Reports 1985

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

 Progress to Date

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


  • 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 Preparation

  • B Pic 100_3896 Centre Co Card FileCompiled 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


 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


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.

  • Results For 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.
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!!


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