May 17, 2022

Debuts Friday: Digitization: "Ann Arbor Library Set to Publish 'Old News'"

From the Ann Arbor Chronicle:

On Friday, the public will get online access to 18,000 articles, 3,000 photos, and an index with over 160,000 names – the initial phase of a massive digitization of The Ann Arbor News archives being undertaken by the library.[Clip]

Andrew MacLaren – one of the librarians who’s been working on the project since the library took possession of the archives in January 2010– gave board members a brief preview of what AADL [Ann Arbor District Library] is unveiling at a reception on Friday. Called “Old News,” the online archives will initially feature items selected for digitization primarily by library staff, with a focus on the 1960s and ’70s, but with other eras included as well.


The digitization process is being handled by staff of the AADL’s information technology and production department, led by associate director Eli Neiburger. Each of the four librarians involved in the digitization devote half of their time to the project, working out of a windowless, climate-controlled office on Green Road – a set of rooms that formerly housed computer servers.


The archives also include older newspapers that AADL has acquired separately from The Ann Arbor News. That includes issues of the Ann Arbor Courier from 1880-1881 and 1883-1888; the Ann Arbor Argus from 1888-1889 and 1891-1898; and the Ann Arbor Argus-Democrat from 1898-1899. These issues have been digitized and will be part of the initial “Old News” launch. The library has previously digitized the full run of the Signal of Liberty – from 1841-1848 – and the first four months of the paper it became in 1848, Michigan Liberty Press.


In prioritizing the content to digitize, librarians who worked on the project selected topics they thought would be of historical value or of most interest to the public, based in part on research requests. There was also broader staff input – AADL employees could vote on which photos to digitize through a process that Neiburger calls the “Photomic Selecterizer” – a staff-only mode of the library’s online Points-O-Matic Click-O-Tron game.

Read the Complete Article (A Lot More Info)

See Also: AADL Blog Post

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.