Finding an article in The Allegany Citizen newspaper used to require scrolling through rolls of microfilm at the Allegany Public Library or the Allegany Area Historical Association.
Thanks to the digitalization of the historic newspaper, local historians and genealogists can research the now-defunct publication’s articles in the online archives of Allegany Public Library.
Nate Austin, director of the library, said The Allegany Citizen was printed between March 21, 1896, and Dec. 16, 1976, and carried news and articles from the town and village of Allegany. The newspaper was printed in a building across from the library on West Main Street.
“It was previously only available on microfilm, as the original newspaper was too frail to be handled by the public,” Austin said, noting original copies of the publication are stored in the village’s municipal building. “We are hoping that the digitalization of The Allegany Citizen will help genealogy researchers far and wide.”
Funding for converting the microfilm was provided through the historical association and the library’s Allegany Memorial Association, with the permission of Citizen Printing House, according to the library’s directeor.
Library officials had discussed converting the publication to digital form — at a reasonable price — a few years ago, Austin said. When a company came forward to undertake the project, the two organizations agreed to fund the process.
Many people have already accessed the online database, Austin said.
Francie Potter, president of the historical association, said digital availability of the historic publication is a win-win situation.
“When people want to trace their ancestors … instead of one of us having to dig it out (in microfilm) and send them copies, they can go directly online now,” she said. “This way, they can go online and not only find the obit they are looking for, but maybe it will lead them on to something else.”
The website can be accessed by visiting Allegany.org online and clicking on “History of Allegany,” which has a section for the historical association. The website can also be accessed at http://allegany.advantage-preservation.com/
(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at email@example.com)