigham.  LINK TO NEWSPAPER BIBLIOGRAPHY

d) Mrs. Martin, head Interlibrary Load Department, Penn State University Libraries, was able to acquire a copy of the OCLC Serials User Manual for the duration of the project.

e) Student assistant proposal was approved for 140 hours.  Interviewed, hired and began training Denise Conklin for 5-8 hours a week.  She had been quite helpful in providing assistance in routine duties and other project-related tasks.

f) Kathy Roos has continued to provide the best in secretarial support for the newspaper project.

B Pic Denise Dec 1985

Denise working with the Master Card File in West 308 Pattee Library office.


April 1985

In general, a fairly set routine has now been established in West 308 Pattee (the office of the Central PA Field Office team), and procedures outlined in the reports for February and March continue to be adhered to.  Clinton County has now been added to the roster, joining Centre and Clearfield Counties.  Union County will be visited next, and inroads into that county have been made.

The rest of this report will highlight additional procedures, tasks, work accomplished, and problems encountered by the project team here at PSU.

1. Cataloging and Related Tasks

  • As more and more workforms are sent to Pittsburgh, and as ongoing changes in cataloging occur, the pace and frequency of communication between the two sites have accelerated.
  •  Pittsburgh is now sending us printouts of all titles they input from our sites.
  •  Titles for all of our 15 counties have now been searched on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), so terminal time may be reduced.  Still need to recall everything before sending to Pittsburgh, and to determine which titles need to be qualified.
  •  Cataloging is now being done for all three counties; it seems a county never becomes completely “finished”.
  •  The necessary work of researching title changes, checking histories and making appropriate links continues to be challenging and productive.
  • Complete title lists are being compiled of newspaper titles found (also known as “Finds”), not found (also known as “Needs”), listed in Rossell, in other sources – wherever.
  • Lists of “found” titles and “needed” titles are also being compiled and updated.  Both lists have been invaluable in answering reference questions, in trying to locate specific titles in specific places, and in dashing them off to the newspaper publishers for extra publicity.
  • 96 workforms are in “Pitt-ready” condition – many will go out after the May 3 visit.

B.  Publicity

  • Support from newspaper publishers has been excellent.  For every major town visited, the publisher has agreed to run our “Needs” list, and several calls have resulted from private individuals.  (We now only need 5 Centre County titles).
  • Key people (historians, ex-publishers, professors, etc.) have written articles to rout out “lost” titles for us in their areas.
  • The article by Debbie Benedetti appeared in about 10 newspapers in the surrounding areas.

C.  Public Relations

  •  Requests are being made from societies to provide them with lists of their holdings and/or our findings in their county.  We are attempting to comply to promote a spirit of cooperation and good will.
  • Private collectors frequently ask for the history of the title of one or another of their newspapers.  Again, we try to provide that.  (Much of this work has already been done and simply needs to be assembled and mailed out).
  • We occasionally receive reference calls about newspaper titles, their history, or their location.
  • Much correspondence occurs for a variety of reasons:  getting release forms, explaining the project, setting up site visits, arranging meetings, thank-you letters, ILL hours and procedures, etc.
  • Telephone calls are still the most effective means of establishing contact, finalizing site visits, locating obscure titles, tracking elusive private collectors, and verifying numerous bits of data.

D.  Site Visits  

Besides being an effective way of obtaining accurate information first hand, site visits provide the additional benefit of stressing the importance of the project to the community in general.  Response, cooperation and enthusiasm from newspaper publishers, historical societies, and people in general – seem to improve once they have met with the Project Staff and discussed the project on a personal level.

In Lock Haven and Loganton (Clinton County) on  2-day trip, 5 sites were visited; 86 workforms and 100+ LDRs were completed, (2 ½ a day is the expected rate).

Other site visits for April included day trips to Bellefonte, Tusseyville and Renovo.

E.  Results

  • See statistics for Clinton County.
  • As a result of the work being done on the newspaper project, the Centre Daily Times has decided to keep and microfilm its Centre Daily Times / AM edition – which had not been kept in the past.
  • Mr. Sullivan of the Centre Democrat in Bellefonte has offered Penn State University Libraries a complete set of the State College , A.M. which ran for 9 days in 1979.
  • An area antique dealer called to say they had a few Centre Berichters, and in fact had 7 or 8 issues covering a large enough span of time to establish 5 title changes for this early Aaronsburg paper.  The “linking-titles puzzle” was finally pieced together!
  • Earliest paper seen so far:  The Northern Star (Sunbury, PA) 1801 found at the Clinton County Historical Society (Lock Haven).


The July 9, 1801 issue of the Northern Star found at the Clinton County Historical Society is the only surviving issue of this title. 

The Northern Star was published every Thursday in Sunbury, Northumberland County, Pa., by Jacob D. Breyfogel.  It is unknown how long the paper existed.

Source:  Chronicling America –


F.  Other

1. Meetings

Met with Dr. Tom Berner of the Advisory Council.  Informal meetings with Dr. Smith and Dr. Peter Gottlieb, and several consultations with Marlene Burkhardt to discuss purchase of a portable Personal Computer.

 2.  PC (Personal Computer)

Spent several days investigating possibilities of acquiring a PC, and which type to request.  Spoke with Marlene Burkhardt; also talked to OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), the Pittsburgh cataloging site, PRLC (Pittsburgh Regional Library Center), LC (Library of Congress), the State Library at Harrisburg and PALINET to find out if the COMPAQ PC can actually dial-up OCLC.  Finally got an authorization from PALINET, went to Computerland (store in State College, PA) and did it.  It works.  Decided on a disc-driven COMPAQ for use in the project.  Observed them in use at the Burrows Building, Penn State University.


Two proposals were submitted requesting (1) additional funds for the 1985 calendar year and (2) a time and funds extension on the project to (a) finish our original 15 counties by April 1986, and to (b) assume new counties in the south central region, extending to December 1986.  The first proposal has been verbally approved.  It has become clear that the one-year schedule to complete 15 counties is quite inadequate.  A revised timetable has also been submitted, and is attached

4.  Project Assistant

Denise Conklin has proven to be a valuable asset to Project Staff; she has assumed many important but time-consuming tasks, and mans the office with staff are out on site visits.

 5.Slide Presentation 

Project Staff are attempting to take pictures while on site visits for a slide presentation being assembled by David Hoffman (State Library) for the PLA (Pennsylvania Library Association) meeting in October.

6.  Miscellaneous

  •  Checking out the possibility of downloading Rossell (Pennsylvania Library Association’s Newspaper Bibliography) onto a disc for the new PC.
  •  Obtained authorization number for OCLC – to access from various sites.

G.Problems Encountered

  • Some difficulty getting NAD records updated.  Those libraries with ILL policies on OCLC do not appreciate being asked (by the newspaper Project Staff) to update their records.
  • Several letters and phone calls are often necessary to obtain signed Public Accessibility statements from people whom we have not visited, thus holding up workforms to be sent to Pittsburgh.
  • Brief cataloging and LDRs have been filled out (250-300) for titles not published in our 15 county area.  No decision made yet on when or how to proceed with these.
  • Need a systematic way for ongoing changes in cataloging (generating from LC (the Library of Congress) to be filtered down to Project Staff at sites which are not doing actual inputting.
  • Ran into minor scheduling problems for visiting sites during the summer.  Many contact people will be away.  Other difficulties arose because societies and libraries had just moved, were about to move, will be doing renovation work, or are getting ready to send all papers off to be microfilmed.
  • Trying to inventory and catalog a major site plus visit other repositories in the same 2-day trip may be inadvisable.  A second day trip to visit secondary sites might be wiser.
  • Time has been the major problem so far.  If the extension is approved, the time pressure will be alleviated to some extent.


As we’ve moved through Centre, Clearfield and Clinton Counties, and begin Union, we find we are no longer working on one county at a time, but rather all at once.  Calls are made daily to all places as delayed responses are received.  Cataloging is often held up as new titles (for “finished” counties) are uncovered.

A network of key people can be identified in any given county, and frequently their help and willingness to explore on your behalf will be the most productive way of locating hard-to-find titles.

It has been necessary to make return visits to sites to catalog additional titles found at a later date.  It was decided that this was advisable and time should be taken to thoroughly cover a county.

We have found that contacting all high schools in each county has required the largest effort for the least return.

Responses from the original February mailing have dwindled to about 5-10 a week.

Linking titles and verifying links has proved to be most challenging and time consuming.  Pittsburgh (cataloging site) has requested documentation of links to be sent along with workforms – outlining reference sources used in determining title links.

Points of Interest

Ross Library in Lock Haven has an 1815 Bellefonte paper, the American Patriot.  Centre County Library and Museum in Bellefonte is willing to trade the Clinton Whig for it.

Hugh Jones has a vault of newspapers in Sunbury, Northumberland County.

A private collector in Loganton, Clinton County said issues of the County Journal (Loganton), 1894 – 1904 are selling at auctions for $100 an issue.

Viola Pletcher of Galeton, Potter County has written us four fascinating letters outlining the history of newspapers which flourished in 1904 in Potter County.  She apologizes for her (beautiful) handwriting – she is 89.

The Renovo Evening News was printed on wallpaper during the 1886 flood when paper was unavailable.

Dr. Peter Gottleib reports that a researcher from Philadelphia came to Penn State University Libraries Historical Collections and Labor Archives to use the only known copies of the Anthracite Monitor.

Have met two authors, Mr. George Scott, Clearfield and Mr. Charles Mensch, Bellefonte, who have both written history notes on newspapers published in their respective counties and to which we have referred several times.

Library of Congress has cited one of the records created by the Central PA Field Office team as a cataloging sample for the United States Newspaper Program in its latest Base Level Cataloging Guidelines.


May 1985

Procedures outlined in the February and March reports are still being followed, as indicated in the April report.  The May report details specific tasks accomplished during the past month, and summarizes new statistics and site visits.

  1. Cataloging and Related Tasks

–          Received authorization from Harrisburg for an OCLC access number.  Finished research on and cataloged all Clearfield County titles (48 workforms ready for Pittsburgh) and Centre County (10 ready).

  • Researched Clinton County titles; checked links (38 ready).
  • Assembled statistics for April progress report and Harrisburg presentation.
  • Completed county and title checks on OCLC.  Have cancelled our OCLC time until further notice.
  • Composed comprehensive Centre County list of all titles published (this will be done for each county).  Began lists for Clearfield and Clinton counties.
  • Assembled background notes on Union County titles.  Began putting in order and identifying locations.
  • Completed initial cataloging and LDRs on most of the workforms done in Union County.  Found and cataloged 57 Union County titles and briefly cataloged 77 non-Union County.
  • Pulled all brief workforms for Columbia County.
  • Mailed 53 completed workforms and LDRs to Pittsburgh in May.
  1. Publicity

–          Received additional copies of articles by Debbie Benedetti.

–          Dr. Furlow ran two articles for us in the DuBois Courier-Express.

–          George Scott ran another for us in the Clearfield Progress.

–          Mary Fleming ran a front page article in the Union County Journal.

–          Sent our Union County “needs” list to the Union County Journal and the Mifflinburg Telegraph.  Editors have agreed to run it for us.

  1. Public Relations

–          Made many calls to Union County to locate papers and to arrange several site visits.  Dr. Barbara Smith provided some contacts here.  This was a difficult county to work.

–          Made a few more calls to Clinton County and Clearfield County.  Possibilities for additional titles still exist here.

–          Arranged return visit to Clearfield, DuBois and Houtzdale.

–          Wrote 17 “thank you” letters to persons visited.

–          Began calling in Columbia County.  Arranged site visits for June 12 and 13, 18 and 19.  Still more arrangements to be made after people “poke around” and call back.  (Bloomsburg University is here — with 250+ titles to be cataloged).

 2. Site Visits

–          Dr. Barbara Smith joined us on our return visit to Clearfield, DuBois and Houtzdale.

–          Made two overnight trips to Lewisburg.

–          Made day trip to Mifflinburg and New Berlin and again to Lewisburg.

–          In Union County we visited Bucknell University, Union County Historical Society, Packwood Museum, Herr Memorial Library, two newspaper offices, New Berlin Heritage Association, four private individuals, and examined the contents of boxes from an estate (left to Bucknell).


–          Completed Clearfield County cataloging and discovered that 102 titles were published there (Rossell lists 80).  We found 24 not listed in Rossell!

–          So far we have found 57 of Union County’s 101 titles (56%).

–          Cataloged or listed a total of 135 titles on the Union site visits.

–          Found 19 Union County titles not listed in Rossell.

  1. Other

–          Working with Marlene Burkhardt and Joanne Michelac to prepare for PC and to discuss getting Rossell on a disc or online.  (Pittsburgh has agreed to do it).

–          Prepared for and attended Project Progress Meeting in Harrisburg on May 15.  Our Presentation was well-received.  Dr. Barbara Smith gave us a marvelous introduction.  Some good fund-raising and publicity ideas surfaced.

–          Have been in contact with Laura Clover from the Free Library of Philadelphia.  She has called to discuss methods for completing LDRs.  Sent samples of completed forms to her.


–          Bucknell was fairly difficult to work in.  Collections were housed in four separate areas; the microfilm readers were antiquated, had to be operated manually – very time-consuming; they were preparing for a move into new quarters; their air-conditioning unit was broken and the library was stifling; newspapers were filmed several titles to a roll.  But – they have an extremely accommodating and cooperative staff who did everything they could to assist us!

– Union County Historical Society has no building.  Its collections are dispersed among:  the vault-like room in the Union County Court House, the basement of the Herr Memorial Library in Mifflinburg, and, President of the Society Gary Slear’s garage attic [accessed via a step-ladder].

In Union County we ran into our first non-cooperative collector, Harry Feltman, reputed to have the finest collection of papers in Union County, and who will not return our calls or answer our letters.

–          We have logged a total of 1,366 miles for the Newspaper Project on all the trips taken so far.


June 1985

As presented in previous reports, similar routines for work on the Project remained in effect for June.  Specific site visits and other work details for June are outlined below.

Since this is also a semi-annual report, some statistics are included here which have not been mentioned in previous reports – note in particular the attached sheet entitled “Statistics on Brief Workforms and LDRs”.  This sheet represents considerable data which has been collected but has not been included in previous reports since it represents titles published outside the counties we have visited, and our reports thus far have centered only on county by county findings.

  • Cataloging and Related Tasks

–          Cataloging and LDRs for Union County completed.

–          Initial cataloging begun on Columbia County.

–          Faye Liebowitz and Sue discussed and agreed upon the need for more flexibility in linking titles.

–          Ruth Carter, David Hoffman and Rian Irvine-Miller met and made decisions on how to handle small repositories.  This is especially applicable to our situation.

–          Work continues on the 271 titles examined at Bloomsburg University.  Many of these titles were cataloged, but a return trip will be necessary to catalog papers published in Easton, Hazleton, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and other places not yet assigned to the project.  Papers published in major cities (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg) were given LDRs but not cataloged.  All Columbia County titles, our 15-county area titles and other small-community titles were cataloged.

–          Cataloged Penn State’s Pattee Library holdings for Columbia County.

–          Prepared county title list of Columbia County titles based on Rossell and other published histories.

–          Contacted several people, including Todd Butler, for information on filling out LDRs for microfilm.

  • Publicity

–          Received excellent coverage in Union County with articles published in both local papers.

–          Drafted letter about the project to TIME magazine (which has since rejected the idea) and another to the New York Times.  Dr. Barbara Smith wrote a cover letter to TIME and Dean Stuart Forth wrote one to the New York Times.

  • Public Relations

Many loose ends needed tying after our trip from Columbia County.

–          Spent many hours sorting out problems with the Berwick Enterprise (Press-Enterprise office, Bloomsburg University).

–          Notified David Hoffman that Columbia County Historical Society was burning all its paper copy of the Berwick Enterprise.

–          Tried to locate missing newspapers belonging to one Mr. Kessler. 

–          Tired to locate additional Catawissa News from an antique dealer and to find a home for the volume they held.

–          Located additional Catawissa News at a private collector’s home in Pensacola, Florida.

–          Collected and acknowledged gift of the Lycoming Chronicle from the Philipsburg Historical Foundation (Mr. Simler, Curator).

–          Put Linda Heaps, Traveling Bookmobile librarian, in touch with Dr. Lee Stout for information on preservation.

  • Site Visits

-Columbia County required the most extensive tour so far.  See statistics for Columbia County.

  • ResultsFor June, and also for an accumulation to date of titles found, see the Summary Statistics.
  • Other Activities

–          Attended a one-day workshop by Lee Stout on Historical Archives and Manuscripts.

–          Received unofficial word that our contract is extended for another year.

– Continued pursuit of Rossell on disk from Pittsburgh.

–          Continued brainstorming for newspaper format on the PC (personal computer).

-Drafted an outline for article for Cataloging and Classification Quarterly. Listed “poses” of slides still needed for David Hoffman and took as many as possible.  Will send soon.

-Met with Marlene Burkhardt several times for PC guidance.

-Selected and ordered business cards.

-Requested a table for the PC and re-arranged office to suit.

PC FINALLY ARRIVED!  But … still not set up or functioning since software and hardware were not compatible.

Received first installment of PC training on those portions of the program that were usable.

  • Comments

–          Columbia County was marvelous to work through.  Over 23 individuals and institutions were contacted and their cooperation and good will completely won us over.

–          Ran into the usual problem of working with microfilm at Bloomsburg University (tedious; unusual filing system; titles filed under latest entry; papers filmed backwards, etc.) but the staff could not have been more helpful.

–          Conflicting history notes and sources pose problems in establishing accurate title histories.

–          The continued delay of setting up and operating the PC may reduce the opportunities for maximum use of a computer with the Project.

[Postscript:  Only in hindsight, years after the Project, did we realize we had met one of Pennsylvania’s most distinguished daughters – Rebecca Gross].

For more on Rebecca Gross and the Project Team’s visit to her home to inventory her  newspaper holdings.


July 1985

July seemed like a short, but very hectic, work month as both newspaper project librarians used some vacation days.

To summarize activities which highlighted July:

It was decided that the three northernmost counties should be visited in the summer rather than winter months, so site visits to Potter County were arranged and executed; site visits for Tioga County were put in place for late August, and Bradford County is to be scheduled for September.  In addition, Northumberland County was originally scheduled for early August, and those visits are also in place.

All the pre-planning and preparation necessary for those trips were set in motion.  Potter County was visited and work begun on completing the cataloging.  The extensive title lists for the scheduled counties were assembled, Pattee’s holdings cataloged, and all workforms pulled.  Institutions and individuals were contacted and their holdings’ lists examined

As a result of publishing our “needs” lists in various newspapers, we received a few calls from individuals who had previously unidentified papers [titles we had not seen before], and a return visit to see and catalog those was arranged

Other Activities

The PC

The Portable Computer, after several delays and false starts, was finally installed and made to function.  Project Staff have spent several evenings going through the first lessons.  It promises to be extremely helpful to the Project.

The Article

Project Staff have been asked to contribute to an article for CCQ (Cataloging and Classification Quarterly).  We met with Dr. Barbara Smith and Suzanne Striedieck for guidance and suggestions, and assembled an outline which will soon be put into first-draft form.

The Slides

142 slides have been collected, numbered and captioned for David Hoffman.  That ends one phase of the Project’s tasks.

