ST. MARYS — A $5,000 grant to The Elk County Historical Society from the Elk County Community Foundation (ECCF) in August will be used to help convert the historical society’s newspaper collection from microfilm to searchable digital images, according to a spokesman.
Gennaro Aiello, ECCF president, made the presentation of the check. The total cost of the project will be $19,750.
The Society’s goal is to preserve Elk County’s history in the best possible manner. The group met in the genealogy room to show Aiello just a few of the 333 rolls of microfilm and the microfilm reader that was in need of repairs.
“Repairing the reader was cost prohibitive and digitizing will not only better preserve the information, but will make the data searchable,” said Paul Fritz Eddy, ECCF executive director.
The society has plans to seek additional grant funding to purchase a computer dedicated to the digitized files, Eddy said.
“We felt this was a great way to preserve our rich history in a useable format,” she said.
Documents to be digitized date back to 1885 and include the following publications:
- The Ridway Advocate: Jan. 15, 1885 to Dec. 26, 1929
- The Ridgway Daily Record (now known as The Ridgway Record) Dec. 1, 1903 to 2017
- The Weekly Herald (St. Marys-Kersey area) Jul. 14, 1889 to Dec. 24, 1904
The Elk County Historical Society’s Robinson Museum and research rooms are located off of U.S. Route 219 in Ridgway.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, appointments can be made by calling 814-776-1032.