If you have ancestors in the Escanaba vicinity, are interested in the history of the Upper Peninsula, or just really love browsing old newspapers, you’ll be excited to learn that the Escanaba Public Library recently released many old Escanaba newspapers online! The newspapers range from 1869-1926 and are searchable by keyword using a technology called OCR.
OCR, or optical character recognition, is a technology that can read the characters in a printed, handwritten, or typed document and make them searchable. The accuracy of OCR varies from system to system, but is typically around 80%–so if you don’t find what you’re looking for, try using other keywords! It has become increasingly common at archives and libraries (though we still do not have OCR at the Northern Michigan University Archives).
However, while we do not have access to OCR, we do have a whole host of regional newspapers on microfilm that can be quite useful for scholarly and genealogical research. Our newspaper collection includes not just Marquette County newspapers but also newspapers from Alger County, the Keweenaw Peninsula, Delta County, Dickinson County, Gogebic County, Schoolcraft County, and even some limited newspapers from Saint Ignace, Dearborn, and Detroit! A complete list of our newspapers with dates can be found here.
On October 15 at 7 PM, we will be holding another Evening at the Archives. Elizabeth Oliver, one of our Grace H. Magnaghi Visiting Research Fellowship Grant recipients will be presenting the fruits of her research here this summer. She researched a local Episcopalian bishop, Hayward Ablewhite, who embezzled a great deal of money from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan during the 1930s. He ended up in jail but later became a director of Henry Ford’s Edison Institute Museum. To learn more about this interesting character, come to the presentation!
Written by Annika Peterson