  1. Notes

–          Talked with Rian Miller-McIrvine and Faye Leibowitz about correct use of OR 2s and FM 2s.  Seems we were originally given incorrect information on use of those LDR forms.  The problem has now been resolved.

–          Met with Jack Pontius who gave us an interesting capsule summary of the Newspaper Project meeting at ALA this summer.

–          Kathy Roos, providing secretarial services to the Project, continues to provide excellent service.

–          Denise Conklin, Project Assistant, becomes more valuable daily as she assumes additional responsibilities for the Project’s smooth operation.  The services of both of these people are a great asset to Project Staff.

–          A quick review of travel expenses to date shows we are well within our budget allocation so far.

–          Total number of newspaper titles catalog by Penn State University (PSU) Project Staff so far:  487.


August 1985

Much of August was spent blitzing through Northumberland and Tioga Counties in what seemed like a non-stop, whirlwind tour that kept the team on the road for a total of 13 days.  Included also were some day trips.

  1. Activities which highlighted August

A return trip was made to Berwick and New Berlin to catalog newly-found titles and to recheck cataloging data.  Two lengthy trips to Northumberland County, one lasting four days, the other three, enabled us to finally visit all repositories there.  (This is our second largest county).

David Hoffman, Susan Bryson and Karen Brosius from State Library (Harrisburg) met us for the Mt. Carmel/Shamokin part of the trip and observed/assisted in the site visit.

Our own Dr. Peter Gottlieb joined us there as well, being especially interested in Pennsylvania’s coal regions.

In Northumberland County we broke all records so far and found a total of 29 new (previously unheard of) titles!!  (None were listed in Rossell).

A second record for the team – we cataloged 105 titles and completed 55 more LDRs in one day while at the Fort Augusta Museum (the “Vault”).

The items belong to the Northumberland County Historical Society but are stored in the Museum in a locked room.

The end of the month found us on a rushed tour of Tioga County, where we visited 11 sites in five towns in four days.  By the end of the third day we weren’t sure what town we were in.

Andy from the Free Press-Courier Office asked why we were late for our appointment with him. 

Flustered from the rush of the day, Sue stammered “We were…  we’ve been … I don’t know where we’ve been.”

Andy took it all in stride and led us to the newspapers.  Their holdings were scattered in six different places!  Where to begin… ?!?

          A few statistics to sum up so far:


In August                  To Date

Miles logged               1,046                          3,712

Overnights                    8                               18

Sites visited                  36                             115

Counties visited so far   2                                 8

Travel funds spent so far:  $ 1,992.70

(Completed counties:  Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Union, Potter, Northumberland, and Tioga).

B.   Other Activities and Notes

–         Gave David Hoffman set of slides with narrative captions

–         Our business cards arrived.

–          Began taking Certificates with us and delivering on-site.  This will save on mailing costs.  Sites visited earlier are having certificates mailed to them.

–          Attended an NPH meeting at Pittsburgh.  Bob Harriman addressed issues plaguing the catalogers.  Said he would use the Penn State Team as resource people.

–          Read with interest New Jersey’s newspaper proposal.  Many of their plans are similar to ours.

–          Revised figures for 1986 budget for travel expenses and sent to Dr. Smith.

–          Received our password from PALINET.  We can now access OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) from the PC in our office!!

–          Need to find a repository that will accept unwanted newspapers published after 1900.

–          Wrote the first draft of our article and submitted to Dr. Barbara Smith and Suzanne Striedieck.

–          Attended a PC training session with Marlene Burkhardt.

–          Registered for PLA in October (we will attend the newspaper session only).

–          Sue continued tutorials on our PC.

–          Received from Bob Harriman a list of changes for the way LDRs are filled out!


 –          There is a three-ton- Cox-O-Type Press for the taking at Schroyer Publica-tions in Shamokin.

–          If you can move it out, it’s yours!

The “Vault” at the Fort Augusta Museum (Sunbury) was finally open after 40 years so the Penn State team could catalog the holdings of the Northumberland County Historical Society.

–          Three cheers to the publisher of the News-Item in Shamokin, Pa.  He buys two extra copies of microfilm of his paper for the Mt. Carmel and Shamokin Public Libraries.

–          Penn State Project Staff were asked to write the Board of Directors of Milton Public Library to recommend purchase of acid-free boxes to preserve libraries’ holdings.  So we measured 355” in newspapers to guesstimate approximate number of boxes needed.

–          Mr. Frank Shuman, unable to decide where his newspapers would best be preserved, gave them finally to Penn State University.  This is the second gift of newspapers made to Penn State.

–          A sad story.  The Berwick News, a new newspaper which began publishing in April 18, 1985 – ceased on July 25, 1985.  The newspaper was born and died during a brief phase of the Newspaper Project.

–           New finds at the Free Press- Courier (Westfield, Pa.) pushed our schedule beyond the 5 p.m. closing time.

–         The staff left us the key, asked us to lock up, and told us to turn the key in at the liquor store across the street. So we managed to finish our work there.

– The water in Wellsboro was temporarily contaminated and people were unable to drink it.  Funny how thirsty you get when water becomes scarce.


September 1985

The month of September was spent almost equally on preparing for and executing our trip to Bradford County, and setting up ZAC, our personal computer for operation.

  • Compaq PC (ZAC)

Much of our time in the office was spent creating a variety of formats to experiment with on ZAC, after we had learned the basics of operation.  Three separate files (formats) were settled upon and created on ZAC, and data for two counties was input for two of the files.

The printer was hooked up, Marlene Burkhardt was called, and together we managed to accomplish quite a lot.

With the PC…

-We can access OCLC (Online Computer Library Center); and we did some searching.

-We can search NAD records and print those off.

-We can access LIAS.

-We can have our “needs” and “finds” lists printed out.

-We have created our comprehensive county lists with title, place, dates, earliest issue and location, which we had stopped doing for lack of time.

-We have up to four site holders per title listed.

-We have all the OCLC symbols with the institutions and individuals listed, and can get print-outs by symbol and holder.

-We can get all the titles held by major institutions.

-We can find out how many titles were published in a county, how many we found, the percentage, how many were in Rossell, and how many were new or previously unidentified.

-We can find out total number of titles for all counties as well as on a county-by-county basis.

All in all, ZAC can produce, with relative ease, most of what we need to know in terms of statistics and title information. It was well worth the investment, and would have saved us hours of time had it arrived sooner.

  1. Site Visits

We made a return trip to Kauffman Library in Sunbury to complete the holdings for the Northumberland County Historical Society.

Our Bradford County trip, lasting five days, covering 20 sites in 12 towns, was highly successful.

We found 81 out of 109 titles (74%) on our first trip through!

Sixty-one of the titles we found were either new titles or previously unidentified (no known holders).

By way of interest – in Bradford County at Mather Memorial Library (Ulster), we met the librarian, Mrs. Mary Gillette, who is 96 years old and possibly the oldest practicing librarian in the country.

In Athens, at the Tioga Point Museum, we were shown an exquisite collection of rare books, illuminated manuscripts, velvet and leather bindings, gilt-edged books with gold clasps, and hand-painted Mother-of-Pearl miniatures inlaid in book covers and end papers – it was magnificent

Other Events of Note

– Revised article, wrote abstract, and submitted the whole to Suzanne Striedieck for CCQ (Cataloging and Classification Quarterly).  Thanks to Suzanne and Dr. Barbara Smith for many helpful comments.

– Received an A+ report from the people at Pittsburgh doing our inputting.  They are pleased with our workforms and local data records.  They have also begun inputting data on the Name-Address-Directory file for our sites, including the ILL (Interlibrary Loan) information we’ve collected – and it looks great!

– Finally, we received our list of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) symbols from Pittsburgh for our sites (institutions and individuals).  We quickly assigned a symbol to each holder and returned it to Pitt, so we could progress with our work on ZAC.

– We experimented with dispersing “wanted” posters in various locations in Northumberland County (grocery stores, post offices, restaurants, etc.) – listing titles we still need.  No responses so far…

–  Budget for 1986 was approved – we received word from David Hoffman.

To finish the year – we will cover Lycoming and Snyder Counties, continue on ZAC, and begin cataloging Penn State Pattee Library’s holdings.

Some thought must also be given to the ever-growing box of workforms for the non-fifteen county area.  There are probably 700-800 titles there crying for attention.


October 1985

October was spent mostly at-the-office; a great deal of necessary, detailed work was accomplished following a quick vacation to Florida.  

All the data accumulated during the whirlwind tours of the northern counties had reached new heights on our desks, much mail had accrued, several reference questions and other minutiae awaited our attention.  

The day of reckoning is here!      

  1. Cataloging and Related Tasks

At this point we are simultaneously working on Northumberland, Potter, Tioga, Bradford and Lycoming counties.

–          LDRs for all those counties need to be completed in full.  Several counties were done in October.

–          Complete and final cataloging, linking, title qualifying, endless checking and rechecking – done for Union and Columbia Counties.  Snags were cleared up, nagging problems resolved through great determination and a few phone calls, and 89 workforms sent to Pittsburgh.

–          Began cataloging Penn State Pattee Library’s holdings, starting in Labor Archives storage.  140 titles were cataloged and LDRs recorded in two days.

  1.  “ZAC”, Our Personal Computer

–          Three more counties were input on ZAC during October.  This includes data to provide title, institution, OCLC symbol, location, county, contact person, flourish dates, earliest date seen, etc.  A total of five counties have now been input.

–          Searched for several hours on OCLC through ZAC, checking for titles already on and later updating existing records.

–          Produced our “needs” and “wants” lists for several counties, and experimented with a comprehensive list.

–          Introduced our Project Assistant, Denise Conklin, to ZAC, and she assisted in inputting.

–          Shared our operations on ZAC thus far with other catalogers from Pittsburgh, State Library in Harrisburg, and the Historical Society of Philadelphia at our PLA (Pennsylvania Library Association) meeting.  They were very interested in what ZAC could do.

  1. LFO (Library Faculty Organization) Meeting/Presentation 

–          Met with Dr. Barbara Smith to discuss organization of the presentation.

–          Made arrangements for equipment to be in Kern Education Building (Penn State Main Campus)

–          Assembled and numbered our slides, in case David Hoffman’s don’t arrive.

–          Prepared narrative to suit the slides we plan to use.

–          We’ll include script and slides from PLA’s presentation if they arrive in time. 

  1. Intra-site Communications 

–          Several site- catalogers met at PLA and discussed several agenda items

–          final revisions to the LDRs and workform forms

–          details of the microfilming proposal

–          definitions of terms being used

–          listing supplements and extra issues

–          sharing data about private collections

–          Electronic Mail possibilities were discussed.  Not much known about how it operates.  Sue decided to pursue it.  We called PALINET.  Seems it has been in place for ages and can be dialed up using an 800 number.  And no one knew all this?!!  We will be getting a manual soon o how to proceed, so Sue will probably have all the sites using Electronic Mail soon.  Rian McIrvine-Miller and Ann Hudson at PALINET were very helpful.

–          Had several communiqués with Pittsburgh regarding procedures and preparations for site visits.  We have invited the Pitt Catalogers to visit and check our operation, and to accompany us on a site visit.

–          Discussed the possibility of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania being a repository for unwanted papers.   An agreement was reached and they would like “first refusal” on all papers up for discard.  As a result, we contacted the several libraries on our list and gave them the Society’s address.  In the case of the Columbia County Historical Society, where the situation is urgent, a letter was sent to inform David Fraser of the problem.  Mr. Fraser said the Society would like to have on file one paper copy of every paper published in Pennsylvania, regardless of date, even if already microfilmed! 

  1.  Site Visits

 –          Wrote many “thank you” and other follow-up letters to Bradford County.  

–          Made tons of phone calls to Lycoming County to set up site visits there.  So far, there are two four-day trips planned, and it’s still growing.

–          No site visits made this month!

  1. For the Record 

–          Our article was well-received and accepted “as is” by Dr. Ruth Carter.  Will be out in the Summer ’86 issue of CCQ (Cataloging and Classification Quarterly).

–          Received Pitt’s article as well as Bob Harriman’s.  Both very informative.

–          Our Project Assistant, Denise Conklin … continues to do a superlative job.

–          Ordered a hand-held microfilm viewer to use on site visits. 

–          Made our ALA (American Library Association) reservations for January ’86 and received preliminary confirmation.  Also ordered our airline tickets.

–          David Hoffman has asked us to continue taking slides of rare and unusual sights, and the State Library will provide the film and the processing.

  1.  Miscellaneous

 –          Met regularly with Dr. Barbara Smith to maintain contact and keep each other updated on Project developments from both ends.  We truly appreciate the excellent guidance and unstinting support received from Dr. Smith.

–          Had lunch with Dr. Smith and Dr. Tom Berner of the Newspaper Project Advisory Board to update Dr. Berner on NPH.

–          Attended the PLA (Pennsylvania Library Association) Annual Conference in Lancaster on October 21 and 22.  Enjoyed the presentation on the NPH given by Dr. Harold Cannon of NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and the slide presentation by David Hoffman.


November 1985 

Our largest county, Lycoming, was covered in November on two separate visits.  (Details follow).  Other visits kept the Project Team on the road for a total of eleven days this month.  As the number of visits reached new heights, so did the attendant detailed work and follow-up activities which conclude any site visit.

  1. Cataloging 

Since very little time was spent in the office, the cataloging backlog still remains to be done.  Attempts to finish cataloging Potter County [titles] were blocked when we ran into several snags on many titles.  A return trip to Coudersport was arranged and the visit enabled us to clear up the problems. 

Other news in this area:  it has been decided and reported to us that college papers will not be routinely included in the Project.  Only college papers with general news, e.g., The Collegian, will be included. 

  1. Site Visits 

–          Two four-day trips to Lycoming County were successfully carried out, with the team finding 128 of 182 titles, or 70%.  Many Sullivan County titles and a few new Northumberland titles were found here.

–          Fourteen institutions were visited and 10 private collectors in Lycoming county.

–          A return trip to Coudersport was necessary to clear up problems with several Potter County titles.

–          A trip was made to Olenick Printing in Philipsburg to see the Osceola Mills paper.  The owner agreed to let us visit now (having been unwilling when we first contacted him in March).   

–          A return trip to Bellefonte cleared up many outstanding Centre County snags.  (This was one of our earliest site visits – hopefully we’re a little more experienced in visiting a historical society at this point!)

–          While in Bellefonte, a quick stop was made to the Centre Democrat office to verify the ending date of the Millheim Journal.  We were finally allowed to see the last issue on this visit and collect the necessary data.

–          Snyder County visits were arranged for the first week in December. 

  1. Other Activities 

–          David Hoffman requested statistics for his microfilm proposal.  We sent specific holdings data on three counties. 

–          Compiled final narrative and introduction for our slide show, and delivered same on November 13th.  Although D. Hoffman’s presentation arrived, we used our own which was somewhat more localized.  It seemed to be well-received. 

–          Several counties were input on ZAC: Clinton, Lycoming, Snyder, Clearfield – bringing the total to seven. 

–          Our hand-held microfilm viewer arrived. Using the borrowed one on our Lycoming trip assured us that this will be a useful addition to our standard equipment on a site visit.

–           Continued trying to establish Electronic Mail connections with other sites.  We have now received the appropriate software from PALINET and will try again since we plan to be in the office for a while. 

–          The highlight of the month’s activities was a long-awaited visit from Faye Leibowitz and Cathy Sorensen, NPH catalogers from Pittsburgh.  

–          They arrived November 18 and spent the afternoon with us in our office as we shared ideas and reviewed procedures pertaining to the Project. 

 –          On the 19th and 20th Faye and Cathy accompanied us on the first half of our Lycoming County visits – it was a delight to have the experience of two expert catalogers with us and we found ourselves ahead of schedule – a first for us!

 –            The experience was doubly beneficial because as questions arose in any given situation, solutions could be discussed and agreed upon on-site.  Since they could stay with us for two days, we were able to visit a variety of institutions and private collectors in the time allotted. 

 We look forward to visiting Pitt in the New Year to observe on-site work in an urban area. 

  1. Miscellaneous News Items 

–          At the Grit Office in Williamsport, we were pleased to examine and record their holdings in four hours – a task the editor assured us would take several days.

 –          He ran off to Xerox the history of the title changes we assembled before he left. 

 –          An unscheduled visit to the Express Office, Jersey Shore branch, produced a host of local titles and unexpected long runs of three titles. 

 –          A lucky stop, due to a tip from a historical society member.

 –          A private collector and newspaper dealer in Williamsport allowed us, on two separate visits, to catalog 178 newspapers – a fraction of his permanent collection.  It was difficult deciding what to include…

 –          Several title-change histories and holdings lists  were sent to the many people  requesting same.

 –          Being in the right place at the right time… as we stood in the Potter County Historical Society recently, a patron came in asking for a local paper we had not found in our tour of Potter County.  He happened to have one issue and upon coaxing allowed us to visit him on our way home and catalog it.  It was a new title from Austin, Pa.

 –          ZAC has produced many lists, and titles and locations of newspapers, in response to questions received in our office.

 –          Tried to find a home at the New York Public Library for some New York Tribunes being discarded by a college in Lycoming County.

 –          To date, ten of our assigned counties have been visited.


 December 1985

Many loose ends were tied up and other outstanding work completed during time spent in the office this month. 

One site visit to Snyder County, for three days, used most of the first week in December. 

Details of these and other activities, plus some year-end statistics, constitute this month’s report. 

A.    Site Visits 

     We were delighted to welcome Dr. Barbara Smith on our recent visit to Snyder County.  

     As usual, her presence and expertise greatly improved the flow of work – and we enjoy having her accompany us.      

     Being from the Selinsgrove area, Dr. Smith made our stay there more meaningful and interesting than it otherwise would have been. 

     In three days, we visited 10 sites, finding 30 of the 42 published titles (71%).  Several new Union County titles were found in Snyder County, probably left over from the days when the two counties were one. 

      Snyder County is the eleventh county completed this year.

 1.  ZAC (Personal Computer) 

Much time was spent on ZAC, updating previous records, adding new data, printing our “needs” and “finds” lists, etc.  A pattern has formed and it appears to be a three-stage process using ZAC on the Project for newspaper title information (there are other files too).

 Step one is to basically input data from the Rossell bibliography, but using only critical information and arranging in a cleaner format.  This list is taken into the field and referred to during on-site cataloging.

 2.  After site-visits and completion of a county, the title and holdings file is updated and amended as necessary, adding links, sites, and status of title (found; not found).  At this stage a “needs” and “finds” list can be created and circulated. 

  1. The records on ZAC are updated again when all cataloging has been completed for the county and workforms are in Pitt-ready condition.  Now a comprehensive listing of titles and pertinent statistics can be created and printed out.

 Other files are also on ZAC; sample sheets are attached. 

 So far, data for Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Clinton, Clearfield, Lycoming and Snyder Counties have been input at various levels of completion.

 We continue to use ZAC to access Online Computer Library Center and LIAS; the software for Electronic Mail is now in place, the three files created so far have proved beneficial in many ways; and ideas are being considered to create a file to document data on titles that should be microfilmed.

   Other Activities and Items of Interest

–      Time was spent answering some of the many reference questions received while on site visits.  

