UMR library brings 19th-century news to the web

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On November 18, 2005

Newspapers from as far back as the Civil War era have gone digital, thanks to a $12,028 grant to the University of Missouri-Rolla’s Curtis Laws Wilson Library.

The grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services, through the Missouri State Library, allowed the UMR library to digitize several selected newspaper volumes from the 19th century. Newspapers selected include issues of “Phelps County New Era” from 1875-1878, “New Era” from 1878-1897, and “Rolla Express” from 1860-1863.

Since its founding in the 1870s, the UMR library has collected several Phelps County area newspapers. Digitization preserves these volumes by reducing handling and allows readers to access the newspapers over the Internet. These newspapers also offer reprinted news from newspapers in surrounding counties, providing a historical overview of the entire region.

Digitized volumes are available on the Historic Missouri Newspaper Project at This project is part of a larger listing of digitized collections that can be found online at For more information on the project, contact the Curtis Laws Wilson Library’s reference desk at or call (573) 341-4007.

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On November 18, 2005. Posted in News