Chattanooga’s Historical Newspapers To Be Made Accessible Online, Moon, Hall Say

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Chattanooga history advocates David Moon of Picnooga and Sam Hall of Deepzoomchattanooga.com said they are planning to make over 6,000 pages of Chattanooga’s historical newspapers searchable online as a free, open resource to benefit researchers, students, genealogists, and the general public. 

Mr. Moon said, "One of the most valuable historical assets is local newspapers, which have been available on microfilm at public libraries for decades.
  But the old process of accessing newspapers on microfilm is extremely time-consuming and tedious, requiring points of reference and manual searching. Because of these obstacles, wel believe that Chattanooga’s papers remain largely inaccessible to a wider audience.  We both have been proactively working to find affordable and sustainable options to bring newspapers online over the past four years.    Digitalization can produce accurate keyword search results from tens of thousands of indexed pages within seconds.

"In 2016, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) provided selected reels of Chattanooga newspapers on microfilm from their collection to be digitized via a 3rd party partner and coordinated by Sam Hall.

"The resulting 6,000+ digitized pages are just the beginning and will be accessible online at chattanooganewspapers.org.  The content is from multiple publications that date from as early as 1854 through 1907."

Mr. Moon said, “We've found an affordable, scalable, and user-friendly solution to make the papers available online.  Within a year, we want to include more content to give users a wider selection of titles and dates to search from.

"Access is extremely important—anyone with a computer and internet access can connect and search the archive anytime, eliminating the physical barriers of the Public Library, or any library with microfilm copies of Chattanooga newspapers titles within their collections."

David Moon and Sam Hall said they are passionate "that there’s a great value in providing this information free to the public. We also hope it will create a heightened interest in local history beyond Chattanooga. " 

Mr. Hall said he is very optimistic. “A very attainable goal of $1,500 will allow this first batch to go online. We’re hoping this will generate interest and funding to continue the process for hundreds of additional reels to be digitized and placed in the collection.”

Mr. Moon and Mr. Hall said they are looking for investors "who can see the long-term positive value of local digitized newspapers. They hope to attract local organizations and companies to help fund this initial start.  But there is also an opportunity for individuals to contribute.  All contributor names will be added to the completed website."

Donation levels will include $50 for individual donors or "Friends."  $250 for "Sponsors" and $500 for "Partners."  Money raised in excess of $1,500 will go to future digital newspaper content.  

Visit ChattanoogaNewspapers.org to donate.


Chester Martin: When The Hercules Came To Tennessee

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

Browns Were Pioneers Of Waldens Ridge, Red Bank Sections

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

Man And Woman Killed In Sunday Morning Murder/Suicide At Hixson Gas Station

A man and a woman were killed in a Sunday morning murder/homicide at a gas station in Hixson. The shooting was shortly after 10 a.m. at a Shell station at Hixson Pike and Brookaire.  Upon arrival, police located Kimberly Phillips, 48, lying in the parking lot from an apparent gunshot wound.  Also in the same parking lot, officers located Frederick Tragresser, 47, ... (click for more)

$2,060,705 Tennessee Cash Jackpot Won In South Pittsburg Friday Night

A Tennessee Cash player in South Pittsburg won a near-record jackpot of $2,060,705 on  Friday  night. A Knoxville Powerball player won $50,000  Saturday  night by matching four of the five white numbers drawn plus the red Powerball. No information is available about the winners until the prizes are claimed. The  $315.3 million ... (click for more)

Brown V. Board (1954) 64 Years Late: Our Schools At A Crossroads

May 17, 1954 is a date forever etched upon the annals of American history because on that pivotal day the Supreme Court would affirm in the decision of Brown v. Board (1954). “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This ruling overturned the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Same Family Tree

When it was learned the UnifiEd Foundation was a left-wing crowd of political organizers rather than a group with the sole intent of bettering public education in Hamilton County, several other liberal groups fell under scrutiny and it is uncanny how many of the same few people are intertwined in a county of 360,000 people. Or, as one critic succinctly said, “They are all from ... (click for more)