–          Received a call from a librarian in New Albany who had been trying to locate new titles for us since our last visit.  She finally found several issues of the “lost” New Albany Leader.  We quickly cataloged it over the phone.  She was as pleased as we were to have found it!

–          Received and reviewed the microfilm preparation proposal (for Phase 3 of the Project). 

–          Cleared up (finally!) many cataloging snags for Centre and Clearfield Counties.

–          Examined the newspaper collection at Juniata College in Huntingdon.  (The collection belongs to the [Huntingdon County] Historical Society, and it will be done next year).

–          There are 134 workforms, fully cataloged, which can be sent to Pittsburgh as soon as they are searched on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).

 Summary Statements

In our 15-county area, we continue to find that Historical Societies maintain the most comprehensive collections of local papers.

We have encountered overwhelming cooperation from persons contacted, whether they are private collectors or staff people.  The value of the Project sells itself.

Many papers are in immediate need of attention, and these titles bear a “recommended for microfilming” note on the LDRs.

Of the 171 sties visited, 81 were Private Collectors, or about 47% – almost half!  In our area, private individuals represent a significant source of obscure titles.

In the counties visited so far, it has not been uncommon to find a single issue only for a large number of titles, or to find that a particular title is held by only one institution.

Newspaper publishers continue to assist the Project by running articles for us which describe the Project and include our “needs” list.  We have been able to increase our “found” statistics as a result of this publicity.

Eleven counties have been completed, but for various reasons return trips must be made to two or three places.  This will be done next year.

The six additional counties added to the Penn State University Site are: Cambria, Blair, Huntingdon, Somerset, Bedford and Fulton.

Our personal portable computer [ZAC] proved a definite asset to the Project.  Much use has been made of its capabilities and it is anticipated that even more files can be created to maximize the efficiency of the operation in West 308.

At the Penn State University’s Pattee Library Site, the Project Staff have received an incredible amount of support and guidance from library staff in all departments.  Warm gratitude is extended to all of you who helped make the first year on the Newspaper Project a successful one.

Summary Statistics

As of December 19, 1985:

Total number of titles cataloged (our 11 counties) – 723*

Total number of titles cataloged (all other areas) –  520

Total number cataloged – 1,243

Total number of Local Data Records completed  – 3,058

For all titles, for all institutions)  One title can be held by more than one institution/individual.

Long distance Project-related phone calls made  – 1,024

Local Project-related calls (estimated) – 115

Total calls  – 1,139

Total number of contacts made, existing in master file (i.e., list of possible sources) –  639

Total number of contacts visited (i.e., site visits) – 171

Percentage of visits to total  – 27%

Total number of miles logged for 11 counties from 2/25/85 – 12/4/85 – 5,294

Total number of days “on the road”  –  65

Total number of overnights – 31

Total number of titles found in 11 counties whose location or existence was previously unknown  – 477

Link to 1985 stats page!!


January 1986

  1.       As December, 1985 drew to a close, the Penn State [Project] Team did a quick assessment of work still outstanding in their office, West 308, Pattee Library, Penn State University Libraries. 

It was a depressing thought to take home over Christmas break. 

We had: 

–          Data collected on four counties that needed cataloging.

 –          Several hundred workforms that had to be searched on (Online Computer Library Center).

 –          Several hundred LDRs (Local Data Records that had to be revised.

 –          300-400 workforms for our non-15 county area that needed attention.

 –          Data for all counties for one or more files that needed imputing on ZAC (our personal desktop computer).

 –          Six new counties that would require our attention in 1986.

 –          Four counties from the original assignment still to be completed.

 –          Plus many other assorted tasks…

We felt we needed to catch up a little.  So over the break and during the month of January, we tried to get caught up.  Amidst a great deal of activity (and lots of overtime):

 –          Final cataloging was done on five counties (Bradford, Northumberland, Lycoming, Snyder and Mifflin).  Many of the workforms were searched on OCLC (we’ve resumed our regular searching times) and a record number of 143 workforms were sent to Pittsburgh in January.  (In all of 1985, 277 workforms were sent to Pitt!).

–          Five counties were input on ZAC for all four files, so Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Mifflin and Union are fully updated.  Many other counties are on but in various states of completion.

 –          Work was started on the six new counties.  The Rossell lists were assembled and the titles searched on OCLC; construction of the 4×6 Master Card File of possible sources of newspapers has begun.

 –          Site visits were made as we covered Mifflin County, finding 88% of the titles. 

 –          Return trips to 3 places in Lycoming County resulted in finding several new titles for that county, increasing our findings from 70% to 73% of the titles.  The publicity articles elicited unusually good responses this month.

  • Other Activities
  • Had several meetings with Dr. Barbara Smith.  Among items up for discussion: how to raise funds for the Project.  Dr. Smith has been actively involved in exploring avenues of finding to help Pennsylvania raise its share of matching money.  To this end, she has written informative and included various descriptive items in a “packet”, mailed to our local Representatives and Senators in our 21-county area.  Follow-up meetings with two of them so far have proven to be encouraging.  It is anticipated that we will attend more meetings with these legislators to bring the worthiness of the Project to their attention.
  • After a month’s delay and much experimentation, Sue has ZAC all set to access OCLC again.  When the phone lines were changed, the method of dialing had to be switched from rotary to touch-tone for some reason.  By hauling ZAC to Computerland [where we purchased the PC], to Marlene Burkhardt’s office, and finally to reference, Sue isolated the problem and solved it forthwith.  Thanks to the telecommunications people for checking our telephone lines.
  •  After a great deal of patient talking and several phone calls, our Juniata County trip is in place and set for mid-February.  The whole process was reminiscent of Union County, where we ran into a brick wall trying to locate newspaper collections.
  • Received the newly-designed workforms and LDRs While the workforms were greatly streamlined and much easier to use, the LDRs became much more complex and difficult because of the microfilming information now included on the forms.
  • Sue and I did a one-county analysis of newspaper titles to compare items held by Private Collectors which are not found in public institutions.  The results – 48% held by private individuals.  This requires more study…

It is with regret that we bid farewell to Kathy Roos who had given us a year of truly excellent secretarial assistance – but we wish her well in her new position.

 We feel we’ve made a great deal of progress in getting caught up this month.  But there is still so much to do


February 1986

Two counties were visited in February, and a variety of tasks completed in the Office of West 308 Pattee Library, Penn State University Libraries.  The pace was speeded up once again as the possibility of ending in June began to look more and more like a reality.

 Cataloging Activities

 –           154 workforms were cataloged, searched on OCLC, revised and sent to Pittsburgh this month. (277 were sent in all of 1985; 297 have been sent this year already).

 –          Huntingdon County titles found at Juniata College and the Huntingdon County Historical Society were also cataloged, and await OCLC searching (70 titles).

–          The hoard of newspapers heaped on the book truck and stashed behind our office door was finally sorted, cataloged, LDRed and returned to the respective owners (Pattee Library’s Rare Books Room and Labor Archives).

 –          With ZAC (personal computer) now accessing OCLC, massive searching of Pattee Library’s holdings is underway.  Other titles are also being searched (for sites visited in the last few months).

  1. Site Visits

Site visits continued throughout February.

1.  A portion of Huntingdon County was completed. 

–          Juniata College and the Huntingdon County Historical Society.  Other places will be contacted and visited (as necessary) later in the spring or early summer.

–          Juniata College has some rare Christopher Saur German newspapers, on film and in paper copy, dating back to 1734. 

–     Of the 85 titles published in Huntingdon County, 70 were found at the two institutions listed above (82%).

2.         The visit to Juniata County was a true challenge.  We finally did gain access to the vault in the County Court House (with a court order) and were able to catalog its newspapers, working atop the containers where the election ballots were stored.  Supervision was provided by Mr. David Shellenberger (of the Juniata County Historical Society) who, despite a recent bout with hypothermia, nevertheless spent much time with us in the chilly vault. 

A snag in our carefully arranged schedule arose later that day.  Our contact for the next day’s visit called us at 8:30 p.m. that night to say she was ill and unable to provide entry to the Tuscarora Academy in Academia, where the bulk of [Juniata] County’s newspapers were kept. 

 Could anyone else let us in?   No, she didn’t think so.

 Almost a whole day was scheduled to be there; we needed to get in.  Too many problems, she said. 

  • There was no heat
  • No facilities
  • A path had to be shoveled through the snow just to get to the door
  • She didn’t have the key, etc., etc.

        (Yes, this was a planned, pre-arranged visit)!  We called David Shellenberger and explained the problems.  His reluctance to help was acute. 

 He was just recovering from hypothermia

  • His wife had just had a serious operation
  • He had spent one whole day with us already
  • He had a funeral in two days and hadn’t started to dig the grave yet 
  • There was no time

  We begged, pleaded, nagged.

             To sum up:  David did take us. 

 Sue shoveled a path to the door; there was no heat; no facilities; the 3 rooms we needed to be in were locked and David had to drive back to Mifflintown to get his keys; he locked us in the Academy and left.  We then carried all the newspapers downstairs to the staff room and worked by a window where the sun was shining in and psychologically providing us with some warmth. 

 David called hourly to check on us and to see if we had frozen to death, and finally returned at 4:30 p.m. to let us out and lock up.  (He had managed to reschedule his funeral by one day so he could assist us).  David then led us to his home for hot chocolate and Danish, where we told him more about the project and thawed out.  We thanked him profusely for all he had done.

 On day three of this visit, we were gratified to find in the home of a private collector the entire backfile of the defunct Juniata Globe from Thompsontown (77 years worth). 

 It is listed in Rossell with no holding institutions.

  Fund-Raising Activities

 In an effort to obtain the necessary $82,000 matching funds needed to ensure continuation of the Project, Dr. Barbara Smith has worked wonders in bringing the Project to the attention of the State Legislature.  Visits have been made to Representative Lynn Herman and Senator Doyle Corman.  Calls are in for an appointment to Senator Jubelirer, and several key people in our 21-county area have been contacted by phone or letter to enlist their support.

 A list of publishers’ names and addresses, from our 21-county area, was sent to David Hoffman, who plans to contact them for their support as well.

 Other Items of Note

 –          There was a fire at the Selinsgrove Times-Tribune newspaper office this month.

 The February 18, 1986 issue of the Daily Item from Sunbury, Pa., reported that the fire broke out last evening at the Selinsgrove Times-Tribune Office on Market Street.   Damage was contained to the front quarter of the building that housed publisher and editor Barbara Mitchell’s office and a waiting room.   “Her desk, typewriter and notes were destroyed” along with “awards on the wall” and “old newspapers stored in the attic above the office”

 –          The Master Card File for our six new counties was completed (largely with Project Assistant Denise Conklin’s help); the letters of introduction and survey forms were updated and revised; envelopes were addressed and the “mass mailing” completed.  (127 letters were mailed out).  Responses are already being received in West 308.  It certainly went a lot faster this year!

 –          A “call-in” from Mifflin County turned up a new title that was not even on our list of “known” titles.  The owner mailed the paper to us so we could see and catalog it.  People have been so incredibly cooperative and accommodating.

 –          Comprehensive lists of “finds” and “needs”, as well as holdings for the institution, were sent to Mr. David Shellenberger of the Juniata County Historical Society, Mrs. Nancy Shedd of the Huntingdon County Historical Society, and Dr. Mark Wilson of the Juniata College Library.  Dr. Wilson and Mrs. Shedd also wanted lists of what had been filmed and what should be filmed (they have $2000 to do some filming) at their institutions.  All this data was on ZAC so it was fairly simple to comply with each request.

 –          ALA (American Library Association) meetings in New York for Newspaper Project Staff have been set for June 30 and July 1, 1986, in the OCLC Suite.

 –          The Newspaper Project Staff at Harrisburg has requested a copy of all the files we’ve created for ZAC.  Samples of the original three files as well as the recently created file for recording data pertaining to the microfilming of titles, have all been sent to Susan Bryson.


March 1986

Much of the work begun last year is finally coming to fruition this year as we witness the final stages of cataloging for many of our original 15 counties.  Fourteen counties have now been visited; the fifteenth is scheduled for early April.  Work has also begun on the six newly assigned counties, bringing the total for the Penn State Site to twenty-one.

14 Counties Completed as of end of March 1986:
















County Scheduled for April 1986 (bringing total to 15 Counties completed)



 6 Newly Assigned Counties

(bringing total to 21 Counties assigned to the Project Team)








 If the funding continues through December of 1986 and the six other counties can be completed, the huge central section of Pennsylvania will have been inventoried.

  • Cataloging Activities

158 workforms were sent to Pittsburgh, along with 60 LDRs (Local Data Records). Many cataloging snags were resolved; titles found on our recent trip to Juniata County were cataloged; and over 100 LDRs from Bloomsburg University were completed and the titles searched on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).

Meetings with Karen Nadeski began to address how information on Pattee Library’s holdings should be transferred to Karen for eventual inclusion on LIAS.

Faye Leibowitz reports that she is keeping up (admirably!) with the massive amounts of workforms now being submitted from the other sites.  Good work, Faye!

 1. ZAC (Portable Computer)

OCLC searching continued largely for Pattee Library’s holdings, for the many titles from Tioga Point Museum (Athens), and the 100+ outstanding titles left over from our Bloomsburg University initial visit.  (Many titles from the Northeast Area, i.e. Scranton, Easton, Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre, are on microfilm at Bloomsburg University and will be cataloged on our April return visit).

  1. Site Visits

Sullivan County was inventoried in March in conjunction with a return trip to Bradford County to complete unfinished work there.

Site visits to our last county, Montour, are all in place, as well as a return trip to Bloomsburg University – to continue unfinished cataloging there.

The usual pre-site visit preparations – making calls, reviewing holdings data, collecting county histories, preparing a ZAC listing, pulling all workforms, cataloging Pattee Library’s Montour County holdings, etc. – have all been done.

Much preliminary work for Bloomsburg U. was necessary to expedite cataloging once we begin on-site work.

  1. Other Activities
  • Pattee Library (Penn State University)

Organization of work on Pattee Library’s newspaper holdings continues as we try to assess what portion has been done for each area:

Penn State Room                 (100% done)

Rare Book Room                  (80% done)

Labor Archives                     (80% done)

Tower Room                        (100% done)

Stacks                                     (80% done)

Microfilm Collection           (searching OCLC has begun)

  • Fund Raising

Under Dr. Barbara Smith’s expert guidance, we pursued various avenues of funding to continue the Project.  Six were mailed to interested persons in our area, asking them to write to their legislators.  Our recent visit to Harrisburg with Dr. Smith resulted in meeting several staff people, as well as Senator Corman (thanks to Amelia Harding’s efforts).

Another letter is being drafted and will be mailed to 30 historians, librarians, curators, etc., seeking their help.  It seems that in political circles, “more” is better.

  1. Miscellaneous

 a)      Our trip to ALA (American Library Association) in New York this summer has been approved and we are scheduled to attend the June 30 and July 1 newspaper cataloging/discussion sessions.

 b)     Responses from libraries and historical societies in our six new counties have been flowing in.  Despite numerous floods in those areas, we are still hoping that the newspapers were somehow saved for posterity.  We’ll soon find out!


 April 1986

The month of April brought to a close the last of our original 15-county assignment.  We finished Montour County’s on-site inventory and did the final cataloging for the local titles found there.  The Montour County trip was fairly uneventful except for one episode which is described in more detail below.

In the course of planning our visit to Montour County we ran across a Private Collector in Danville who was somewhat reluctant to participate in the Project.  Not to be deterred, we called a second time and explained the Project carefully and enthusiastically, and finally Mrs. Dyer agreed to let us schedule a visit.  We felt pleased with our efforts.  We arrived promptly at 2 p.m., as arranged, and found the general location of the Red Lane Antiques shop which she owned.  There was no sign, so we stopped to ask an elderly gentleman for specific directions. 

“Excuse me, sir, can you direct us to Red Lane Antiques?”

“This here is Red Lane,” he said.

“We’re looking for Mrs. Dyer.”

“Well, I’m Mr. Dyer.”  He continued raking leaves.

We got out of the car and introduced ourselves, explaining we were the newspaper people from Penn State.

Well, now,” Mr. Dyer began, “you aren’t gonna believe this!  Today is Wednesday and on Monday, just two days ago, danged if we didn’t go and sell all our newspapers to some guy in Williamsport.”

He was right.  We didn’t believe him.

“Did you really!?  Was it Tim Hughes?  He’s a well-known dealer in the Williamsport area.”“Don’t know.  It was two fellas in a beat-up ole truck.  Didn’t even ask their names.  They just handed me cold cash.  We had a water pipe break in the yard the other day and I used the money from the sale to hire someone to come and replace the pipe.”  He pointed to a mound of freshly dug earth.

“You must have had quite a collection.  Newspapers don’t usually sell for that much.”

“Well, the wife and I just decided to get rid of the whole mess.  Besides, if everybody knows we got ‘em, sure enough they’d get stolen.  In fact, that happened to a friend of mine who collected Montour County whiskey bottles.  The local paper did a story on him and next thing you know, all his bottles were stolen.

We chatted for a few more minutes, lamenting the fact that we were two days too late, then turned to leave Mr. Dyer, knowing full well that his papers were in his tomb-like home which we could see in the distance.  From where we had been standing, we had noticed the locked doors, closed windows, pulled shades and sealed garage.

It seemed as though his fear of strangers would not permit him to let two unknown people in to see his wares.

We drove away, disappointed. 

Wonder what titles he had?  We’ll never know.

A.                Other Site Visits

A final trip to Bloomsburg University, scheduled for April 30 – May 2, will signify the last of the site visits needed for North Central Pennsylvania.  Bloomsburg University had well over 300 newspaper titles, all on microfilm, which required extensive time 0n-site.  While 40-45 paper titles can be cataloged and LDRed in one day by one person, only 15-20 titles can be done on microfilm in one day.

(Well, we can scratch that.  On April 30, at Bloomsburg University, Sue broke all her cataloging records and in a marathon session lasting until 8:15 p.m. she completed 40 workforms, cataloging from microfilm!  I was impressed!).

While there we met with Peggy Kelly, Serials Librarian. Peggy wanted to know when their holdings would be on OCLC.  We explained to her that we were still working on recording her holdings except for her Columbia County titles which had already been input in August 1985.

Well, Peggy wanted to see for herself.  She went back to the OCLC terminal and to her delight found Bloomsburg’s holding for the Press-Enterprise.

She looked at the now-updated bibliographic record they had originally input and the holdings record.

She and the cataloger sitting nearby then pulled up several other titles, and they couldn’t believe all the work we were doing for them.  They thought it was great!

I think this was the first time someone outside the newspaper project recognized and appreciated the amount of work the newspaper project staff was doing.

It was gratifying to be a witness to their excitement and delight.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

A belated visit was also made to a private collector in Mifflin County who owns the backfile of the Belleville Times  from 1909 – 1973.  She also had the Vol. 1 No. 1 issue for February 14, 1894, but then there was a gap from 1894 – 1908.

 It was significant to discover, at David Hoffman’s request, that seven private collectors in our area had collections of newspaper titles ranging anywhere from 30 – 90 years. 

B.                 Pattee Library’s Collection

Work continued on Pattee’s holdings:  the Stack Area and Rare Books Room holdings were finally completed; Labor Archives is essentially done except for checking a few titles which may not qualify for inclusion.

