lt may be a bit premature for a drum roll, but we are excited to tell you that Tekamah newspapers soon will be available online.
Advantage Preservation of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has already digitized Craig, Decatur, Lyons and Oakland papers. Each community funded its own project with grants or private donations. A few of our researchers have been asking when Burt County Museum will have Tekamah newspapers online. These would include Nebraska Advocate, the Burtonian, Tekamah Journal, Burt County Herald and Burt County Plaindealer.
We are the last to jump on this wagon, but we have 112 Tekamah microfilm reels to copy beginning with June 25, 1874, through Aug. 26, 2009. This is as far as the Nebraska Historical Society in Lincoln (now History Nebraska) has put on microfilm reels. It is going to take a chunk of change at $140 per microfilm roll for 112 rolls, plus other fees. The exact amount of the contract is $16,730.
A memorial gift from the Wayne Loftis Estate purchased our present microfilm reader and printer in 2001. The unspent portion has been in savings and will cover some of the digitizing project. We are grateful for donations already received for digitizing. People are good to us and we are sincerely thankful.
The microfilm has been a Godsend. If you only knew how many obituaries and other research from newspapers we (and our guests) have printed through the years. Hardly a day goes by the machine is not used. Many excited and satisfied researchers have thanked us for all the information we’ve provided for them. Oh, and did I mention our bulging files about people, advertisers, events, etc., that we have printed from microfilm?
Curator Bonnie Newell put together the dollar amount that has been spent for the reader, printer and 283 reels (includes all of Burt County) since 2001 which, rounded off, has been $20,000. It averages about $1,000 per year. This does not include maintenance contracts and toner. We do not want to hurt the fee lings of you dear folks who supported us in the past through memorials and donations to purchase this equipment. However, times are changing. Let us explain why we are digitizing.
We can no longer buy toner for the printer, and parts are hard to fmd for the film reader. Also, it is’ probably about time we should have our films checked by a preservation company. We have discussed the different possibilities and have decided this is less expensive in the long run, and is accessible free to everyone in and out of the county.
We are so very thankful that Mike Wood at Plaindealer Publishing I Lee Enterprises has granted us permission to produce digital copies of Lee papers, which are copyrighted. This means that anyone at home researching newspapers through the respective Advantage sites will have FREE ACCESS and will not need to use Newspapers.com and Publisher Plus for Burt County newspapers.
Advantage Preservation will not bill us until the project is completed - probably May. We don’t often ask for monetary contributions, but if some excited genealogists or history buffs are willing to contribute, we sure won~t turn them down. One roll covers two years of newspapers, more or less. Donors may cover part of a roll or a whole roll.
Let’s not confuse Advantage Preservation with Newspapers.com. They are different companies. The Advantage project covers through 2009 free. History Nebraska’s plan is to eventually get every town in Nebraska digitized on Newspapers.com through 2009. This will take a long time. Our present equipment will not make it much longer. Advantage will make us compatible with other Burt County towns in serving our communities for free.
Note: Please make sure that ne is part of Decatur and Oakland, as there are other states with that name with Advantage.
Coming soon: tekamah.advantage-preservation.com With your help we can make it. Burt County Museum * PO Box 125 Tekamah, NE 68061 * We are 501c3