Centenary Archives completes grant to digitize Louisiana United Methodist newspapers

Centenary archivist Chris Brown (left) and student worker Jo Bennett '22 (right).

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections has recently completed a grant-funded project to digitize and preserve its collection of Louisiana United Methodist newspapers: Louisiana Methodist (1949-1973), Louisiana United Methodist (1974-1999), and Louisiana Now (2000-2016). Over 23,000 pages are now available online where researchers can page through each newspaper volume, download complete PDFs, and search the full text versions. The project was funded by the Louisiana Conference Commission on Archives and History as well as a grant from the William C. Woolf Foundation.

“These newspapers help people explore many aspects of history – certainly Methodism, but also community news, education, travel, advertising, social customs, racial and ethnic relations, women’s activities, marriage announcements, obituaries, and more,” explains Chris Brown ’01 Centenary Archivist. “The printed newspapers document valuable information and photographs much like the news currently shared by Louisiana United Methodists through their social media accounts, online newsletters, and automated email lists.”

Centenary Archives student worker, Jo Bennett ‘22, helped prepare the newspapers for shipment to a digitization center and proof the online volumes for scanning errors. Bennett’s favorite part of the project involved “getting to read through newspapers from decades before I was born as well as newspapers dated after my birth. It was interesting to see what people talked about throughout history.”

Rev. James Graham, chair of the Commission on Archives and History for the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, also emphasizes the benefits of digitizing the newspapers. “We are preserving the past and preparing for the future as we make these resources more available to others,” says Graham.

To access the newspapers, visit centenary.edu/archives. In the Louisiana United Methodist Archives section, see the digital collections.

Since 1963, the Centenary Archives has served as the repository for the historic records of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. For more information about the project and the works that have been digitized, contact Centenary archivist Chris Brown at 318.869.5462 or archives@centenary.edu.

 

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