More searching was done on OCLC for titles held in Microforms (and a significant number of our holdings already appear on OCLC).  We guesstimate Pattee to have between 850 – 950 newspaper titles throughout the Library, with 315 of those being in paper format and the balance on microfilm or micro-card. 

C.                 C. Other Activities

The Penn State Project Crew has submitted a proposal to do the 10 counties in North Eastern Pennsylvania in 1987.  Are we crazy, or what?

On April 18 we met with Senator Robert Jubelirer   in Huntingdon, Pa. to discuss funding for the Project.  We are still hopeful that the State Legislature will budget in the necessary $82,000.00 [for the microfilming phase].  Senator Jubelirer was quite non-committal in his comments.

A.                Summary

Although all site visits are essentially completed, the corresponding office work for our 15-county area is not.  Much still remains to be done at Bloomsburg University and at Pattee Library.

The Project here at Penn State has progressed very smoothly, and with the exception of only 2 people, (Mr. Dyer being one), we experienced marvelous cooperation from personnel at the 217 sites visited.

The ground work is in place for our upcoming six counties in South Central Pennsylvania, but site visits there probably won’t be scheduled until all the paperwork for the other counties is completed.


 6 Newly Assigned Counties

(bringing total to 21 Counties assigned to the Project Team)








To sum up the assignment in six words or fewer, “So far, it’s been great!”


May 1986

With the exception of a final trip to Bloomsburg University at the beginning of May, this month was spent “quietly” at Pattee Library where the [Penn State University Libraries] holdings are now being inventoried and cataloged.

A.    1. Site Visits

The last and final visit to Bloomsburg yielded a grand total of 389 newspaper titles in their collection, which we have examined, cataloged, LDRed [made local data records], copied and sent forever to poor Faye [Leibowitz] at Pittsburgh University.  Of the 389 titles, 99 required original cataloging, 45 had existing OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) records which had to be updated, and the remaining 245 titles just needed to have LDRs made for them.

2)  All areas of Pattee Library newspaper collections have now been completed except for microforms, and work has begun there in earnest.  Using the “Newspapers in Microform” list as a guide, we began by searching for all titles on OCLC.  Working from the OCLC records we updated and LDRed as necessary.  Where no OCLC records existed, original cataloging was done.  So far we have examined 458 titles (either microprint or microfilm).  Our Project Assistant, Denise Conklin, has been working with us on completing the LDRs.  We have probably 150- – 200 more titles to check.

Pattee Library has been a delight to work in!  Film boxes are labeled; the collection is indexed (accurately!); all the equipment works; and the staff are marvelously helpful.

We also found that by waiting to do Pattee last, many of the titles owned by the Library were already cataloged and on OCLC (some entered as recently as May 2, 1986).  The timing turned out to be extremely advantageous.

For Pattee Library so far

Newspaper titles in paper format ………… 315

Microfilm and Microprint titles …………… 458

Total titles examined so far ………… 773 

*And still counting

Note:  Some overlapping of titles will occur when paper copy and microfilm copy are merged. 

B.     Other Activities

          We sent our “most ever” number of workforms to Pittsburgh in one month 259!  (Faye has stopped speaking to us…).

          It was a huge relief to learn officially that NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) will continue to fund the Project through December, 1986.  So it seems we’ll be around for six more months.

          Our Slide/Talk Show was presented to the Juniata College Friends of the Library in Huntingdon.

          We attended and enjoyed a one-day workshop entitled “Archives Old and New” at the Harrisburg Area Community College.  Included was a tour of the soon-to-be-developed Commonwealth Conservation Center.  As usual, Dr. Lee Stout’s introductory report was excellent.


June 1986

We didn’t know it at the time, but taking the actual inventory of Penn State University’s Pattee Library’s newspaper collection was the easy part, and only took about 10 days to do the 658 titles in microform.

Putting all the data in “Pitt-ready” form was the real challenge…

After collecting the holdings data, we:

          Compared our findings with the shelf-list in microforms, and added 20 new titles which were not listed in the 1978 microforms bibliography

           Merged data for both formats – 315 paper and 658 film and microprint, and consolidated holdings.  Final statistics for Pattee Library’s holdings will be in next month’s report

          Completed cataloging for all items; updated OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) records where necessary, and perfected the LDRs [local data records]

          Began photocopying some to send to Pittsburgh, making a second copy of everything for [Serials Librarian] Karen Nadeski so Pattee Library will have a record of all its newspapers with the necessary cataloging information

          Of the 973 items done so far, 22 needed to be rechecked due to frequency or variant-title problems, or to update existing OCLC records

The work is essentially done.  What remains is to photocopy it all and send it to Pittsburgh. 

Other Activities 

          Workforms for Montour County, the last of our original 15 counties, were copied and sent to Pitt.

          A great deal of long-overdue updating on our ZAC (personal computer) files was completed.  Spalding Memorial Library, Athens, Pa. requested a comprehensive bibliography of their holdings, as well as for the Tioga Point Museum.  Seems they want to microfilm the two institutions’ holdings and needed our list to avoid duplication.  Sue, Denise [Conklin] and ZAC got it together.

          14 reels of film representing Mansfield University’s Iowa Territorial Newspapers were borrowed on ILL (Interlibrary loan), so we could catalog the papers here (we didn’t have time to finish in Mansfield, Pa.).  55 titles were on those reels, most of which had never been cataloged.  It took 3 days from order-to-delivery date.  Were we impressed!

          Dr. Lee Stout delivered a box of newspapers belonging to the Centre County Historical Society.  They have been cataloged and LDRed.

           Site visits (it’s that time again) for Fulton County and Somerset County are all in place for July.  After the ALA (American Library Association) [meeting], it’s “On the Road Again!”

          Microforms has loaned us a portable microfilm reader to take on our Somerset County trip.  One of the museums there scraped together enough funds to film the run of their local paper, but can’t afford a reader…  Can they be helped?


July 1986

All work on [Penn State University] Pattee Library’s holdings was finalized in July – thousands of sheets of paper copied, labeled, stapled, sorted, counted and wrapped for mailing.  One stack (the originals) goes to Faye [Leibowitz] at Pittsburgh [University]; one stack is kept here in the office; and Karen Nadeski will be receiving a copy of everything so all of Pattee’s newspapers eventually will be on LIAS [Library Information Access System].  Many already are…

Newspapers in Pattee Library are located in eight places: Microforms, Periodicals, Labor Archives Storage, Rare Books Room, Penn State Room, Stacks (Core), Tower Room, Green Room.

The total number of different titles of newspapers found in Pattee Library:  1,080

July also saw the completion of site visits in two additional counties: Somerset and Fulton.  So far, 17 counties have been done and four are left to go.  

A.    Cataloging and Related Tasks

We began chiseling away at the “Brief Workform” Box, now holding about 1200 titles found at various institutions for newspapers published outside our 21-county area.  Eighty titles were searched on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) and cataloged and are now Pitt-ready.

We have started inputting all of Pattee’s holdings (titles) on ZAC (personal computer); Sue has shown Denise [Conklin] how to input.

All the workforms for Pattee’s titles are packed and ready to be sent to Pittsburgh.  We are sending 80 or so a week.

B.Site Visits

Fourteen sites were visited in Somerset County over a four-day period.  Of the 77 titles published, we found 51, for 66 percent.  We stopped by an antique dealer just to see what titles he had (he told us he had many local papers).  His collection was historically very important.  He had one title we had not seen before, several copies of another title for which we had found only a single issue, and many earlier issues for several titles than we had found anywhere else.  Since they were for sale (at $7.00 – $15.00 each) we couldn’t catalog or buy them. 

One title was particularly intriguing – The Taxpayer.  Only one issue found in all of Somerset County.  Sue offered to buy it so she could donate it to the Somerset Historical Center.  Upon hearing that, the owner donated it himself and it will now be preserved for future generations.

Published by the Taxpayers Assn. of Somerset County, only one issue of The Taxpayer survived – volume 1, number 1 (March 25, 1904).   This issue remains among the holdings of the Somerset Historical Center.

The Project Team visited the Windber Museum, Somerset County, Pa. on July 18, 1986.   Prior to the site visit we were told that the Museum had spent all their monies to get their newspapers microfilmed and had no money to buy a microfilm reader to view the film – so we took our own portable microfilm reader with us!

On a one-day visit to Fulton County, at three institutions, we found seven of the seven titles known to have been published – for 100 percent!!

C.    Other Activities

Attended the Newspaper Cataloging  Session and Open House in NewYork at the ALA (American Library Association) meeting, June 29 through July 2, 1986.  An exciting exchange of ideas among Project Librarians from several states highlighted the sessions.  Several Field Librarians were interested in our organization of site visits and we were delighted to talk with them.

          There is a possibility that the newspaper collection of the Northumberland County Historical Society may be temporarily stored here at Pattee Library.  It seems the Society has no storage space and wants to dispose of its excellent collection of local papers.  They have well over 100 titles, many of them held only by the Society.

          Over the course of the year, many private collectors, responding to our letters of publicity, have written to report owning “needed” titles.  Attached is a sheet of percentages showing the original percentage found after visiting a county, and improved percentages resulting from write-ins and/or additional digging.  (See Appendix B)

          Sue now has all of our photographs mounted, labeled and dated neatly in five albums!

          We all welcomed issues received of our articles in CCQ (Cataloging and Classification Quarterly) and in book form.

          We had to purchase an upgraded version of DOS to run our newly acquired PowerBase Version 2.2, so it would be compatible with the one at the State Library [Harrisburg].  We are sending them copies of all the data on our discs.  They are asking all sites to do the same.


Total Pennsylvania newspaper titles    518 

    97                Harrisburg titles

    55                Pittsburgh titles

   193               Philadelphia titles

   173       Other Pennsylvania towns/cities

Total New York newspaper titles          165                         

Total Massachusetts newspaper titles                                      174            

Other United States and Territory newspaper titles                223             

 Grand Total                                                                           1,080 



Figures below show original percentages of “found” titles and percentages found to date as a result of write-ins from private collectors and/or more digging.

Percentage is based on number of titles found to number of titles published.

NEED TO ADD Chart somehow!!!


August 1986

August seemed to whiz by as we used some vacation time and also spent 8 days doing site visits in Cambria County.  That left little time to do regular office work. 

A.    Cataloging and Related Tasks

Sue searched all the titles in the Brief Workform Box on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) while I was gone.  (If I had taken off one more week she might have had them all checked and updated!).  We thought there were 600 in the box but in actuality found 332.  Still a goodly sum.  These workforms represent newspaper titles found at all sites: titles published outside our original 15-county area.  Of the 332 searched, 212 were on OCLC; the remaining 120 have to be cataloged.

The Cataloging Statistics Sheet for August represents Pattee Library’s holdings being sent to Pittsburgh.  We sent a total of 457 for August.  All the rest are packaged and ready to go.  Final cataloging statistics are here.

B.    Site Visits

We had two excellent 4-day visits to Cambria County and met wonderful, enthusiastic guardians of newspapers; we uncovered several backfiles of papers in the hands of private collectors – mostly defunct titles:  North Cambria News (Hastings), Gallitzin Item, Johnstown Observer, Cresson Record, Weekly Sun (Barnesboro), Patton Courier;

We answered many questions from local owners regarding availability of Cambria County papers and what has been filmed; we tracked down several “shoppers” – it was a truly exciting trip.

A new record was set in Cambria County – we visited 7 sites in 4 towns in one day.  And the publisher of the Mountaineer-Herald (Ebensburg) ran an excellent article on the Project.   [Mountaineer-Herald (Ebensburg, Pa) August 20, 1986].

C.    Other Activities

1.      Wrote a news release for Dr. Tom Berner concerning the need for a Microfilm Reader at Windber Museum.  He will publicize it in the PNPA Press Newsletter.

2.      [Project Assistant] Denise Conklin has input the titles of all newspapers held by PSU (Penn State University), including their location throughout Pattee Library.

3.      A problem arose regarding the assignment of OCLC symbols for small public libraries which belong to a larger library network.  Often those libraries use the OCLC symbol assigned to the major library of which they are a part.  For the purposes of the Project, however, a unique symbol is being given to each library.  We have referred the problem to Susan Bryson who will confer with David Hoffman [at the State Library in Harrisburg].

4.      Questions regarding the location and availability of certain newspaper titles continue to flow in from many quarters.  The value of the Project and the need for bibliographical control of newspapers are more evident day by day.

5.      We were invited to speak to the Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society in September.

6.      A copy of CCQ (Cataloging and Classification Quarterly) with our article was signed and placed in the Penn State Room.

7.      7. Began converting our data discs so they would all be compatible with the new PowerBase 2.2 software we now have.


September 1986

In contrast to August, September dragged by as we concentrated on the myriad details, snags, problems, correspondence, and questions that had been placed on hold from previous months. 

A.    Cataloging and Related Tasks

Over 500 workforms and LDRs (local data records) were sent to Pittsburgh for inputting this month. Poor Faye [Leibowitz] is experiencing a shortage of shelf space to store all this paper, but with the addition of a new Project Librarian, the backlog should begin to decrease.

For our part, we only have 10 – 12 more weeks to mail everything to Pitt, so we’re sending far more than can possibly be input in the time available.

A good deal of the holdings data is also being collected through the mail, so even though we are not on a site visit, work to be sent to Pitt still accumulates.  ([Project Assistant] Denise Conklin deserves special commendation for her help in this area.  It requires considerable persistence to contact institutions, acquire all holdings data and condition reports, fill out LDRs, get releases signed, fill out ILL [Interlibrary Loan] forms, mail out certificates, and then put it all on ZAC [personal computer])!

In some cases, new titles are added this way, and we have devised a “brief workform” for collectors to fill out so we can “catalog” single issues by mail.  So far it’s worked out very well.

B.  Site Visits

Visits to Bedford County were arranged and during our three-day tour we found 81% of the 42 titles published there.  Our primary collector was Mr. Edward “Ned” Frear, owner and publisher of the Bedford Gazette, who also contributed $200.00 to keep the Project going (back in June when the State Library contacted publishers to enlist their support).

We also made two visits in Huntingdon, Pa., so that half of Huntingdon County can be considered completed.

To date, 19 ½ counties have been canvassed, with 1 ½ more to go (Blair County and the rest of Huntingdon.

 A. Other Activities

 1.      Reference Work

          We continue to receive calls regarding the existence and location of newspapers.

       Donated to the Aaronsburg Bicentennial Committee historical information on Der Centre Berichter (Aaronsburg), which they displayed at their Bicentennial Celebration.

       Gathered information on Microfilm Reader-Printers to be sent, at their request, to various contacts.

       Searched OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) for data on extant copies of the Bedford Gazette to be sent to Ned Frear.  He is trying to locate all copies of his title to complete the run.  (This is one of a very few titles to have started publishing in 1805 and to be still in existence with the same title!)

          Assembled information on where to obtain acid-free storage boxes to satisfy the many requests we get for this data from institutions and collectors.

          Compiled, with Denise’s help, comprehensive title for Columbia, Clearfield, and Union Counties.  These were mailed out to the many societies and libraries who had asked to receive them when completed.

 2.      Microfilming Information

          We combed through our Master Card File box of contact people in all counties and included names of people to consult, to be added to Bill Hamill’s excellent [microfilm] list for all Pa. counties.  Bill will solicit local judgments from historians, curators, etc. to assist in the decision-making process on what titles to film.

          Input and printed out data for several counties on what titles have been 1) totally filmed; 2) partially filmed; and 3) not filmed at all.  These lists were also sent to Bill (the Project’s Microfilming Coordinator).

(Bill (Hamill] assures us that the many “notes” we write on the condition of newspapers are proving helpful.  We were glad to hear that).

–         Read David Hoffman’s excellent and comprehensive proposal for Phase III, Microfilming.  It paves the way for the fulfillment of the Project’s ultimate goals. 

1.      Miscellaneous Activities

          Delivered signed copies of CCQ (Cataloging and Classification Quarterly) to Representatives Rudy and Herman, and Senator Corman

          Presented our Slide/Talk Show to the Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society (Sept. 4) and the Lower Huntingdon Library Group, Orbisonia (Sept. 9).

          Had several meetings with Dr. Barbara Smith, the last of which concerned the budget.  We are well within our projected costs and will be very close to our allocation at the end.

          Located and cataloged a new Centre County newspaper, the Penns Valley Post, a 12-page tabloid which began publication in June, 1986, and originates in Millheim.

          To date, we have traveled 8,366 miles and visited 279 sites, and we have found 684 newspaper titles whose existence or location was unknown prior to the Project! 


October 1986

Many outstanding problems and snags were cleared up in October.  With the realization upon us that only two months remain to complete the Project, we concentrated on making the return visits needed and attending to other loose ends.

A.    Cataloging and Related Tasks

          387 workforms and LDRs (local data records) revised or completed were sent to Pittsburgh.

          Finished cataloging Huntingdon, Somerset and Bedford County workforms.

          Cleared up cataloging snags in Union County on a return visit.

          Re-inventoried the holdings of the Ross Library (Clinton County) to reflect their newly acquired microfilm holdings

          Xeroxed, dated, labeled and filed copies of everything sent to Pitt

B.     Site Visits

–           Scheduled and completed final trip to Huntingdon County, to finish work begun there in February.

          Scheduled and completed the first of two trips to Blair County.  The second is in place for November 19 – 21.

          Made a return day trip to three sites in Union County to clear up cataloging snags that could not be resolved by phone. 

          Return visit to Ross Library, Lock Haven.  They recently received microfilm holdings of their newspaper collection and new “FM” [microfilm] LDRs (local data records) had to be made for each title.  Our Project Assistant, Denise Conklin, assisted us on this trip to facilitate the work. 

          Organized and arranged for the transfer of the Northumberland County Historical Society’s newspaper collection to Pattee Library (Penn State University).  On October 16, we drove a van to Sunbury, loaded it, and delivered the papers to Penn State Storage.  About a ton of newspapers were transferred, representing                 roughly 100 titles, single issues and long runs.

  A.    Other Activities

          Presented our Slide/Talk Show to the St. John’s United Methodist Church group on October 21st.   About 15 members were in attendance.

 –          Denise ran off Penn State holdings from our listing on ZAC (personal computer).  There are special listings for each location where newspapers are filed:  Stacks, Rare Books Room, Labor Archives, Microforms, etc.

 –          Printed and mailed to interested curators and historians the Potter County Comprehensive List. 

 –          Updated ZAC with Huntingdon County data.

B.     Microfilming Activities

 –         Attended meeting in Harrisburg to participate in Bill Hamill’s presentation of his report identifying the titles selected for microfilming for the Project’s initial coverage of a county.  Choices are being made in our 21-county area where the field work has been done. 

           Bill’s very thoughtful list singled out major runs of titles for immediate preservation.  At his request, we selected additional choices to be added to his original list.

 –          The treatment of single issues mains an unresolved problem. We spent some time exploring various possibilities for the preservation of these issues, and are still hopeful that a solution will be forthcoming.

 –          We met with Dr. Barbara Smith a few times this month to discuss this issue as well as other Project-related matters.

C.     Rental Library  

Just when we had begun to think we’d seen it all, we ran into a unique situation.  There is a rental library in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, that charges patrons an hourly rate to use its collections.  It’s called the Hoenstine Rental Library, and we were unable to gain access to it because we are not in a position to pay for such access.

