KYL looks to expand county digital archives

An ongoing project to digitize historial Hamilton County publications recently reached a goal of hosting editions of The Daily Freeman-Journal from its creation to 1969.

Library Director Angie Martin-Schwarze said The Digital Archives of Hamilton County’s continued expansion of historical offerings has been made possible by donations. Thanks to a memorial fund for Susan Ptacek which saw 28 donations, Martin-Schwarze said editions of The Daily Freeman-Journal from 1970 to 1985 will be added over the summer.

The next goal for the archives will be to raise enough money to host editions of The Daily Freeman-Journal from 1985 to 2012. Martin-Schwarze said the cost to digitize those editions will cost about $7,600. People wishing to donate can do so by visiting the “support the library” section of the Kendall Young Library website at

Once The Daily Freeman-Journal is digitized through 2012, the library will consider adding several other publications to the website. Some newspapers, such as the Webster City Tribune, have all of their existing editions online. Others, such as the Jewell Record and Williams Wasp, have not yet been fully digitized.

The library is also looking at adding other types of historical materials to the archives. Martin-Schwarze said school yearbooks, scrapbooks of local history and historic photos are being considered. However, she said the library’s ability to obtain and digitize those items is currently uncertain.

“We’re just looking at our local history and genealogy materials to see what can be done and what would be best to put into this format,” Martin-Schwarze said.

Those items may be added as soon as next year, according to Martin-Schwarze.

To view the Digital Archives of Hamilton County online, go to