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Digital Archive

May contain: text, newspaper, and person

Search online through 100+ years of local newspapers, yearbooks and other documents in the Digital Newspaper Archive. No library card required.

The Allerton Public Library District digital archives project began in late spring 2013 through a generous donation of $100,000 from the Robert Milligan Trust.

As copies of the local newspapers began becoming more and more fragile, the need to preserve them became quite apparent. The original Piatt County newspaper books were borrowed from the Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society to be scanned and “quick captured” to produce PDF files with optical character recognition (OCR) by H.F. Group’s Digital Conversion Solutions. Approximately 167 large, bound “newspaper books” (in various shapes and sizes) and a few misc. issues were shipped to the company in October 2013. These newspaper books and scans were returned in May 2014.

Allerton Public Library District staff began converting and optimizing these very large, scanned files to smaller, more manageable files for easier downloading and to alleviate compatibility issues with Adobe PDF Readers which most patrons will be using.

With the return of the newspaper books, the library then sent 175 reels of newspapers on microfilm to fill the gap years in the Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society’s collection.

In June 2014, the web development company, 2wav, began working to design a web interface page and file storage database, offering library patrons as well as site visitors the ability to search and download the digital archives files.

With the return of the newspapers on microfilm in August 2014, 128 yearbooks from Monticello and Cerro Gordo were sent to be scanned in September 2014.

In October 2014 library staff began uploading the files to the newly developed database server. The Digital Archives webpage ( went live at the end of October 2014. Additional newspaper files were optimized and loaded throughout the year 2015. By early 2016, all newspapers, yearbooks and oral history files were loaded and accessible to the public.

Please be aware that newspapers in the Digital Archive do not always contain all months in a particular year. Available items include:

  • Atwood 1911 ~ 1999
  • Bement 1876 ~ 1978, + yearbooks
  • Cerro Gordo 1908 ~ 1999, + yearbooks
  • Deland 1902 ~ 1975
  • Hammond 1904 ~ 1949
  • Mansfield 1916 ~ 1947, + yearbooks
  • Monticello 1865 ~ 1999, + yearbooks
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