Even after explaining what the project was attempting to do, we were denied admission.

 “I run a business here.  Do you intend to pay me to use the Library”?

 Having no such intention we had to relinquish all hope of cataloging this Library’s treasures.


November 1986

November brought to a close the many site visits so thoroughly enjoyed over the past 22 months.  The variety of experiences and the cooperation and good will of people met would fill a book.  Indeed it has!  Sue is on Volume 6 of her Daily Journal.

Our last scheduled overnight site visit was November 19 – 21, ending Blair County, our 21st.  If there is a newspaper anywhere in Central Pennsylvania, We Saw It!

The remainder of 1986 will be spent putting all data for Cambria and Blair Counties in Pitt-ready form.  Other titles also need to be cataloged from non-Pa. areas.

Data must also be input on ZAC (personal computer); and some comprehensive lists are still outstanding.  Other details are being attended to as we start to wrap up the Project for the past two years.

We also hope to create our Master Card File in December for the ten Northeast sites; that way letters can be mailed out immediately upon our return in January.

 A.                Cataloging and Related Tasks

Our statistics for November are pitiful.  Obviously other tasks absorbed our time and energy.  Many of the titles for our 21-county area are now on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center).  Faye Leibowitz and Nancy Greene have accomplished the almost impossible task of eliminating much of the backlog; Bill Hamill now has access to many of our records on OCLC, to assist him in his microfilming selections). 

B.      Site Visits

– Our last visit, in Blair County, ended with a whimper.  Like Union County, we encountered many brick walls and little county cohesion.  Many backfiles of defunct papers listed in Rossell could not be found, despite myriad phone calls and numerous leads.  Our final tally of “found” titles was a pitiful 61%. 

What a way to go!

Journal Entry from Tuesday, November 19th:

3:50 – 5:00 pm.  Next stop – Duncansville – Gerald Patton’s Antique Shop.  He had papers for sale which we went thru and found several unique titles from Clearfield as well as Blair Co.  Because Gerald Patton had no intention of keeping these rare titles – I bought them for $1.00 a piece.

Two of the titles for sale (and purchased) included the …

Deutscher Volksfuhrer, a weekly German language paper from Altoona, Blair County, Pa. After 64-year of publishing a weekly issue, March 28, 1878 to March 12, 1942, only two issues survived.  Both issues are held by private collectors …

… and the other title was the Weekly Gem from Coalport, Clearfield County, Pa.  Published weekly on Friday, the Weekly Gem began in 1903 and ceased publication in 1905.  The February 19, 1904 issue is the only extant issue. 

Journal Entry for November 25, 1986:

Becky called [the] Williamsburg Elementary School – no they do not have the backfile of the Williamsburg Focus.  In fact, they (the school people) don’t like the paper – “It wasn’t worth preserving.”   Seems it is anti-school (education).    Interesting!

Arrived at the Williamsburg Focus Office at 1:50 p.m.  We looked for but did not find the first published issue so we cataloged the earliest we could find – volume 1, number 52 for March 14, 1962.    Friday, November 21, 1986

A.      Other Activities

Several exciting events highlighted the month. 

1.      We were delighted to meet, at last, that marvelous lady whose bibliography we have quoted over and over in our work, Glenora Rossell.

2.      All site catalogers, the Advisory Board, and the Technical Committee met in Harrisburg on November 13th.  Some of the items on the agenda were:  reports from site administrators and catalogers, selection of titles for microfilming, the single issues problem, matching microfilming funding, and publicity for the project as a whole.

3.      A most significant discovery was made regarding preservation of single issues.  With help from Mr. Jim Lukens, Penn State University Photographic Services, we found it possible to film dark brittle newspapers with a regular 35mm camera using fine grain high-resolution film (something which had never been tried before).  The developed film (negative or a positive copy) can then be viewed on a microfilm reader, or a print can be made.  This new discovery could have vast implications for the “single issues” problem.

4.      On November 18th, we presented the slide/talk show to visiting campus librarians [from Penn State Satellite Campuses].  About 35 people were in attendance.  We used David Hoffman’s slides to present the broader State of Pennsylvania Project, rather than the slides highlighting only the central counties.

5.      We received official confirmation that we will be engaged in work throughout the Northeast in 1987.

Journal Entry for Monday, November 10, 1986:

 David Hoffman called!  We have a job for Next Year!  The state got the full allocation it requested (from the National Endowment for the Humanities) for Pa. for 3 years – the Northeast, Northwest, and 3 years to film, 1987 – 1989.  David was pleased!

 6.     We were pleased to host Bill Hamill, Microfilm Coordinator, his Assistant Roberta Dell, and Amy Newell, Project Assistant, all from the Historical Society in Philadelphia.  Their 2-day visit enabled them to collect microfilming data for the 11-county area for which titles were not yet on OCLC.  Much of the data has now been input.

7.      A note of thanks is in order to Dr. Barbara Smith for the many kind and appreciative remarks she made during our introduction to the Advisory Board in Harrisburg, November 13th, and to the campus librarians on November 18th.


December 1986

If we had known that we were not coming back in 1987 to do the Northeast, would everything for our 21 counties have been done by December, 1986?  YES!  By forfeiting a few vacation days, we could have wrapped up the assignment and been completely finished, had it been necessary to do so.

All cataloging and copying of workforms was complete – Cambria and Blair Counties being our last two.  Double sets of all the workforms were copied: one for Faye Leibowitz and one for Bill Hamill.  Scheduling of the work seemed to have worked out well for the year.

One return day-trip to Huntingdon (Huntingdon County) and Altoona (Blair County) completed all outstanding field work for the 10 counties covered in 1986.  New items found by these institutions were cataloged, and, we also did final checking on data previously collected.

Our attention shifted periodically to the long-awaited microfilming phase of the project – it seems that some of what was uncovered will really be preserved on film in the years to come.  Working closely with Bill Hamill, we three arrived at a consensus of titles that possibly merit filming from six additional counties in our area.  (Ten counties had already been examined; five are now left).  This preliminary list will be re-evaluated in January, 1987.  All selections are being reviewed by the Technical Committee

 With 21 counties completed, we found very few titles microfilmed and many in poor condition.

MICOR, the Micrographics Corporation, Bensalem, Pa.,  was selected as the microfilmer for the Pennsylvania Project.  Their fee of .10358 cents per page (for four copies of microfilm) seems quite reasonable.  (There are other costs to consider, too: pick-up and delivery, packing materials, etc.).  From all accounts, MICOR appears to have been an excellent choice.  We in the field appreciate the time and thought of the Technical Committee making the final selection.

The Technical Committee agreed to the following selection criteria:

– Newspaper titles from every Pennsylvania County will be microfilmed as part of the Pennsylvania newspaper project.

– Selection is based on:

·         research importance

·         intended audience

·         physical condition

·         accessibility

·         geographic coverage

·         availability of substantially complete runs

·         and, period of publication

Taken from a 1988 Pennsylvania Newspaper Project Report

Several assignments arose from our December 4th meeting in Harrisburg:

–   Suggest ways to create a “perfect” label for reels of film with several miscellaneous titles on it.

–    Revise data disks to include more complete ILL (Interlibrary Loan) information so files will be more useful to the ILL Department at the State Library.

–   Compile “needs” lists to fill in gaps for titles found.  These will be available for institutions to consult at the State Library, in an effort to assemble complete files prior to microfilming.  (Will do in January).

Other Activities

A great deal of work by [Project Assistant] Denise Conklin and Sue brought ZAC (personal computer) up to date on several files.  Work also continues on creating comprehensive title lists for each county which are then sent out to area contacts.

We began assembling the sources needed to create our “Master Card File” of contacts for the Northeast

Several data disks were copied and distributed, along with documentation, to Susan Bryson, Faye Leibowitz and Nancy Greene, and Barbara Kurimchak and Amy Newell – [Project Librarians at State Library in Harrisburg, University of Pittsburgh, and Historical Society of Philadelphia, respectively].  Now any error we make in our ZAC files will be known to all!  The three other sites want to use our disk formats as a base for the creation of their own disk files to ensure uniformity.

 Summary Statements

The following brilliant idea emerged at the last Harrisburg meeting.  David Hoffman proposed that any institutions which are considering microfilming backfiles of their newspapers should be encouraged to make a contribution to the Project.  These contributions are then eligible for matching federal funds.  This would provide twice as much money for microfilming.  How can we develop this idea further?  A statewide systematic approach to this merits serious thought.

As a result of the combined efforts of all States participating in the Newspaper Project, it is gratifying to discover the tremendous increase of newspaper titles in the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) database.  When we started out only two years ago, very few newspaper titles were on OCLC.

 As an example, we were surprised (but pleased!) to find the entire run of the Gallitzen Weekly Item on OCLC, filmed by the Library of Congress, after we had spent time in the field tracking down the paper copy.  Initial searches for this title on OCLC had produced nothing.  Our final search before sending in our workform to Pittsburgh brought this to light.

A search for titles today reveals the astounding progress being made across the country on this fantastic Project!

LINK to Description of Sites Visited By County and Type of Site 123 Total Sites 1986

Summary Statistics 

                                                                1986            1985    Total     (10 Co.)        (11 Co.)

 As of December 1986:

Long distance phone calls made ………. 719             1024          1743

Local Project-related calls (estimated) .. 140               115         255

Total number of site visits ……………….…145               171         316 

(including round trips)

Total number of miles logged …………. 3,731           5,294       9,025

Total number of days “on the road” …  49                65          114

Total number of overnights ……………. 30                31           61


UNKNOWN ……………            285             477          762



January 1987

Although we had earlier discussed the idea of discontinuing the Monthly Report  (narrative portion) and only submitting statistics, we decided on second thought to continue it in its present format.

We find that we do refer to these reports frequently and they provide a quick reference for activities we often need to recheck.

We will try this year to list monthly highlights only and not dwell on routine activities fully explained in past reports.

Our plan for this year’s 10 counties will proceed along similar patterns as before, with one exception.  During the month of August, we will arrange an Extended Stay in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton area.  This will greatly reduce travel time and provide a maximum work day to cover concentrated site visits.  (See TENTATIVE schedule included below)

The 10 Northeast counties were assigned to the Penn State Site. These included:  Susquehanna, Pike, Lehigh, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Carbon, Wayne, Wyoming, and Northampton Counties.

We hope to conclude our site visits by mid-October, allowing us 5 – 6 weeks to complete all paper work in the office by December.

January Highlights

–          Mailed out 413 Surveys to institutions in our 10 Northeast counties (Susquehanna, Pike, Lehigh, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Carbon, Wayne, Wyoming, and Northampton).    [SEE Map above]

–          Hosted [Microfilming Coordinator] Bill Hamill for 3 days as we made final microfilming selections for 10 counties.  Made several site visits to introduce Bill to contacts in the field.

–          Wrote a letter “introducing” Bill and alerting people that the microfilming phase is upon us.  The letter goes out to 164 contacts in our 21-county area.

–          Examined LDRs (Local Data Records) for all our counties and compiled “needs”, “gaps” and “single issues found” lists for David Hoffman [at the State Library in Harrisburg].  It is hoped that once these lists are circulated, more extensive holdings will be assembled for microfilming.

Other Activities

-Revised our “Sites File” disk for the ILL (Interlibrary Loan) Department at the State Library, so they will have access to holders’ information.  The other sites will eventually adopt the same file to ensure uniformity of data

– Gave a phone interview to Jill Ross of the Pennsylvania Radio Network (in Philadelphia).  A 20-minute taped conversation would result in a 20-second announcement.

-Drew up a TENTATIVE schedule for site visits in the Northeast (see attached).

-Booked a Slide/Talk Show with the Huntingdon County Historical Society for March 22nd.  Their Bicentennial Celebrations will be underway at that time.

-Locally an announcement was made about the Project on the WRSC news, at various times, on January 21, 1987.


 It was a sad, sad day when we sat down with Bill Hamill and began selecting (and eliminating) titles to be filmed.  Sad, because so much time, energy and money had gone into routing out all these titles and now so few are to be saved.  So many unique titles were found, in such a variety of places – they will continue to be inaccessible if not filmed and housed in public institutions.

The right attitude, of course, is “better some than none”.  My question is, still, “Why not all?”

1987 – 10 Northeast Counties


Wyoming County — February 10 -12

Luzerne County – Wilkes-Barre — March 3 – 6

Luzerne County – 9 towns — March 17 – 20

Give talk at Huntingdon Co. Hist. Soc.– March 22

Pike County – April 8 – 10

Lackawanna County – Scranton — April 29 – May 1

Lackawanna County – 10 towns — May 20 – 22

Wayne County — June 10 -12

Carbon County — July 1- 3

Monroe County — July 27 – August 7 (Staying over in the East)

Northampton County — August 10 – 19 (Staying over in the East)

Lehigh County – Allentown — August 20 – 21 (Staying over in the East)

Lehigh County – 8 towns — September 15 – 18

Susquehanna County — October 7 – 9


 February 1987

Responses to Surveys sent out in January poured into the office during February, bringing with them all the excitement of discovering anew “What’s out there” in the realm of Pennsylvania newspapers.  

As holdings lists were checked against the 1978 Pennsylvania Newspapers, A Bibliography [Ed. by Glenora Rossell], we realized that many titles not located in the Bibliography are alive and well in many places, public and private.  The Northeast promises to be an exciting area in which to work.

A multitude of foreign language papers (Slovak, Lithuanian, Russian, Italian, Polish, German) published in this area should prove a real challenge to locate and catalog. 

Some of the foreign language titles the Project Team expected to find in Lackawanna County included:

Amerikansky russky viestnik. (Scranton, Pa.) 189?-1952
Languages: English, Slovak, Ukrainian

Amerykanskiĭ russkiĭ vîstnykʺ (Skrentonʺ, Pa.) 189?-1926
Languages: Ukrainian

Baner America. (Scranton, Pa.) 1868-1877
Languages: English, Welsh 

God’s field = Rola Boża. (Scranton, Pa.) 1923-current
Languages: English, Polish

Gwerinwr Cymreig. (Scranton, Pa.) 18??-1???
Languages: English, Welsh

Il Minatore = The Miner. (Scranton, Pa.) 1912-1940
Languages: English, Italian

 Narodna voli︠a︡ = Narodna wola = The people’s will.           (Scranton, Pa.) 1910-????
Languages: English, Ukrainian

Polish American journal. (Scranton, Pa.) 1948-1972
Languages: English, Polish

Prawo ludu = The Peoples’ rights. (Scranton, Pa.)             19??-19?? Languages: Polish

Republika-górnik Pensylwánski. (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) 19??-1948
Languages: English, Polish

Scranton Wochenblatt. (Scranton, Pa.) 1865-1918
Languages: English, German

Source:  Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers   (Accessed December 8, 2012)

Luzerne County had many foreign language titles.  Titles the Project Team expected to locate in the field included:

Bratstvo. (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) 1899-1942

Languages: English, Slovak

Echo polskie = Polish voice. (Kingston, Pa.) 1927-19??
Languages: Polish

Di Idishe shṭime. ([Reading, Pa.) 1922-1929
Languages: English, Yiddish

Nowy świat = The Polish morning world. (New York, N.Y.) 1932-19??
Languages: Polish

Praca = The labor. (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) 1905-19??
Languages: Polish

Republika. (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) 1913-1919
Languages: Polish

Rekord dla wszystkich = Everybody’s record. (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) 19??-????
Languages: Polish

Slovensky Občan = The Slovak citizen. (Hazleton, Pa.) 1912-1946
Languages: English, Slovak

Svit = Light. (Old Forge, Pa.) 189?-current
Languages: English, Ukrainian

Vienybē lietuvniku. (Plymouth, Pa.) 1890-1921
Languages: Lithuanian

Source:  Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers       (Accessed December 8, 2012)

Additionally, Penn State has three campuses in these 10 Northeast counties, and two of them have already organized a forum of librarians, publishers, historians, faculty, curators, etc., to allow us to present our Slide/Talk Show on the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  The Project will, therefore, be well-publicized in this area and our introduction to key people made easier. 

Joan Diana of the Lehman Campus and Richard Tyce of the Hazleton Campus have arranged our presentations for March 3 and March 9 respectively. 

February Highlights


The “Highlight of the Month”, of course, was our 13 ½ minute TV spot filmed by WPSX-TV in Wagner Building [Penn State University, University Park, Pa.]  

PARTIAL JOURNAL ENTRY Tuesday, February 24, 1987 

Well, the day finally arrived – our day to go before the cameras. Needless to say we were all (3 of us) nervous. Beck and I had rehearsed and rehearsed – looking over the possible questions and answers. Today we decided to put the script away and try to get some work done. 

Beck worked on setting up Luzerne County – I worked on Mansfield microfilm. Denise continued her work on ZAC. 

After lunch we got the script out and practiced our response to the questions.  Finally the time arrived – 1:45pm met Barbara in lobby and drove to Wagner Annex (WPSX-TV Studios). 

Mary Ann met us and we all then met Keith Stevens (host of “Taking Note”).  We all 4 talked about what the Project was about and what we wanted to get across to our audience.  We then went to studio – got seated and our microphones hooked up. Keith asked questions that he would ask, checked w/cameraperson on when to insert slides and addresses and close-up on the newspapers, etc. 

Keith then wrote the introduction to our show and soon we were ready to go. As the cameraperson shouted out the countdown to airtime – we all were taking deep breaths and sweating like mad (me anyway). 

Keith then gave the intro phrase and right on cue. 1 minute later we were on the air. 

The interview began w/Barbara. Beck and I were then asked specific questions (slides were also being shown). Beck and I also went through the 7 newspapers that we brought (we both interacted). I felt nervous at first but soon calmed down. I tried very hard not to speak fast and not to look at the cameras. I had special instructions on how to handle the newspapers. Anyway – it went well. Barbara and Beck might have talked too long in answering questions – But, it all worked out. 

Before we knew it time was up. (It went so fast)! 

We didn’t even get to say 1/3 of what we wanted to say!!  After the show – one cameraman clapped (or was it Mary Ann?). Anyway – we packed up everything, signed something which I didn’t even read and left the studio. (Mary Ann gave us the 5 copies of the tape we asked for).

 We all wondered how well we did. So… Barbara decided to drive to her house and view the tape.  We went to Barbara’s house, I chose not to watch. Barbara and Beck watched. 

(Margin note: It was fascinating how everything clicked – the slides came up just as we were talking about size of newspapers and where we find them.)

They both said after it was all over —- GREAT!  It came out better than what they thought.  Barbara said it came out better than she had hoped – She even clapped. “Wait till Hoffman sees this”, she said. “We are a good team!” Barbara said. 

We then jumped in the car and drove back to Pattee.  Beck and I then spent the rest of the day unwinding and talking about the experience.

Barbara called later to tell us that Ruth Carter was out sick so our problem still up in the air.

Barbara did say that everyone wanted to see the tape.  Bill Pierce had taken the tape already. 

Beck and I both had VHS tapes made. Barbara had 3 copies made – Hoffman wants one, PSU Penn State Room gets one and the other Barbara will keep. 

All in all — a good positive experience for all of us!!!

“GOOD JOB”, said Barbara.



