Newspaper Digitizing Project
In February 2018, the five libraries throughout Fillmore County came together to accomplish a major goal: to digitize all historical newspapers from Fillmore County, and have the full text searchable database available to the public by March 2021, in celebration of the county's 150th anniversary.
Approximately 280 unique rolls of microfilm had been identified to digitize, as well as two distinct sets of newspapers in fragile condition which have never been microfilmed. This covers newspapers dating back to 1872, and includes newspapers from Exeter, Fairmont, Geneva, Grafton, Milligan, Ohiowa, Shickley, and Strang.
The preliminary cost of the project is $36,200. The Fillmore County Libraries are asking for your help in reaching this goal. Please consider making a donation to this county history preservation project. All donations will be recognized on the library websites, in conjunction with the digital newspaper database. Donations are tax deductible within the extent of prevailing laws.
To make a donation of any amount, simply fill out the form available here, noting your preference for the publication and year you wish to have digitized. Checks should be made to the Geneva Public Library Foundation. Please mail your payment, along with a completed form, to any of the Fillmore County Libraries.
When enough funds have been generated to digitize the first, oldest set of newspapers, that link will be available here.
The Earl and Jessie Wilkins Fund, a donor-advised fund managed under the Fillmore County Foundation, has pledged to match all donations on a two-to-one basis, up to $24,000. Over the last few years, the Earl & Jessie Wilkins Fund has taken steps to enhance the lives of Fillmore County residents by awarding grants to various organizations. The advisory committee of the Fund and the Fillmore County Foundation believe digitizing the newspapers of Fillmore County will preserve historic artifacts that are central to the narrative of this area.
The Shickley Community Foundation has awarded the project $3,500. This grant request will fund the digitization of a large portion of microfilm, particularly the historical Shickley newspapers.