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Old News is the Best News

by Christine L Hayes - 0 Comment(s)

I love old newspapers. I could sit reading them for days on end (or at least until I get a microfilm headache). Most genealogists know that newspaper announcements can be a fabulous source for obituaries and other event announcements. They often include details that can’t easily be found in other sources. My problem, when I am looking for these announcements, is that I’m distracted by all the other stuff that newspapers offer. There is nothing better for gauging the tenor of the times in which our ancestors lived than a read through the daily (or weekly) paper. For example, I found this in The Eye Opener as I was researching popular response to Alberta becoming a province:

“Parting with the Territories is not sweet sorrow. It is a joy that has been adulterated with too much Edmonton.” Plus ça change…

And on the bottom of the same page:

“The N.W.M.P. authorities have finally closed all the maisons de diablerie a travers le pont de Langevin. C’est dommage, as the feller says.” (The Eye Opener 2 Sept. 1905: 1)

Calgary Public Library has lots of old newspapers in its collection. In addition to a complete run of the Calgary Herald, CPL holds microfilm copies of the Strathmore Standard, The Edmonton Bulletin, The Fort Macleod Gazette, The Calgary News Telegram and The Cardston News, just to name a few. The Alberta Heritage Digitization Project has made many Alberta newspapers available online. I visit their site at www.ourfutureourpast.ca regularly to get my newspaper fix. We can also request newspapers that we don’t have in our collection through our interlibrary loan service. Ask us if you are looking for a local newspaper for your ancestor’s hometown.

PC 765

Herald Building, built 1913

Postcards from the Past, PC 765

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