Dr. Barbara Smith, Sue and Becky were interviewed by Host Keith Stevens for Public Television’s “Taking Note” Program, to be aired on Wednesday, April 22, 1987, at 5:45 p.m. on Channel 3, and 7:15 p.m. on Channel 25.  [For WQLN (Erie, PA), the air date is Friday, March 20, 1987].      

As you’re watching this, remember: it was filmed “live”, a one-shot deal, no second chances.  Were we nervous?  Yes.  Was it fun?  Yes.


March 1987

Luzerne County 

We spent nine days in the field canvassing Luzerne County, several more arranging our next site visit, and more still cataloging workforms; March darted by.  As we had expected, Luzerne was involved and difficult, presenting us with many challenges. 

Several floods have washed the County clean, taking from time to time valuable caches of newspaper backfiles.  

It was heartbreaking to hear these stories and witness the high water marks. 

The Balch Institute in Philadelphia has made a successful attempt to collect ethnic newspapers, files and documents from the anthracite coal areas, which include Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties; so many of the Lithuanian, Italian, Slovak and Russian papers we were seeking are already safely stored in Philadelphia. 

Combining the Slide Presentation with site visits worked extremely well.  Joan Diana and Rich Tyce arranged highly organized meetings, and despite small attendance we found that we were made even more welcome in the institutions we visited by the people who attended the presentations.  And because they were so enthused from seeing the work the Project aims to do, they gave us many more leads.  These leads prompted another round of telephone calls and return visits to five new sites which are now in place for mid-April. 

Having fellow Penn State Librarians out “in-the-field” is an added bonus.  They are very knowledgeable of local affairs, familiar with resources and people in the community, and each has worked hard to successfully connect us with important contacts.  Special thanks go out to Joan Diana, Rich Tyce and Dick Fitzsimmons for their previous and ongoing efforts to support the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project. 

When we set out for Luzerne County, we had an unprecedented number of 50 OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) bibliographic records with us.  Luzerne published at least 321 titles; we found 161.  Almost one-third of those were already on OCLC, which of course greatly facilitates work in the field.  It is just marvelous to see the separate efforts of each site melting together in unified whole on the OCLC database. 

Despite the flooding, we did still manage to find some important long runs of papers, and have made a list of these.  

Titles inventoried and noted on our “Yellow Sheets included: 

  • the backfile of the Dallas Post, Dallas, Pa. 
  • 103 Luzerne County titles found at the Wyoming Historical and Genealogical Society; inventorying and cataloging 103 titles in 8 hrs was a record for the Project Team! 
  • 77 boxes of microfilm at the Times-Leader Office 
  • backfile of the Bratstvo Slovak News 
  • and, the entire run of the Hazleton Standard-Speaker found it the publisher’s loft;  6 hour inventorying session!

Setting up the schedule for Luzerne County was a feat in itself. 

–          Many of the small libraries we visited only opened from 2 – 5 pm every other Tuesday, so work around that. 

–          Just because 5 places you need to visit are all within 3 blocks of one another, it doesn’t mean they will all let you visit on the same day. 

–          We had to go to Sweet Valley on 2 site visits; you can’t get there from anywhere else. 

–          In case anything we scheduled fell through, we arranged a few “open appointments” saying we would come whenever we could – on a certain day.  This gave us more flexibility.  Normally we specify a time; most places prefer knowing exactly when you’re coming. 

For your traveling enjoyment, we’ve attached our Luzerne County Site Visit Schedules.


–          Nothing was sent to Pittsburgh this month.  (We’re still reeling from the site visits). 

–          Be sure to watch for April’s statistics…  

–          We compiled a brief form to record the policy of each library we visit whose newspaper holdings are on OCLC.  So far most of the changes we’ve had to record and report have been format changes (see Appendix A below).

Most libraries understandably do want to be informed of changes made to those LDRs (Local Data Records) which they have already input into OCLC.  We usually search the institution’s titles on OCLC and print off their holdings before we visit them, then compare the record to what we find in the field, record the changes, send a list of changes to the institution and an updated LDR to Faye Leibowitz and Nancy Greene at Pittsburgh.  We sought Faye’s advice on this procedure and it is working out well.


In Luzerne County, we discovered two micro-producers who occasionally microfilm newspapers.  Who should inventory their collections? 

Discussion between Dr. Barbara Smith and David Hoffman produced these decisions:

-Library of Congress will do the huge national firms

-We will inventory inactive, defunct, and small firms and firms limited to filming Pennsylvania titles

-For firms filming many out-of-state titles, consult Bob Harriman, Library of Congress.

We’ve sent Dick Fitzsimmons a copy of our Lackawanna County contacts, and in conjunction with Dorothy Allen of the Lackawanna Historical Society, he is arranging a Slide /Talk Presentation to precede our site visit there next month.

Received a call from the Maryland Newspaper Project to discuss staffing needs in relation to daily LDR (local data record) output.  Our Project is somewhat larger, so don’t know how helpful we were.  The Director had read our article [in CCQ] site visits.

Presented our Slide/Talk Show to fifteen interested citizens at the Huntingdon County Historical Society on Sunday, March 22nd.  Two people brought in three new titles for Huntingdon which we had not seen before.  Of course, we cataloged them on the spot!  [See February 1987 Monthly Report for a fuller account of this event].

Dr. Barbara Smith arranged a telephone conference with northeast campus librarians Joan Diana, Rich Tyce, Dick Fitzsimmons and Dennis Phillips to initiate a fund-raising campaign for microfilming money in the northeast counties.  Information packets have also been sent to them and efforts are now underway to enlist the support of their State Legislators.

Dick Fitzsimmons met with us briefly during his recent visit to the University Park Campus.  His plans to host us in Scranton, Pa. next month are shaping up nicely.  Like Joan and Rich, Dick has given us valuable leads in locating important collections and in identifying key contacts in the fraternal associations which abound in the area.

Pike County looked so “easy” after Luzerne that we decided to do it in conjunction with Wayne County.  Site visits are now in place for those counties for April 7 – 10.

It was bound to happen sooner or later…  We met up with our first ‘varmit’ while inventorying the backfile of the Pittston Gazette at a private collector’s home.  (It was a mouse).  Even though we clapped our hands and made loud noises to scare him off, we were sure he was sitting somewhere in safety watching us all the while. 

Needless to say, we were both on edge, and on the look-out for his unexpected return.

Still More

Right about now you are probably wishing we HAD decided to eliminate the narrative portion of this Report, nevertheless…

It is sometimes just the little things that occur as a result of the Project that are the most rewarding. 


The Editor of a newly-established newspaper, called The Paper (White Haven, Pa.) was asked the routine question of whether he had an index to his paper.  He stopped, thoughtful, paused a little, and then said, “No.  But the whole newspaper is on disc.   We could easily start doing that.  It hadn’t occurred to me to index it…”

When asked the same question, Stephanie Grubert of the Mountaintop Eagle explained that she had thought of it but wasn’t sure how to go about it.  We described some of the kinds we had seen in other places.  She started the paper in the 1970s and remembered everything in it, but she knew a more concrete index would soon be in order.

Our Project Assistant, Denise Conklin, has diligently input all our findings on ZAC (personal computer).  She then prints out a comprehensive list of titles published in a given county.  The title list includes place and dates of publication and whether we found a title or not.  These lists are sent to the many interested contacts in the field who request them or would find them useful.  We recently received two lovely acknowledgements of same.


A newspaper publisher in Wilkes-Barre was using as a service copy its master negative film.  Library staff there were unaware of this until we told them their micro-filmer did not retain the master negatives and this was probably it.  They are anxious to investigate this further.

At a recent slide presentation in Hazleton, two attendees, one a seasoned Historical Society member from Schuylkill County, the other a novice from Luzerne County, were introduced.  They spent time sharing ways and means of incorporating a Society, finding operating funds and becoming more established in the community.

Several people on this trip asked for information on how to preserve their newspapers.   We carry with us handouts on basic preservation techniques, and where institutions can purchase acid-free boxes and other items.  We left quite a few with interested persons.


April 1987

With 1,361 miles logged this month, we were away on site visits most of the time working in four counties.  The gruesome details follow.

April Highlights include: 

A truly historic day was April 13thMicor Micrographics Corporation made its first pick-up of newspapers for microfilming at the Daily Review Office in Towanda [Bradford County]. 

An impressive array of dignitaries gathered for this auspicious occasion.  [The event was publicized in the local Towanda newspaper, the Daily Review, on Friday, April 10 (see article above) and on Tuesday, April 14, 1987, p.3] 

Phase III of the Project is now in force – the preservation of a part of Pennsylvania’s history as recorded in its newspapers!  

We can be grateful that an agency such as NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) saw fit to undertake this awesome task. 

The debut of the Penn State Team, Dr. Barbara Smith, Sue Kellerman and Beck Wilson on WPSX-TV “Taking Note – The Pennsylvania Newspaper Project” was viewed by a small group of loyal friends.  As a result of the show we received two phone calls, and one walk-in who lives in Elk County. 

A rare find!  A long run of a German newspaper was found at the Lackawanna County Historical Society.  The SCRANTON WOCHENBLATT ran from 1865 – 1918.  The Society had 1879 – 1918.  Very few German papers have survived in the counties we are visiting, and none in large numbers.  These papers were tucked away in a low cabinet with the “doors” pushed against the wall.  Only recently were the contents discovered when the cabinet was moved.  

The Site Visits

Pike County was done in conjunction with Wayne County, and 82% and 77% of the titles published there were found. 

A return trip was made to Hazleton, Luzerne County, to follow-up on leads acquired at our Slide/Talk Show, and to remove the ton of paper of the PITTSTON GAZETTE from Mr. Mertz’s vault to the Penn State Hazleton Campus.  The backfile was no longer wanted by the owner, so it is being stored until it is filmed or housed somewhere on a permanent basis. 

The first of two trips to Lackawanna 

County was scheduled for April 28 – May 1st.  Dick Fitzsimmons at the Worthington-Scranton Campus achieved the remarkable feat of filling 28 seats for our Slide Presentation in Scranton.  It was a lively, productive session.  Many attendees lingered afterwards to share information and to provide additional leads. 

For this meeting we created a special pre-site visit “needs” list, called “Help Help Help”, which included titles we did not expect to find in Lackawanna County; we knew that they were based on the surveys which local institutions had sent to us.  [See examples of titles below]. 

We distributed these to the audience to alert them to specific titles we hoped to find.  One member raised his hand and said he knew where at least 12 of them were.  (He hadn’t sent me his holdings list!).  We’ll see in May when we return to this county whether this produces any positive results.  

Dick Fitzsimmons provided us with a tremendous amount of contacts, history, and politics of the area.  We appreciated all his help.

If anyone is wondering whether four counties are too many to be done in one month, the answer is YES!

Help Help Help” List – Sample listing of titles still being sought:

Truth (Archibald, Pa.)

Bulletin (Blakely, Pa.)

Advance and Jermyn Advocate (Carbondale, Pa.)

Anthracite Press (Carbondale, Pa.)

Lackawanna Reformer (Carbondale, Pa.)

Abington Eagle Clarion (Clark’s Summit, Pa.)

Local News (Dalton, Pa.)

Dunmorean (Dunmore, Pa.)

Review (Jessup, Pa.)

Taylorport Journal (Minooka, Pa.)

Miner’s Tribune (Olyphant, Pa.)

Nove Zhittia = New Life (Olyphant, Pa.)

Independent (Peckville, Pa.)

Recorder (Priceburg, Pa.)

Bauer America (Scranton, Pa.)

Druid (Scranton, Pa.)

Hirnyk (Scranton, Pa.)

Hyde Park Cambro-American (Scranton, Pa.)

Jednota (Scranton, Pa.)

Minator (Scranton, Pa.)

Przeglad (Scranton, Pa.)

Pwnch Cymreig (Scranton, Pa.)

Sonnabend Journal (Scranton, Pa.)

Sunday Breeze (Scranton, Pa.)

Svoboda (Scranton, Pa.)

Tygodnik Pennsylvanski (Scranton, Pa.)

Voce Italo-Americana (Scranton, Pa.)

Volkszeitung (Scranton, Pa.)


May 1987

“The story of the press of Luzerne County will never be fully told.  The editorial activity has been so self-sacrificing, the journalistic effort so strenuous, the publications so numerous, the changes so frequent, and the ramifications so tortuous that it is doubtful whether anyone will ever have the courage, as well as the time, to attempt to explore the Luzerne County highways and byways of newspaperdom back to the period covered by Mr. Harvey in his sketch of ‘Wilkes-Barre’s Earliest Newspapers’.  Colonel Smith… writes about the first daily newspaper; but no attempt has been made to set down the brief histories of the innumerable journals that have come and gone in the last century of printers’ ink-spilling.

Indeed, it is doubtful whether such a study would be worthwhile.  In Wilkes-Barre it might be, but in other parts of the county it would not…”

So writes Mr. Harvey in his history of Wilkes-Barre ¹, and what a gauntlet to throw down to the Penn State Team, fanatical in their search for papers, and overly zealous in their attempt to “set the record straight”.  Mr. Harvey is right on one count – the story never will be told – because too little from Luzerne County survived to tell the tale.  But would “such a study even be worthwhile?”  What a question!

And indeed in Wilkes-Barre a portion of its newspaper history was constructed, with the links of the TIMES LEADER the current paper, which had 39 titles to its historical credit (running a close second to the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE with 44 [title changes]).

Freeland, Mountain Top and Hazleton also fared well in newspaper survival, but the rest of the County is poorly represented indeed.  The full story will never be told.

Luzerne County was cataloged this month and Mr. Harvey’s detailed history was one of several consulted in our attempt to set the record straight.  Our worst statistic, only 55% of the titles published in Luzerne County were found (179 out of 327).

¹ Harvey, O.J.  (1930) A history of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, from its first beginnings to the present time including chapter of newly-discovered early Wyoming Vally [sic] history, together with many biographical sketches and much genealogical material.  Wilkes-Barre, Pa. [Raeder Press] p. 104.


Lackawanna County was completed with our second tour, May 19 – 22.  We visited 19 sites in 10 towns.  Since all the major institutions had been covered on our previous trip, this tour was thoroughly enjoyable – finding long-lost, obscure papers from small communities and meeting preservation-conscious people who doggedly held on to their newspapers, knowing that someday a Project like NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) would happen.

Two people reneged on their site visit and canceled with us at the last minute, both deciding that they preferred not to participate (for a variety of reasons).  One person is an ex-publisher who has the backfile of his paper (1938 – 1945) “rotting in his attic and wishes to leave it so”.  It’s a bitter pill to swallow.  Finding these caches is difficult enough; locating them and being refused access is really hard to accept!


Mrs. Elizabeth Sheetz of Centre County called to say her brother has a copy of the Mountain Times, one of only five missing Centre County titles.

Mr. James McIntosh of Blossburg, Tioga County, sent his collection of papers to us via his brother (currently working on a degree here at Penn State).  Among his titles was a new one from Tioga County and several others were added where only single issues had been found before.

While browsing in an antique shop in Huntingdon one Saturday, we found 10 months of the Watchman (1887) from Newton-Hamilton, Mifflin County.  The owner eagerly agreed to participate in the Project.

The Curator of the Wayne County Historical Society sent us Xeroxed copies of the Booster from Honesdale.  It was a new title not found on our Wayne County tour. 

A weekly publication from Honesdale, Wayne County, the Booster was “Issued for the purpose of conducting a direct publicity campaign between the retail storekeeper and the customer …”Only four issues of the Booster were located at the Wayne County Historical Society.  The Society held:   August 5, 12 and September 16, 30 1916.


–          We now have dial access to OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) via Compuserv, and it is considerably more difficult – harder to connect and to stay connected, slower than  before, and often necessary to send messages twice to be received.  Guess all the bugs aren’t worked out yet. 

– Many Non-Pa. titles were cataloged this month, are soon to be copied and sent to Pittsburgh.  The Lackawanna Historical had a total of 185 titles, 67 of which were out-of-state. 

– Denise Conklin continues to check OCLC for titles held by East Stroudsburg University.  Their list boasts 1300+ newspapers and Denise is pulling existing OCLC records in preparation for our August visit.


… continue to flow into [our office] West 308!    It is very tempting for our contacts to seek help on various questions, since they assume that we have all of the resources of the Pennsylvania State University at our disposal. 

Interestingly enough, many of the questions have nothing whatsoever to do with newspapers. Our most recent request was for a copy of the Hail Mary in French… (the prayer, not the movie). 

I wish we had kept a log of all the questions we’ve been asked.  It’s the only thing we didn’t document. 

Our most distant query, geographically speaking, came from Professor Maldwyn Jones of University College, London, England.  His research on a prominent Member of Parliament, Mr. John Henry Puleston, led him to the United States, more specifically, Pittston, Pa.    

Professor Jones discovered in Winifred Gregory’s Union List of American Newspapers that an 1858 issue of the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal was extant at the Northumberland County Historical Society (NCHS).  He wrote the Society asking about the issue.    

The NCHS had meanwhile sent their collection to [Penn State] for permanent storage, so the letter was forwarded to us. 

Professor Jones said that Mr. John Henry Puleston, Member of Parliament, had come to Pittston in 1857 and edited the Pittston Gazette and Luzerne Anthracite Journal until spring of 1860.  

Could a copy of the only existing issue be sent to him? 

It could; and we did.  

For weeks we didn’t hear whether it had been received by Professor Jones (it traveled by boat!).  Finally he called to say he had received it and was very pleased.  (The University had made an excellent copy of it). 

While all this was going on, we had since removed another file of the Pittston Gazette, the entire back file, to the PSU Hazleton Campus, and had found a special Jubilee Edition which talked about past editors of the paper, and illustrated the article with photographs.  

We had sent a copy of that article to Professor Jones as well. 

When we mentioned this to the Professor on the phone, his delight was effusive – a photo of Puleston had actually been found! It seems information on Mr. Puleston is hard to come by. 

Even in that article, written in 1900, the editor of the Pittston Gazette Jubilee Edition was having a hard time tracking down the file of the paper edited by Puleston and said then that no issues for the period 1857-1860 could be located. 

Anyway, Professor Jones wanted to know when we would be inventorying the U.S. Collection at the British Museum. Said he:  “It’s quite extensive, you know”.


Historical societies frequently inform us that the Project will be discussed at their next meeting.  The Carbondale Historical Society’s was the first whose announcement we’ve seen in the paper.   The brief announcement was titled “City Historical Society to plan upcoming events” and reads in part:

“On the agenda will be a report on the organization’s participation in the local arm of the United States Newspaper Project, a project to inventory all the newspapers in the United States so that the resources can be used by researchers”.  [Carbondale News, May 20, 1987, Carbondale, Lackawanna County].  

 [See BELOW for an account of that portion of the Meeting, appended 10/8/2012] 

–          Dr. Barbara Smith gave us an update on the notes of the Technical Committee Meeting of May 13th.  It seems the filming done by Micor [Micrographics Corporation] is exceptionally good, with excellent targeting. 

–          Barbara Kurimchak at the Historical Society of Philadelphia Site has been diligently cataloging the holdings of the Balch Institute for the past several weeks.  She is almost finished and will send us a list of the ethnic papers published in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties which are housed in the Balch Institute.  It is hoped that many of the titles on our “needs” lists for those two counties will be accounted for. 

