Chattanooga’s Historical Newspapers To Be Made Accessible Online, Moon, Hall Say

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Chattanooga history advocates David Moon of Picnooga and Sam Hall of Deepzoomchattanooga.com said they are planning to make over 6,000 pages of Chattanooga’s historical newspapers searchable online as a free, open resource to benefit researchers, students, genealogists, and the general public. 

Mr. Moon said, "One of the most valuable historical assets is local newspapers, which have been available on microfilm at public libraries for decades.
  But the old process of accessing newspapers on microfilm is extremely time-consuming and tedious, requiring points of reference and manual searching. Because of these obstacles, wel believe that Chattanooga’s papers remain largely inaccessible to a wider audience.  We both have been proactively working to find affordable and sustainable options to bring newspapers online over the past four years.    Digitalization can produce accurate keyword search results from tens of thousands of indexed pages within seconds.

"In 2016, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) provided selected reels of Chattanooga newspapers on microfilm from their collection to be digitized via a 3rd party partner and coordinated by Sam Hall.

"The resulting 6,000+ digitized pages are just the beginning and will be accessible online at chattanooganewspapers.org.  The content is from multiple publications that date from as early as 1854 through 1907."

Mr. Moon said, “We've found an affordable, scalable, and user-friendly solution to make the papers available online.  Within a year, we want to include more content to give users a wider selection of titles and dates to search from.

"Access is extremely important—anyone with a computer and internet access can connect and search the archive anytime, eliminating the physical barriers of the Public Library, or any library with microfilm copies of Chattanooga newspapers titles within their collections."

David Moon and Sam Hall said they are passionate "that there’s a great value in providing this information free to the public. We also hope it will create a heightened interest in local history beyond Chattanooga. " 

Mr. Hall said he is very optimistic. “A very attainable goal of $1,500 will allow this first batch to go online. We’re hoping this will generate interest and funding to continue the process for hundreds of additional reels to be digitized and placed in the collection.”

Mr. Moon and Mr. Hall said they are looking for investors "who can see the long-term positive value of local digitized newspapers. They hope to attract local organizations and companies to help fund this initial start.  But there is also an opportunity for individuals to contribute.  All contributor names will be added to the completed website."

Donation levels will include $50 for individual donors or "Friends."  $250 for "Sponsors" and $500 for "Partners."  Money raised in excess of $1,500 will go to future digital newspaper content.  

Visit ChattanoogaNewspapers.org to donate.

Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Meets Nov. 6

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. on  Tuesday, Nov. 6 , at the Signal Mountain Public Library.  The speaker for the day will be Linda Mines, a well-known historian within the Chattanooga area and the official historian for Chattanooga and Hamilton County.  She is the First Vice-Regent of the Chief John Ross Chapter of the Daughters ... (click for more)

What Was That Stone Arch Halfway Up Lookout Mountain?

As a child in the early- to mid-70s the majority of our summer vacations were to Tennessee - a stop in Chattanooga then on to Gatlinburg.  We always visited the Incline, Ruby Falls and Rock City.    On the way up Lookout Mountain, I’m not sure of the road, there was a stone/cement type monument along the roadway with what looked to be a tongue sticking out ... (click for more)

Charles Pipkens Arrested In Series Of Violent Home Invasions

Chattanooga Police have arrested Charles Dijon Pipkens as one of the suspects in a series of violent home invasions. Pipkens, 27, of 434 N. Hickory St., is charged with two counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, unlawfully carrying a weapon, use of a weapon during the commission of a felony, and criminal impersonation. Police ... (click for more)

County Schools To Push Forward With Equity Effort; Magnet Schools To Get More Diversity With Lottery Change

The county schools will push forward with an equity effort that appeared to have been paused after board members Rhonda Thurman and Joe Smith in May said  they rejected the idea that county schools need to “racially and economically integrate.” An equity task force did not meet for several months and the schools did not move forward on hiring an outside consultant to help ... (click for more)

Drink Up, Chattanooga

I attended the meeting to discuss the placement of the sewage treatment plant at the Cambridge Center in Ooltewah today. My problem with the meeting (aka) dog and pony show, is that the meeting started out with the agenda of the Ooltewah Community Council.  After living in this area for 45+ years I have never heard of this group.  I would like for someone to answer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lee In A Landslide

The first time I met Bill Lee, the guy who is triggering a huge turnout of Tennessee voters across the state, I instantly liked him, admired him, and must have told a dozen friends that day we have the most exciting guy going to the Governor’s Mansion we’ve ever had. The best reason is because Bill Lee is real. His opponent, Karl Dean, is a Democrat and a longtime politician. Go ... (click for more)