I was working on a story about a U.S. submarine hero of World War II, who was born and raised in Henry. It was frustrating research because there didn't seem to be much about the fellow, other than the standard Navy press releases and a page in the Naval Academy yearbook. At some point I Googled "henry il newspaper" and up came a listing for the "Digital Archives of the Henry Public Library." I clicked on that and up came a page listing the News-Republican. It was searchable by names and dates, so off I went.
After a couple of weeks of trolling I had printed out some 70 pages from issues beginning in 1901 and carrying up through 2012 (old fashioned, but easier to keep organized for old-school folks like me). There was lots of useful stuff about my subject, his family, his academic and naval career, and his relationship with Henry and its people.
In discovered that in 1974 the town held a memorial service for my submariner in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade. Here's a list of hits I got with the keyword "Parade":
And here is the front page of the July 3, 1974 Henry News-Republican, featuring info about the holiday events:
You can see right away that the camera was set to get good reproduction on the type, not the photos.
I'd never heard of Advantage Preservation, so Googled them. Turns out they're a company specializing in microfilm and digital archiving of all sorts of records for industry, education, governments, and local entities, like the Henry Public Library. They have preserved and uploaded 238 newspapers across the country, all available for free. Here's a map of the locations they've recorded:
Click on any of the flags and it will tell you the name of the specific place. Not surprisingly, most of the sites are for public libraries and historical societies. BTW - the flags are not clickable links.
So here's yet another online digital source for researchers of all subjects. Get to it and have fun.
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Disclaimer: The descriptions of web pages are accurate as of the date of the post. Like everything else in this digital world of ours, they can change in the blink of an eye.