The Lincoln County News is seeking missing volumes from the archives of three newspapers from the late 1800s and early 1900s for a digitization project.
The Lincoln County News, in partnership with Skidompha Library, has embarked on an effort to digitize its archives and make them available to the public.
The LCN archives from 1942-2007 are available only in hard copy and only at the LCN office in Newcastle.
The LCN has a digital archive from 2008 to the present, although only editions from mid-2016 to the present are readily available to the public at lcnme.com.
The LCN archives prior to 1942 exist only in hard copy at the Lincoln County Courthouse.
A July 1943 fire at the LCN office, then at the corner of Main and Water streets in Damariscotta, destroyed the newspaper’s own pre-1942 archives.
The county stores the archives in a climate-controlled room, but little to no public access is possible due to their fragile condition.
The LCN and Skidompha wish to digitize the archives to preserve these historical documents and to make them accessible for research purposes.
“The Lincoln County News and the Roberts family are grateful to the county for its stewardship of the newspaper’s archives, without which the early editions might have been lost forever,” LCN Publisher Christopher A. Roberts said.
“Now it is time for us to ensure their permanent preservation and restore their usefulness as a resource for the community,” Roberts said. “We are grateful to Skidompha for its willingness to help make this project possible.”
The library has obtained an estimate from a firm that specializes in the digitization of old newspapers and is working to secure funding for the project.
After the digitization, the LCN and Skidompha Library plan to make the archives available in three ways: to LCN subscribers on lcnme.com, to library members through the library website, and to anyone who visits the library on the library’s computers.
The archives project also seeks to preserve the archives of four related newspapers: The Lincoln County News – an earlier, Waldoboro-based newspaper with the same name; two newspapers that were merged and renamed to create what is now The Lincoln County News – the Sheepscot Echo and Village Herald; and the Waldoboro Press, which The Lincoln County News bought in 1967 and merged with the LCN the following year.
Some volumes of the Echo, the Herald, and the Waldoboro-based Lincoln County News are missing from the archives at both the courthouse and the newspaper’s office.
The Lincoln County News encourages anyone with a collection of old newspapers to look for these volumes and consider donating them to allow for the most complete digital archive possible.
The missing volumes are as follows:
The Sheepscot Echo, 1891-1903, 1906, 1909, 1912, and 1916-1918. The 1906 editions might have been published under the name Sheepscot Echo and Medomak Valley News.
The Lincoln County News (Waldoboro): 1876, 1878, 1906.
The Village Herald: 1877.
For more information or to donate missing volumes, contact LCN Editor J.W. Oliver at 563-3171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LCN will not accept duplicate volumes.