Digitizing Our Local Newspapers

Newspapers provide readers and researchers with incredible information on events, people, places, attitudes

Example of fragile newspapers

and opinions from the far to the recent past. The Society houses hard copies of local papers from the 19th and 20th centuries, but they are in fragile condition. Starting forty years ago the papers were scanned and the content saved as microfilm. This microfilm is available at the Rockville Library and can be read on a microfilm reader. As our society moves into the digital age, we are converting microfilm into digital files that can be made available to everyone anytime from an online hosting source.

Local papers selected for digitization:

Tolland County Journal  1867-1884
Rockville Journal   1885-1899 and 1911-1968
Rockville Leader  1902, 1908, 1910, 1919-1964
Tri-Town Reporter  1973-1984

VHS has employed professional archivist Nicole Besseghir as project manager to help guide us through the digitization process and facilitate work on  the project. She has extensive experience in both historic newspaper digitization and working with local history collections. Nicole will manage the project on VHS’s behalf, which includes advising the VHS director and newspaper committee on project steps and decisions, project planning, coordinating and communicating with vendors, preparing materials for digitization, working on quality review of the digital files and preparing them for upload to the database.

Benefits of Newspaper Digitization

  • The Tolland County area is underrepresented in the digitized newspapers that are currently available online. This project will bring more than 100 years of Tolland County newspapers and history online for the first time.
  • Making historic newspapers available digitally vastly expands their accessibility, usability, and findability especially with functions to search for names of people and events over periods of time.
  • Digitizing and viewing the newspapers on the computers also makes them easier to read than on microfilm and in print, since the computer allows users to zoom and to better view the content.
  • A wider range of audiences will be able to access and utilize the historic newspapers once they are digitized and online.
  • The ability for the newspapers to be used in classrooms and in schoolwork will allow educators to incorporate them into their teaching and classroom activities.
  • Now other cultural heritage institutions will be able to make use of the papers for their own work.

Our Hosting Site

Once digitized and reviewed, the newspapers will be loaded into an online database, the Connecticut Digital Archive (CDTA), where they can be viewed and searched by anyone. They can be found by utilizing an internet search engine and by directly visiting the database.

CTDA is operated and maintained by the University of Connecticut as part of their Digital Preservation Repository Program. The database was created over a decade ago and the CTDA team continues to improve and meticulously manage the database and serve its members.

Visit the Connecticut Digital Archive https://ctdigitalarchive.org/

Project Fund Raising

To complete this project, we must raise $25,000. We have applied for a grant from a local bank foundation. However, we will need additional funds to reach our goal.

Ways to Donate

   Directions to donate by PayPal

To donate by mail, please send a check to the Vernon Historical Society, PO Box 2055, Vernon, CT 06066. Please write Newspaper Project on the memo line of the check


If we are fortunate to receive donations in excess of the needed amount, we will establish a designated account to complete the digitization of other documents from our collection.

Many thanks for helping us to bring our local history into the 21st century!