PI donates newspaper archives to libraries
Post Independent Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – As the Post Independent prepares to move its offices downtown, more than 110 years of newspaper archives owned by the paper are being donated to the Garfield County Public Library District.
“We have been storing the historical archives of Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Carbondale for decades. By donating these bound volumes to the libraries, they will be owned by the community and become more accessible to researchers,” said Jenna Weatherred, publisher of the Post Independent.
Three different sets of newspaper archives have been stored at the Post Independent building:
• The Glenwood Post, the Glenwood Independent and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (the two papers merged in 2000)
• The Rifle Telegram and the Rifle Reveille (the two papers merged in 1917), as well as more recent editions of The Citizen Telegram
• The (Roaring Fork) Valley Journal, a Carbondale weekly published from 1974 to 2008
The newspaper archives are bound together in big books, called bound volumes. They have been stored in an insulated interior room with no windows. In the nomenclature of journalism, such a collection of bound volumes is called “the morgue.”
From the late 1890s through the 1940s, each volume usually contained the whole year’s worth of newspapers. From the 1950s on, the year’s editions were split into several volumes. Currently, each bound volume of the Post Independent is just half of one month. That adds up to hundreds of volumes.
Over the coming weeks, the entire morgue for all three papers will be moved to the new Rifle Branch Library.
The Rifle Telegram and Rifle Reveille collection will be acceded into the Rifle Library’s public collection. A ground-floor room, where other valuable reference materials are already stored, will be the repository for this collection.
Once the librarians have a chance to organize the bound volumes, the collection will be available for research.
Meanwhile, the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale papers will be going into storage for a couple of years until the new libraries are built in those communities.
“The timing has been good for this donation. We will design the new libraries with storage areas to hold these collections,” said Amelia Shelley, the executive director of the Garfield Public Libraries.
Once the Carbondale and Glenwood Springs libraries are open, which is expected to be in 2013, those morgues will be moved back to their respective communities and will be available for public access and research, Shelley said. During the interim, access to the morgues may be possible through special appointment.
Most of the volumes are in good shape, with rigid bindings that will hold up to the move and stand tall on a library shelf.
But about 100 very old volumes of the Glenwood Springs and Rifle papers are in very fragile condition. On Shelley’s recommendation, the Post Independent has invested $1,000 in the purchase of special archival storage boxes.
Each of the fragile bound volumes will be packed into one of these boxes, which are made of heavy, acid-free paperboard with metal-reinforced corners.
In addition to donating the collection of bound volumes to the libraries, the Post Independent is dismantling two very large sets of wooden shelves and will rebuild them in an upstairs storage room at the Rifle Library. The shelves will hold the Glenwood Springs and Carbondale volumes over the next few years, and can then be used by the library district for other storage.
The Post Independent is moving to 824 Grand Ave. and will be open for business in the new location on Monday, Sept. 26.
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