Granite City Press-Record archives are available online

The Granite City Press-Record online archives are available free to the public through the Six Mile Regional Library District, starting with the 1960s. 

Because of behind-the-scenes work to ensure their readability, the newspapers will be uploaded one decade at a time. In a few weeks, the library will be ready to upload the 1970s. 

All issues published from Jan. 4, 1960, through Dec. 31, 1969, can be accessed at www.smrld.org/press-record/. IT and Facilities Manager Tallin Curran supervised this project. 

“Many of these issues from the 1960s have as many as 40 or 50 pages per issue,” he said. “A few have even more. It’s a great mix of local news and advertisements from local businesses that are gone but not forgotten, such as Tri-City Grocery, Carp’s, the Washington Theater, Fleishman’s, and many, many more.” 

The Granite City Press-Record was first published on April 22, 1903, as the Granite City Press. It ceased publication with the Dec. 26, 2012, issue as the Press-Record. For many years, the Granite City Press-Record was well-regarded as the place to find out what was happening through the announcements, news, and human interest stories about the people and places in Granite City, Pontoon Beach, Mitchell, Madison, and Venice. 

This multi-year project, undertaken by the Six Mile Regional Library District, actually began in 2012, when Lee Enterprises granted copyright permission to digitize and make the newspapers available online. Unfortunately, the costs for digitizing such a large project were prohibitive at that time. The real work began in 2019, when the library district signed an agreement with American Digital Memories in Oklahoma to have more than 369 reels of microfilm scanned and converted into electronic files. 

After many months of converting the microfilm reels into readable files was completed by ADM, it was time for library staff to begin the arduous job of sifting through the files checking for readability. Files are checked and rechecked for clarity; when adjustments are needed the library requests corrections from ADM. It generally takes library staff approximately 40 hours from receipt of the mega-files until a full decade is uploaded and ready to read online. 

“It’s been a dream of ours to make the Granite City Press-Record online archives available and we are thrilled that dream is finally reality,” Executive Director Tina Hubert said. “Keep watching for other decades to be uploaded in the future by liking or following the SMRLD Facebook page.” 

The library’s Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/smrld.org/

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