–          We now have five Northeastern counties left to complete: Susquehanna, Monroe, Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton.   

ADDENDUM to the Monthly Report – Added October 8, 2012 

Here follows an account of the Meeting of the Carbondale Historical Society and Museum, Inc. as it concerns the Agenda Item discussing the US Newspaper Project. 

Item 11.  On Wednesday, May 20, 1987, two cataloguers from the United States Newspaper Project, Rebecca Wilson and Susan Kellerman, spent the day in Carbondale cataloguing the newspapers in the collections of the Carbondale News, the Carbondale Historical Society, the Carbondale Public Library, and in the private collections of S. Robert Powell and Nan Waters.  The goal of this project is to find and catalog all of the newspapers published in the United States since 1719.  When the project is completed, a computer file will exist which will give any researcher the ability to find out whether or not a paper exists and, if it does, where it can be found. 

     Ms. Wilson and Ms. Kellerman were assisted in their efforts by Society members Henry J. Loftus, Donald W. Powell and S. Robert Powell.  The majority of the day was spent working with the newspapers in the Carbondale Public Library’s collection.  The Carbondale Public Library owns the largest collection of newspapers published in Carbondale and the surrounding area that exists. 

        While the cataloguers were hard at work, Society member Rosemary Kelly, observed the proceedings and expressed her approval by treating everyone to lunch at Bob McDonnell’s Restaurant.  At several points during the day, Ms. Wilson commented that this was the first time – after having catalogued at hundreds of sites in 26 counties of Pennsylvania – that she and Ms. Kellerman had ever had historians/cataloguers from the local area offer their assistance for the entire day of cataloguing. 

        Although a number of titles were found, many were not.  If anyone has any of the following newspapers, please contact Hank Loftus at 717-282-0385: 


Archbald Citizen 


Advance and Jermyn Advocate

Anthracite Press

Carbondale Democrat

County Mirror

Democrat (Carbondale)

Democratic Standard and Know Nothing Expositor

Lackawanna Reformer

Leader (any copies from 1932 to 1944)

Review (all issues) 

JERMYN Advocate (Jermyn)

Jermyn Press


— Courtesy of Second Vice President Henry J. Loftus, Jr.; from the Society’s Newsletter, June 29, 1987, Vol. II, Number 3, p.3.

 For more on Mr. Henry Loftus’ involvement in the Project, see  Mr. Vladimir Geeza – Will he or Won’t he?


June 1987 

June was spent in the office [at Pattee Library, Penn State University] trying to get caught up on the work accumulated through extensive site visits in April and May.  We also managed a week’s vacation for some much needed R & R.

Cataloging and Related Tasks

-Sue spent a great deal of time checking, correcting and re-submitting existing OCLC (Online Library Computer Catalog) records for newspaper holdings.  Many of the institutions visited in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties had holdings on OCLC which had to be updated and/or corrected.

-The University of Scranton was the only one to question any of the changes made.  It seems some of their current holdings were attached to dead titles and they wanted to check with us as to why we had made the changes we did.  A phone call got it all worked out.

-We finished cataloging Wayne County and began workforms from Lackawanna County.  Sue also cataloged still more titles that Dr. Charles Mann [Head, Rare Books, Penn State] keeps finding in the Rare Books Room.  (Thanks, Charlie.  Enough!)

-Mr. T. R. McIntosh brought in a second set of papers from his brother in Tioga County.  These were also cataloged.

-All in all, 145 workforms were sent to Pittsburgh, and 92 LDRs

Site Visits

No site visits were scheduled in June, but lots of activity still occurred.

–          Carbon County’s schedule was put in place for July 1 – 3.

–          Made several unsuccessful calls to locate papers from Jermyn, Pa. (Lackawanna County).  Field contacts had given us several leads – but so far nothing has turned up.

–          Began the preliminary arrangements for our extended tour in Monroe, Northampton and Lehigh Counties scheduled for July 26 – August 22nd.

Have secured reasonably priced accommodations at East Stroudsburg University and the Olde World Inn in Bath, Pa.

We have put a tentative schedule in place for the 4 weeks; it will be confirmed closer to the visit dates.

East Stroudsburg University has over 600 titles.  Lehigh University and Lafayette College both have over 200.  The race against time continues…


  • Project Assistant Denise Conklin will continue to staff the office during our absence, and some time was spent this week outlining tasks to do while we’re gone.
  • Richard Fitzsimmons has been actively campaigning for microfilming funds for the Northeast.
  • A call from Representative Lynn Herman on June 30 was less than reassuring, but he will request the needed $86,750 as a budget amendment, if he is given an opportunity to do so.
  • Called Dennis Phillips at the [Penn State] Allentown Campus and we’ve set the Slide Show Presentation for July 28th.  Interested and appropriate people from four counties will be invited.

On the bright side:

We mentioned in our last Monthly Report [May 1987] that two contacts had reneged on us.  In a last attempt to see their collections, we wrote them an explanatory letter when we got back to the office.  One responded, and I am happy to report that the file of the Mid-Valley Journal from Olyphant, 1938 – 1944, is now safely housed in the Carbondale Historical Society in Lackawanna County!  A better fate than rotting in an attic in Peckville…  [But how did it happen?  Here’s the inside scoop!]

Lastly, a word of thanks to the people on the Fifth Floor of Pattee Library, Penn State University, who continue to provide us with prompt, courteous and cheerful services.  We appreciate all that you do for us.    wjm    7/1/87


July 1 – 21, 1987

July’s Monthly Report is out early, and it covers activities up to July 21.  This is our last week in the office this month.  On Sunday, July 26th, we leave for East Stroudsburg, Pa. to begin our Extended Field Work.  The original schedule was supposed to cover Monroe, Northampton and Lehigh Counties.  We’re such optimists!  As it happens, we will only be visiting Monroe and Northampton, and it will be a miracle to get those two completely done. 

August’s Monthly Report will include activities from July 22 – August 30. 

Initial “holdings data” reports we had received from upcoming counties did not truly reflect what the institutions held.  Follow-up phone calls revealed one library with 630+ titles [ESU- East Stroudsburg University], three libraries with 200 or more each, and two with 100+ each.  We also located many more places we need to visit, which had not responded to our original surveys at all.  None of this is new, but until we actually get into it, it is hard to predict what we will find. 

On the plus side, most of the titles that we know about were searched and found on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), so that will speed up work in the field.  The titles held by most of the places we have to visit are Non-Pa. titles:  current items from across the nation that support the curriculum. 

An interesting phenomenon was that in the course of searching titles on OCLC and bringing up the DHs (holdings data), we would find that many of the institutions we plan to visit would have their holdings on OCLC, but these titles did not appear on the list of titles they sent us (which would indicate that the Library doesn’t know it has those titles).  All of which points up once again to the tremendous number of side benefits being derived from the Project. 

Attached to this report are our Schedule and the addresses and phone numbers of places where we can be reached.  We’re excited about the upcoming work (and praying it can be done in the time allotted

As can be expected a tremendous amount of preparation has been involved in getting ready for this [site visit], and special thanks go to Denise Conklin, Project Assistant, for painstakingly searching all 600+ titles of East Stroudsburg University on OCLC.  Good work, Denise!


Carbon County

We had a marvelous visit to Carbon County, July 1 – 3, 1987.  We thoroughly enjoyed the historic, attractive town of Jim Thorpe – receiving from the originator a history of the reasons why Mauch Chunk, East Mauch Chunk, and Upper Mauch Chunk “merged in 1954 to become Jim Thorpe”.  

Sounds like a newspaper title… 

Most of the Carbon County titles were already filmed, an unusual but welcome occurrence in our area. 

  We still made two important discoveries here – one of them quite by accident. 

We were visiting the basement of Mr. Edward “Ed” Gildea, a small-town newspaper publisher, and found among his own backfiles a 20+ year run of the Coaldale Observer from Coaldale, Schuylkill County! 

It seems that the publisher of the Observer, Mr. James J. Gildea, went out of business and gave his backfile to our Mr. Ed Gildea because he liked his name!  They are not related.  Local residents seem to think it is the only existing long run of    that paper.  What a nice surprise!  

Ed publishes The Valley Gazette in Lansford, Pa.  He interviewed us and took pictures, says he will write an article about the Project.  He is extremely interested in what the Project is doing and made notes on all the titles we had found.

The other important find was: the 100 year run of the Evening Leader from Lehighton.  It belongs to a Private Collector who had it stored behind a wall in a deserted building which he owns.  As we stood in the damp, musty room he ripped away sections of brightly painted paneled walls to reveal volume after volume of the Evening Leader…    

The Lehighton Evening Leader began publication in July 1902.  By July 23, 1921 the paper changed its name to the Evening Leader.  The Evening Leader continued to be published daily except Sundays until December 31, 1970 when it ceased.  The backfile found behind the paneled wall was filmed by PaNP in 1988. 

He plans to sell the issues to recoup some of his losses on the building.  We explained about the Project – asking him to reconsider his decision to sell it piecemeal, and trying to convey some sense of its historical worth.  He agreed to think about it.

(We wrote to Bill Hamill.  Maybe it could be filmed using the stipulation that the contents would not be publicly distributed – an arrangement that may be worked out with some publishers who do not want their paper freely circulated).

Monroe/Northampton Counties 

Several days were spent confirming the appointments that were tentatively in place in June.  Some arrangements were reworked as various summer-scheduling problems arose: staff and contact people were away on vacation; collections being moved or shifted; shortened summer hours; broken air-conditioners (bring fans…), etc. 

Sue searched OCLC for all institutions based on any lists they had sent us; input all Monroe, Northampton and Lehigh County titles on ZAC (personal computer) so we can have “HELP!” lists before we go (to distribute at our Slide Presentation), and updated Rossell printouts; she also created holdings folders for each large institution we need to visit. 

It’s finally beginning to look as if we are ready.


Work continued on completed LDRs (Local Data Records) and cataloging Lackawanna County titles.  Wayne County was revised, copied and sent to Pittsburgh. 


It appears no funds were allocated for microfilming newspapers in the State Budget this year.  Haven’t heard where that leaves us or what the next step is to be. 

Dr. Barbara Smith proposed we write our contacts in the field and have them contact their legislators.  What was successful in 1985 may work again.  

We have a Slide Presentation scheduled for July 28 at the Northampton Area Community College.  Dennis Phillips from the Penn State Allentown Campus arranged the meeting and invited colleagues from four counties. 

His timing on the invitations was perfect – people were opening their invitations as I was making my calls [to visit them]; many indicated their intention to attend.


During our absence, Denise Conklin will be in charge of all office activities and we will be in regular contact with her.  Messages can be relayed to us through her.  By consulting the Schedule she will know at all times where we are. 


July 22 – August 31, 1987

As mentioned before, this Monthly Report covers the last part of July and all of August.

THE Site Visit

It doesn’t seem possible, but our month long site visit is over; all the planning, worrying, organizing, calling, packing and preparation which preceded our visit proved worthwhile.  The trip covered two counties: Monroe and Northampton, both having institutions with major holdings (38 sites in all were scheduled in advance), and a slide show planned early in the tour to familiarize contacts from four counties with the Project and our upcoming visit.

The entire trip went smoothly; we finished several sites ahead of schedule and filled in the time with new contacts which Project Assistant Denise [Conklin] relayed to us on a regular basis.  Apparently all the newspapers ran our articles and several people called in with papers.  (One fellow in Hellertown, near Bethlehem, called Denise at 9 a.m.; we were at his house by 11 a.m.  He was suitably impressed with the turn-around time).

Taking along all potentially useful data and supplies  proved beneficial; we were able to maintain our correspondence and do other “office work” from East Stroudsburg University (ESU).

One “surprise” we received occurred at Lehigh University when someone casually mentioned whether we knew about their Readex Collection of titles on micro-card.

We didn’t.  But fortunately we had seen the whole set at ESU and by using those records, we were able to list Lehigh’s holdings of 100+ titles in just a few hours.

The only other unexpected cache was at the office of the Bethlehem Bulletin.  Bernie Fetsko said he and his father had published 5 – 6 papers and he had saved copies of all of them.

We planned 1 ½ hours to be there.  We arrived at 8:30 a.m., and left at 4:30 p.m. after digging our way through 26 different newspapers which Bernie & Alexander Fetsko had published throughout a 40 – 50 year publishing history.

Several titles were bound together in each volume – a nightmare for inventory-taking – and that slowed us down considerably.

That was our last and only visit that day, as luck would have it, but we had to forfeit any thoughts of finishing early and going sightseeing!

The one omission in this carefully constructed plan which should have been built in was: time to regroup and reorganize in the field.

After each day’s activities, certain lists and records have to be maintained to keep all the files in order for the next day.  Failure to build in that time resulted in accrual of lots of overtime.

a)  Brief “checklist of items” to take on an Extended Site Visit:  boxes of blank workforms, boxes of LDRs, OCLC records (with DHs) for all known titles, Rossell in all formats, schedule of visits, maps, room reservations information, Card File of contacts’ names and addresses, slide show data & slides, hand-held viewer, gloves, flashlight, dirt shirts, camera & film, ZAC lists, prepared workforms, ILL forms, release forms, Certificates, restaurants guide, cash advance, band aids, envelopes, stationery, stapler, stamps, tape, telephone calling card…

Monroe County  (July 26 – August 9, 1987)

East Stroudsburg University (ESU) graciously hosted us during our stay in Monroe County.  (Our home was a dorm room in Linden Hall).  The Public Affairs Office and the Kemp Library both acted as contact centers for us to receive mail and messages.  Staff members were extremely courteous and helpful, making every effort to assist us throughout our stay.  The Library also provided us with access to an OCLC terminal, a telephone and a typewriter.

We visited eleven sites in Monroe County, but the bulk of the time was spent at   ESU, which had 765 newspaper titles on file.

b) In the midst of cataloging at ESU, we paused one morning to present our Slide /Talk Show (fondly referred to by Dick Fitzsimmons as our “Dog- and- Pony Show”) to 20 attendees at the beautiful Library of the Northampton County Area Community College.  Thanks to Dennis Phillips of the Penn State Allentown Campus, his decision to hold the presentation there ensured a good turnout.  That was a much more centrally located area for the people who were invited.  Many of our contacts attended the show, and we were as usual very well-received when we visited their institutions later on.

Northampton County (August 9 – 22, 1987)

“Home base” was an efficiency in Bath, PA, for this half of the tour.  Bath was ideally situated in relation to all the sties we visited in Northampton County – Bethlehem, Easton, Bangor, Northampton, Nazareth and Bath.

As in Monroe Co., we were well-received in the major institutions and given much assistance.  Lehigh University was particularly sensitive to our needs and eager to help.  We met with the Head of Serials who asked several appropriate questions regarding how the changes we were making on OCLC would affect their archival tapes and the appearance and entry of their holdings (DHs and LDRs) on the OCLC database.

Easton Area Public Library, another major holder, was equally accommodating.  We spent a rushed but very productive day inventorying 111 titles!

In Our Absence…

… Project Assistant Denise Conklin handled things so efficiently that we returned to discover no one knew we had been gone.  Denise fielded all messages to us, answered mail and call-ins as necessary; sent out correspondence; checked OCLC for questionable titles; and kept the home fires burning.

One of the call-ins had heard an announcement about the Project on an Allentown Radio Station; another had seen our show on Public TV.

Interesting People We Met:

– A barber in Bangor who claimed to have the very first issue of the Daily News (Bangor) to come off the press in 1894!

At 3:30 p.m. we stopped by Dale’s Barber Shop in Bangor.  Dale’s wife met us at the shop to show us the framed issue of the Bangor Daily News.  This issue, dated volume 1, no. 1 August 6, 1894 was the only surviving issue ever found!

-A publisher who almost wouldn’t admit us because he is being sued by someone who slipped on a copy of his newspaper which was lying on the ground.  His papers, stored in an attic, were accessed by stepladder…

-An energetic, 63- year-old grandmother who has been a seamstress (the best!), a hairdresser, a newspaper publisher, and is now working on her BA at Northampton Area Community College.

PARTIAL JOURNAL ENTRY Wednesday, August 19, 1987

            5:35 – 6:15 p.m.  Next stop – Hellertown.  Denise had found the woman who published the Saucon Valley News.  This woman, a grandmother, started this newspaper in 1982 to 1985 when she had to quit due to expenses.  

            She told us it cost $900/month to have the paper printed (she did all the work – from reporting, writing, selling ads and delivering).  

            She offered us freshly squeezed lemonade while she told us all about her paper.  She hopes to someday publish it again. 

–          A retired car salesman who laminated hundreds of issues of newspapers to preserve them.  He serenaded us on his organ as we worked.

–          “Mr. Delaware Water Gap”, Francis “Casey” Drake, fascinating Curator and Founder of the Dutot Museum in Delaware Water Gap, Pa.

A Few Numbers…

Many of the sites visited on this tour were large academic institutions holding non-local newspaper titles which required only an LDR or OCLC-record update.  Others had fewer           but more interesting” titles,  requiring original cataloging.

A rough count produced the following:

Institution                             Titles Cataloged or LDRed 

East Stroudsburg University                      765

Lehigh University                                        288

Lafayette College                                       176

Moravian Archives                                      129

Easton Area Public Library                        111

Monroe Co. Historical Society                     81

Northampton Co. Historical Society            58

Moravian College                                         24

Bethlehem Bulletin                                       26

Bethlehem Public Library                             25

     Other sites (combined)                         130

TOTAL:                                                   1,813

A Title was counted each time it was seen (on film, paper or micro-card), since a separate LDR had to be created for each format.

On this trip:

  • 26 days in the field
  • 38 sites visited
  • 1,680 miles logged
  • 1,813 titles recorded/cataloged

[Lest this account seems far too idyllic to be true, here’s a “reality check” about site visits in general and “A Less-Than-Perfect-Week” in particular]

Office Activities

–          We visited Juniata College Library in Huntingdon to assist them with assembling their titles to be sent for microfilming.  They contributed $2,000.00 to the Project for newspaper filming.

–          Finished cataloging the last of the 147 titles found in Lackawanna County. Completed and mailed out linking title histories to publishers and editors in

–           Carbon County who requested same.  So far, not one publisher whose paper had over two title changes has known the history of his paper!

–          Becky has submitted a letter of resignation from Penn State to accept a position at Susquehanna University’s Roger M. Blough Library.

–          Sue and Denise will do site visits in Susquehanna County, and Lehigh County will have to be reassigned to the Harrisburg or Philadelphia site.

–          Sue will stay on the Project for 3 – 5 more months to complete the paperwork now stacked to the ceiling in our Office.  A tentative work schedule has been drawn up, and a proposal is in the works to reflect the upcoming changes.

–          Met with Dr. Barbara Smith to review the month’s activities.

–          Input Monroe and Northampton County data on ZAC to produce statistics and “needs” and “finds” lists.

Updates From Last Month:

We mentioned in July’s Monthly Report that Ed Gildea, publisher of the Valley Gazette, had expressed an interest in writing an article about the Project.  It was such an explicit article – we’ve provided the citation.  At this point, we’re much more careful what we say to people…   [Valley Gazette, Valley Views Section, August 1987, 182nd issue, pp. 3-7] .

