Tag Archives: historic newspapers

New Exhibit! Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont & the Nation

The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project is proud to announce the opening of a new exhibit at the Bailey/Howe Library lobby on the University of Vermont campus (where VTDNP is headquartered): Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont & the Nation.

Click to enlarge.

The UVM Libraries summer exhibit looks at the rise of bicycling in America from 1870 to 1920. Newspapers contributed to the nation’s bicycle mania with articles, advertisements, and announcements for cycling events. Stories about health effects (good and bad), adventurous cyclists, cycling etiquette, bicycles and the modern woman, and the need for better roads were common. Advertisements promoted bicycle sales and repair shops, touring opportunities, and sporting events.

The Appeal., June 19, 1897, Page 2

“Cycling through the News” was curated by the staff of the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project. Karyn Norwood, digital support specialist, searched Chronicling America, the national newspaper database of the Library of Congress, to find an amazing collection of materials on all aspects of the bicycling phenomenon that swept the country. The exhibit includes period photographs, advertising and brochures, as well as artifacts. Glenn Eames and Burlington’s Old Spokes Home generously loaned lamps, bells, a flask, a brass horn and other items.

The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, runs until August 26, 2015.

Essex County herald., June 23, 1899, Image 1
Wheelmen (and women!) played a critical role in advocating for improved road conditions, as part of the Good Roads Movement in the United States at the turn of the century. Essex County herald., June 23, 1899, Page 1

Stay tuned for additional news on upcoming related events and exhibits!


Recap: Dynamic Landscapes Conference 2015


Last week, the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project staff had the opportunity to present to over twenty teachers, librarians, administrators, and technology specialists at the Dynamic Landscapes: Do, Make and Create Conference, hosted on Champlain College’s scenic campus on May 21, 2015.

Project Librarian Erenst Anip introducing Chronicling America to educators.

During our talk, we touched upon how to use Chronicling America, what kinds of resources are out there for educators, and also gave some examples of lessons using the Common Core standards.

Teachers were especially excited about the idea of performing local history research with students using the newspapers. One instructor, while testing out Chronicling America during our talk, found some amazing articles on the Lane Manufacturing Company in Montpelier, Vermont, in the Vermont Watchman–a company that he and his students had been researching.  By just doing a simple search, he found a number of relevant articles on the company and its history, which was great to see!

lane manufatucturing co
Image of the factory complex from an entire page of information regarding the company from The Vermont watchman., August 07, 1901.

VTDNP is grateful for having had the opportunity to present at this dynamic and high-energy conference! Thanks to Vita-Learn and the Vermont School Librarian Association and the VT Agency of Education for co-sponsoring this event.

Karyn Norwood, digital support specialist, shows teachers how to use Chronicling America. Photograph by Erenst Anip.

In case you missed it, view and download the presentation below:


Visit our resources tab for Educators!

Here Comes the Monitor!

Prospectus for a new Orleans County, Vermont weekly paper.

In 1871, Barton, Vermont abruptly lost its weekly newspaper, the Orleans Independent Standard, leaving the southern part of Orleans County without a local paper. Printer Ellery H. Webster came to the rescue and started the Orleans County Monitor in 1872. A Civil War veteran, Webster named the paper after the Union iron-clad
warship, the USS Monitor.

Webster promoted his new paper with a drawing of the Monitor steaming up Crystal Lake toward Barton village. A large, cheering crowd  on the lake shore is welcoming the vessel, which will reach, as a pennant on the prow proclaims, “Barton and all points north, east, west and south.”

The image is framed with information about the paper at the top and invitations to subscribers and advertisers on the sides. Below the drawing, there is a short poem that is both a patriotic tribute to  the ironclad warship–“and saves the blue-coats from the grave”–and  a sales pitch to subscribers–“tis dollars, two, per year.”

HURRAH, she comes! The MONITOR.
“A cheese-box on a raft:”
We’re all right boys! of course we are,
With such an iron craft.

She comes around the corner, too,
Just in the nick of time,
And saves the “blue-coats” from a grave
Beneath the ocean’s brine.

The flag is there, that good old flag.
The stars and stripes so dear!
We’ll get on board and sign our names,
Tis dollars, two, per year.

Webster, Ellery H. Ellery H. Webster about the time he started the Orleans County Monitor. Dan Taylor Collection.
Ellery Webster about the time he started the Orleans County Monitor. Dan Taylor Collection.

Webster began his Civil War service with the 11th Vermont Infantry in 1862 when he was 19 years old. In June 1864, he was captured at Weldon Railroad in Virginia along with over 400 other Vermont soldiers. He spent six months in four Confederate prisons, including Andersonville. Webster wrote a series of articles about his military experience for the Orleans Independent Standard in 1865 and for the Monitor in 1899 and 1900. Vermont’s Northland Journal published excerpts from Webster’s memoirs in Dan Taylor’s 2010 article, “Ellery Webster, Union POW.”

Issues of the Monitor from 1872-1912 are available on Chronicling America now; issues from 1913-1922 will be added during the
current phase of the Vermont Digital Newspaper project.

Contributed by Prudence Doherty, Public Services Librarian,
UVM Special Collections

Announcing our Phase III Titles

We are pleased to announce our Phase III newspaper titles:

  • Orleans County Monitor (1913-1922)*

    The Semi-weekly Brattleboro Reformer was published between 1897 and 1901.
  • Rutland Weekly Herald  (1861-1873)*
  • Brattleboro Reformer family (1879-1922)
  • Londonderry Sifter (1884-1921)
  • Manchester Journal (1861-1922)
  • Herald and News (1888-1910) (West Randolph, Orange County)
  • Barre Daily Times (1903-1922)
  • Bellows Falls Times (1856-1903)

*- indicates a continuation of a previously digitized title run

The above titles will add at least another 100,000 pages of Vermont newspapers to Chronicling America; this work will be completed by the middle of summer 2016. By the end of this phase, an estimated total of 370,000 pages and 73 titles from Vermont newspapers will be available online, for free, and searchable worldwide.

The Bellows Falls Times was published between 1856 and 1903.

This remarkable amount of Vermont historic newspapers online would not be possible without the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress and our state partners: Ilsley Public Library, Vermont Historical Society, Vermont Department of Libraries, and the University of Vermont. We are indebted, too, to those involved in our Advisory Council and Project Management Group.

Some sneak peak article clippings from our Phase III titles:

From the News and Herald, January 18, 1917


brattleborodailyreformersafetyfirst trolley
From the Brattleboro Daily Reformer, January 14, 1915


We’ll be at the Dynamic Landscapes K-12 Edtech Conference, Will You?

We’re excited to be leading a workshop at the annual Vermont K-12 Edtech Conference at Champlain College in Burlington on May 21st and 22nd! This year’s theme is Dynamic Landscapes: Do, Make, and Create! The two-day conference is sponsored by VITA-Learn, the VSLA (Vermont State Library Association) and the VT AOE (Agency of Education), and is open to Vermont teachers, librarians, administrators, and tech specialists in K-12 schools.

We’ll be speaking on how to use historic newspaper content from Chronicling America in the classroom on Thursday, May 21st at 11 am (D1 Thursday Session 2A). To learn more about our talk and sign-up for our session (if you’re already registered), visit the session website.

For information on the conference and how to register, visit the Dynamic Landscapes website. Hope to see you there!



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