Log In

Reset Password
  • MENU
    Local Columns
    Saturday, July 13, 2024

    142 years of The Day now available on Newspapers.com

    Hardcore history and genealogy researchers discovered quickly that The Day’s entire archive, dating back to 1881, became available online recently through newspapers.com.

    We’re here to tell the rest of you what it’s all about since you may want to find past news and sports articles, birth and marriage announcements, obituaries or real estate transactions.

    Over the past several months, we provided the Utah-based company Newspapers.com, an affiliate of Ancestry.com, with microfilm that they digitized using a special process. We’re thrilled to announce our entire archive, including news, sports, birth and marriage announcements and obituaries is now at your fingertips.

    “We've been searching for a way to digitize our archives for about a decade,” said The Day Publisher and President Timothy Dwyer. “We had a deal with Google to do it, but Google abandoned the project about halfway through. So, we are thrilled to partner with newspapers.com and make every story ever printed in The Day newspaper available to the public. It is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the history of the region, their family and almost anything else that has been documented in our news pages.”

    You can try it for free by going to the site, at https://theday.newspapers.com/?xid=5837 from our home page. If you decide to subscribe, it’s $7.95 a month and gives you access to the archives of more than 24,000 newspapers from the United States and beyond.

    We love newsprint, but it’s a relief to have our archive preserved this way, and newspapers.com will provide us a small, but much-needed, new stream of revenue.

    John Ruddy, our copy desk chief and accomplished history writer, was the most frequent and proficient user of our print and microfilm archives, but he gave newspapers.com a good review after using it to research his recent story on the location of New London’s Fort Nonsense for CuriousCT, our series of reader-generated stories.

    “The ability to do keyword searches that covered our entire archive was what made the difference in how I researched Fort Nonsense,” Ruddy wrote in an email. “Stories turned up that I had no other way to find. And searching the words "Fort Nonsense" was only the beginning. The initial stories I found held clues that allowed me to home in on the likeliest location and then use other keywords to trace the history of that property through different owners. I also used other sources, but without those searches, my story would have been much less detailed, and I would have been less comfortable drawing a tentative conclusion about where the fort stood.”

    New London’s Nicole Thomas, one of the previously mentioned hardcore local history and family genealogy researchers, said she has to limit herself to when she uses newspapers.com because she loves it so much.

    The service is helping Thomas, assistant site administrator for the southeast region of Connecticut Landmarks and an interpreter at the Hempstead Houses, with a number of projects, including the next leg of the city’s Black Heritage Trail, the history of Adam Jackson, who was enslaved for 30 years at the Hempstead Houses, and her own family genealogy.

    Thomas said she was already a member of Ancestry.com, but having The Day’s archive available at her fingertips now is “gold.” Lately, she has shared several “new” discoveries from The Day archives to her Facebook friends and fellow historians.

    Give it a try and let us know what you think.

    This is the opinion of Karen Florin, managing editor. Reach her at k.florin@theday.com or (860) 701-4217.

    Comment threads are monitored for 48 hours after publication and then closed.