We also mentioned that a private collector had 100 years of the Lehighton Evening Leader and wanted to sell it bit by bit.  We were delighted to see him at our slide show in July expressing interest in our “needs” and “finds” lists.  Perhaps he has reconsidered…

And something of the upmost importance – an article was sent to us from a Mr. Rockmaker, revealing some shocking scores…  Please see attached            correspondence.



 September 1987                      [This Monthly Report written by Sue]

The atmosphere in the Office at West 308 Pattee Library had a distinctly different air during the month of September for several reasons. 

–          No site visits occurred.  We continued the follow-up work from our Extended Summer visits to Monroe and Northampton Counties. 

–          With only one more county to schedule, the race against time seemed to be temporarily won, and we could relax somewhat and tend to office work without the pressure of too many more counties to cover in the immediate future. 

–          Site visits for Susquehanna County were put in place, and after Northampton County, it appears to be fairly straightforward and even somewhat “laid back”. 

–          A certain sadness prevailed as Becky sorted through the files to remove her things, and spent time gathering final statistics on site visits to include in future reports. 

–          It was a time for reflection – on what we had set out to accomplish, our struggle to construct the best, most efficient plan to do the task, ways to improve it once it was in place, and to see now that most of it is behind us. 

–          Time was spent doing mock site visits with Denise Conklin in Labor Archives, to prepare her for her upcoming site visit to Susquehanna County. 

–          For Becky, the conclusion of an awesome Project, covering 29 counties in beautiful Central Pennsylvania, unveiling newspaper collections in a series of incredible places, and adding this information to a permanent data base.  

–          For me, a time to look ahead to the termination of the Project – tasks still to be accomplished between now and March of 1988.

Cataloging and Related Activities 

–          Work continued as usual in an attempt to pare down the mound of data collected this summer. 

–          Searched on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) for titles found at the Moravian Archives, and for other miscellaneous titles.  Completed cataloging and put all in Pitt-ready condition. 

–          Sent the balance of Lackawanna County to Pittsburgh. 

–          Cataloged all of Carbon County Titles. 

–          Received on ILL (Interlibrary Loan) 39 years of the Druid (Welch) newspaper from the University of Scranton, which was out on loan when we visited them.  It was cataloged and returned to them.   

Office Activities 

–          Submitted a proposal to Dr. Barbara Smith requesting a Project Extension to March 1988 to complete all outstanding office work.  This was forwarded to Mr. David Hoffman for approval. 

–          Submitted an outline to Dr. Smith detailing work activities for Denise and me through December 1987.  (Becky’s last work day was September 18th). 

–          Scheduled site visits for Susquehanna County, our 30th and last.  Dates for site visits are October 12 – 15.  This visit includes a private collector in Throop, Pa. (Lackawanna County).  He was a late call-in. 

–          Wrote 40+ thank- you letters  and other correspondence items in response to various requests for information, holdings, “needs” and “finds”, etc. 

–          Spent some time assembling raw data on newspapers held by private collectors, still a significant portion in our area.  It is still our hope to write an article on this (soon) to alert other states to this potentially valuable source of material.

Other Activities 

–          Returned to Juniata College (Huntingdon) to continue assembling newspapers to be microfilmed.  The original list they had been given did not include everything that was to be filmed. 

–          Sent 11 slides with captions to Bob Harriman at the Library of Congress, for a slide show he is putting together on the Project. 

–          Had our regular meeting with Dr. Smith regarding Project progress. 

–          Examined LDRs (Local Data Records) from 10 – 12 counties to create our list of “titles recommended for microfilming” to send to Bill Hamill, Microfilming Coordinator.  All counties now have such a list except Susquehanna County.


… of the month was an interview by an intern, Doreen Naughton, who is writing an article for the Research/Penn State Magazine, to appear in the spring or Summer 1988 issue.  As usual, we got carried away.  All the old enthusiasm returned and we talked on and on telling Doreen lots more than she probably wanted (or needed) to know.

      *          *          *          *          *          * 

Lastly, a note of thanks and an affectionate adieu from Becky to all the friends and colleagues who shared in this unforgettable experience – at Pattee Library, at the University of Pittsburgh, at the State Library in Harrisburg, and at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  She will miss you all.      ede/


October  1987                     [This Monthly Report written by Sue]

October was a short month since I was on vacation for two weeks.  My return to work began with the site visit scheduled for October 12 – 15 in Susquehanna County – the last field trip planned for the Penn State University Site. 

The “mock site visits” done in Labor Archives in September resulted in a smooth operation as Project Assistant Denise Conklin rose to each occasion throughout our eight scheduled visits. 

She functioned very well in the tasks I normally performed and I assumed Becky’s role.  The transition was easily workable since Becky and I had shared all aspects of the Project from the very beginning, and Denise quickly caught on to the routine.

The Site Visit 

The field work that began in the little town of Aaronsburg, Pa. in February 1985 ended in Forest City in October 1987.  14,922 miles stretched in-between, with 462 sites visited.  Who could have foreseen then the adventure that lay ahead? 

Susquehanna County, with its orange and red leaves, crisp sunny autumn air, and friendly, hospitable people, was the way to end it.  County #30!  Almost half of the State’s 67 counties – done. 

The Susquehanna County Historical Society presented its own challenge during our 11-hour visit and Denise and I scrambled to record their voluminous holdings. 

To keep us alert and active, they had arranged the microfilm chronologically (instead of by title), had overlapping holdings, and several on one reel – three of the most difficult conditions to contend with.

We finished at 8 p.m. having recorded 84 titles on paper and 29 on film  The other seven sites were fairly routine. 

On the way back, we stopped at a Private Collector in Throop, Pa. who had called in after seeing our TV show; he reported having a vast newspaper collection in his basement.  And he did.  He had significant long runs of titles from Lackawanna County – we had seen only one or two issues when we visited that county in May.  Many titles from Pottsville (Schuylkill County) were there too. Additionally, he had records, day books, blueprints, foreman’s journals and photographs (1920s and 30s) from the defunct Hudson Coal Mining Company.  This bit of information was appropriately passed on to Dr. Peter Gottlieb [Head of Labor Archives at Penn State].  (Denise, now also working in Labor Archives, was thrilled with this discovery!) 

 Cataloging and Related Tasks 

Workforms flowed through our office in West 308, Pattee Library, as I sent Carbon County titles off to Pittsburgh, cataloged Monroe and Lehigh County titles, and searched OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) for miscellaneous non-Susquehanna County titles picked up during our last site visit.  Denise continued filling out LDRs (Local Data Records) from the abbreviated notes accumulated during our site visit to East Stroudsburg University in July. 

Other Activities 

–          The Research/Penn State article written by intern Doreen Naughton was submitted in final form to Dr. Barbara Smith.  Watch for this exciting piece in the March 1988 issue. 

–          The microfilming phase continues, with the crew following our path throughout Central Pa.  Bill Hamill [Microfilming Coordinator] is coming to Penn State in early November to discuss titles to be filmed from the Northeastern counties.

Of Interest 

Two important people are connected with Susquehanna County.  The noted psychologist, B.F. Skinner, was born in the town of Susquehanna and his home was pointed out to us by local residents. 

The other was Joseph Smith, founder and first president of the Mormon Church, who courted a local girl and spent much time in Susquehanna County. 

A somewhat controversial story reports that before founding the Church he was allegedly a fortune hunter.  It is reported that Church members are seeking out and expurgating 1820 – 1840 issues of newspapers bearing any negative reference to his activities.  One local publisher noted columns which had been neatly razored out from his newspaper backfile for that time period.   ede  11/87


November  1987                    [This Monthly Report written by Sue] 

Most of the month of November was spent in Photo-duplication, copying LDRs (Local Data Records) and workforms to send to Pittsburgh. Data collected over a long period of time suddenly comes together at a certain point and when that happens, many workforms attain completion.  Statistics for November show 600+ LDRs and 100+ workforms – more than we sent out in all of 1985!  For this reason, it is hard to estimate an accurate count on a monthly basis.

Cataloging & Related Tasks 

Other work accomplished in this area: 

–          Searched holdings on OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) for Moravian Archives, Moravian College, East Stroudsburg University, and Lafayette College.  These institutions all had partial or no holdings on OCLC, which had to be verified, updated and corrected based on our findings Corrected records then had to be sent to each institution, along with a list of their holding, which they requested.  Our service of sending holdings lists to institutions has turned out to be greatly needed and appreciated. 

–          Denise continued work on LDRs from East Stroudsburg University.  Many of these were finally completed this month, copied and sent to Pittsburgh. 

–          Many other Northampton County titles were cataloged and sent to Pitt.

The Readex Newspaper Collection   

–          There exists on microfilm a collection of miscellaneous newspapers called “Harrisburg Newspapers”.  Approximately 66 titles appear on 53 reels of film.  Several libraries own this collection and it was examined and cataloged many times by Project Librarians across the State until Barbara Nichols Randall decided to compile an accurate title/date list of the collection with corresponding OCLC record numbers.  This list consequently saved many hours of repetitive work. 

–          The Readex Newspaper Collection, a microprint collection of micro-opaque cards and more recently on microfilm, presents a similar situation, but one that will affect many states nationwide since this collection is made up of early U.S. titles published in many states.  The recent decision of Readex to expand their area of coverage beyond 1820 makes this collection even more appealing and valuable to research and university libraries.  We cataloged portions of this collection at two separate institutions (Penn State University and East Stroudsburg University).  The third time we ran into it, at Lehigh University, we decided to use ESU’s records to create LDRs (Local Data Records) for Lehigh University. 

–          It became evident that a list of the Readex Collection of Early American Newspapers, with box title, exact newspaper title, dates and OCLC numbers would be extremely useful to all librarians working on the U.S. Newspaper Project, and to institutions holding the collection.  Done once, this list could be used as a reference guide to the collection each time it is encountered in field work.  Becky and I had talked several times about doing such a list, and had done some preliminary research on it.  We consulted Dr. Smith and Jack Pontius, and had examined lists put out by Readex. 

This month I created on our personal computer a file for inputting the Readex titles, and have input about 77 records.  So far, the format appears feasible and will produce a workable list which will allow librarians to identify any title by box label, correct newspaper title, date, place of publication, or OCLC record number.  Since several titles can appear in a box, and box titles are often generic and so not reflect title changes and linking titles, this list will allow quick identification of the contents of each box.  This should save hours of “inventorying” for field librarians.  It is possible the list will be completed in December.                                                                              

A good start was made this month on this project.¹

Other Activities 

–          Continued to meet regularly with Dr. Barbara Smith 

–          Talked to Bill Hamill about the extension of HSP into the Harrisburg area, and the possibility of my continued participation on the Project. 

–          Received notice that the Penn State University Site’s contract has been extended to March 18, 1988. 

–          Pulled several newspapers from our office collection and from Labor Archives Storage – to be used in the Research/Penn State article being written by Doreen Naughton. 

¹These lists were completed and later published, in 1990:  Kellerman, L. S. and R. Wilson (1990).  Index to the Readex Microfilm Collection of Early American Newspapers.  New Canaan, CT: Readex Corp. 

 Kellerman, L. S. and R. Wilson (1990).  Index to the Readex Microopaque Collection of Early American Newspapers. Harrisburg, Pa.: State Library of Pennsylvania.


 December 1987                  [This Monthly Report written by Sue]

 Three years seems to have just whizzed by.  Looking at the attached cumulated figures and statistics, I can see where the time went.  But how did it go so quickly?! 

At times the figures appear paltry; at other times I am amazed at the incredible amount of data that was sought out and collected.  Once Becky and I tallied up the number of “bits of information” needed to document one issue of one newspaper title at any one institution; it was an average of about 85 bits of information.  Multiply that total by the total number of issues, times the number of titles held, times the total number of sites visited and we’re probably close to seven digit figures here!  Since no additional site visits are in the offing, the figures attached to this report are final statistics (except for cataloging).  

December was a relatively short month, since I used several vacation days.

Cataloging and Related Tasks 

Most of the time was spent cataloging accumulated workforms and xeroxing those workforms to send to Pittsburgh. 

We finally finished documenting East Stroudsburg University’s holdings – 725 records!! – and sent those to Pittsburgh as well.  Thanks to Denise for her assistance and perseverance in this time-consuming task. 

Other Activities 

–          Prepared for [Microfilming Coordinator] Bill Hamill’s visit.  Xeroxed the Master Card File of Names and Addresses of sites visited and in the Northeast counties; listed in order of priority titles most critical to be filmed; provided OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) record numbers for easy identification of titles. 

–          Met with Bill on December 10.  Reviewed data with him for the Northeast, and examined listing of 79 titles Bill had microfilmed this year.  We discussed the upcoming changeover from Micor to Matco (as the new microfilmer for the Project).  As of December 1, 1987, 14 counties had had the “first Sweep” of titles selected and microfilmed.  

–          After Bill’s visit, I checked his list of filmed titles against our original list of “titles recommended for filming”.  A new list emerged on which titles should be included in the second sweep.  This list was sent to Bill, Dr. Barbara Smith, Becky and David Hoffman. 

–          Attended a telephone conference of the Technical Committee on December 17.  Dr. Ruth Carter, David Hoffman, Bill Hamill, Nancy Halli, Dr. Barbara Smith and I were present.  Items discussed: progress reports from each site, titles filmed in 1987, possibility of informing Senators and Representatives about our progress, disbursement of Project-owned equipment, and future titles to filmed from the Northeast counties. 

–          Karen Nadeski, Penn State Serials Cataloger, stopped by to look at the Penn State newspaper holdings records.  She took some with her to examine more closely and to decide how best to incorporate the data into the LIAS database. 

–          Had regular meetings with Dr. Barbara Smith on Project progress.

Summary Statistics 

See attached Penn State Site Project Statistics for 1985, 1986, and 1987. LINK to STATS PAGE!!!

Highlight of the Month 

…Dr. Kopley, researcher and scholar of Edgar Allen Poe, and the missing nine issues… see the full story! 


January 1988        [This Monthly Report written by Sue]

It’s official – the Penn State Site of the PA Newspaper Project will close its doors at 5 p.m., February 26, 1988.

A meeting with Dr. Barbara Smith, Dr. Peter Gottlieb, Dr. Lee Stout and me has taken place to determine the disposition of office files and equipment.  The Compaq PC (ZAC) and data disks, printer and manuals, all of which were purchased by the Project, will be sent to the State Library in Harrisburg.

Files pertaining to Penn State will remain at the University.  Already West 308 [our office in Pattee Library] has taken on a “cleaner” look as title histories, newspaper articles, cards and other memorabilia are removed from the walls, doors and other surfaces

Left to do:

a)      assembling all Lehigh County surveys, site information, holdings and history notes to send to Amy Newell in Philadelphia since HSP (Historical Society of Philadelphia) will be covering Lehigh County;

b)     continuation of searching OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) and cataloging about 50 miscellaneous newspaper titles, many of which were not on OCLC, are not fro PA, and will require original cataloging;

c)      answering on-going correspondence and addressing other outstanding issues and questions which had been categorized as “low-priority”

d)     clearing out the office physically – emptying desks, packing items for storage/removal, and tying up other loose ends (too numerous to mention).

 A.                Cataloging and Related Tasks

–          Searched and put in final form 329 LDRs (Local Data Records) from Lehigh University in Bethlehem.  Worked closely with Ken Vepreck, Serials Head at Lehigh U. to corroborate the work we did with his expectations for the data entry onto the OCLC database.

–          He had requested copies of all the LDRs we completed at Lehigh U. with our updated and/or original work spelled out.  Following receipt of these forms, several phone calls ensued to clarify various issues raised by Ken.

–          Cataloged 70+ Susquehanna County titles and shipped them off to Pittsburgh.  (30 counties – Done!!)

–          Inventoried newly acquired newspaper titles on microfilm for East Stroudsburg University – part of the Readex [Newspaper]Collection of Early American Newspapers.  These were sent to Paul Beatty, Serials Head at East Stroudsburg University.

B.     Other Activities

–          A slight snag in accessing private collectors’ files was brought to my attention recently.  James V. Brown Public Library in Williamsport, Pa. apparently directed someone to the State Library in Harrisburg (which is listed as the “holder” for privately held collections).  It seems that questions are being directed to the Newspaper Division of the State Library, rather than to the Interlibrary Loan Department.  The problem has been discussed with Mr. David Hoffman and the issue will be addressed at the upcoming Technical Committee meeting.

C.     News Items

–          On a happy note: I was offered (and have accepted) a full-time position at Penn State University as Serials Receipt Librarian, effective March 1, 1988.

–          On a much sadder note, long-time friend of the Project and ex-newspaperwoman Viola Pletcher, age 92, of Galeton, Potter County, died on January 15, 1988.  Viola followed the Project initially through newspaper articles, then via correspondence with us on a regular basis.  She faithfully sent us news clippings of the demise, birth, and merging of Potter County newspapers from 1985 – 1987, to ensure that the correct changes were recorded “in our Project”.  She will be missed by many.

LINK to Viola Pletcher vignette


 February 1988           [This Monthly Report written by Sue]

The October 29, 1841 issue of the Luzerne Democrat, and Farmer’s and Mechanic’s Journal cites several reasons for ceasing publication of its paper: 

“We are nearly out of paper, out of cash, out at the elbows, out of health and need recruiting”.

Working on the PA Newspaper Project, we recorded many such dates of deaths of newspapers, and now, we hereby write of our own.  For this Report marks the ending of the PA Newspaper Project Cataloging Site at Penn State University.  But, unlike the Luzerne Democrat, and Farmer’s and Mechanic’s Journal’s reasons for ceasing, the reason for the Penn State site closing its doors is due to its success.

We not only successfully fulfilled our contract with the State Library [in Harrisburg], to inventory 15 original counties in one year, but also had written several extensions to the original contract enabling us to cover 30 counties in three years, almost half the State [there are 67 counties in Pa.].

The success was a result of the combined efforts of a host of people and resources.  The ground work was laid by David Hoffman at the State Library in Harrisburg.  A well thought-out plan divided the State into sections (with various sites).  Much planning and coordination of effort was involved in creating standards statewide (with OCLC and Library of Congress) to ensure uniformity of procedures at each site.

A warm friendship developed among the PA Project Librarians at other sites, and regular meetings and a multitude of phone calls provided essential communication links and an avenue to explore and share ideas.

Meetings at the national level were exciting forums at which to compare the variety of ways in which different states were organizing individual state projects, and to garner new approaches to similar problems.

At Penn State, Dr. Barbara Smith delivered expert direction, along with the flexibility, support and trust needed to establish goals and procedures to conduct the work at our Site.  The University Library itself contributed considerable resources in various ways: a fully functional office, Xeroxing services, overhead costs, telephone access, and a totally supportive staff.

Here finally, we pause to thank especially, Denise Conklin, our cherished and valuable assistant; Dr. Peter Gottlieb and his extremely cooperative staff; Dr. Charlie Mann and Sandy Stelts; Penn State Room staff, Jack Pontius, the good folks in Microforms, Suzanne Striedieck, Karen Nadeski, the excellent secretarial support for East505, and Karl Proehl and Amelia Harding in the Maps [Department].

Our hats off to all of you!

In a final poignant moment, Sue signs off from the Project with her last Journal Entry, February 26, 1988.


See SUMMARY STATISTICS – JANUARY 2, 1985 – DECEMBER 31, 1987 Cataloging Site

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