The Dearborn Genealogical Society will be presenting a free program Thursday night, “Newspaper Digitizing Project Progress Report,” featuring speaker Jim Barringer.
The 7 p.m. program (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) will be at Cherry Hill Baptist Church, 1045 N. Gulley Road in Dearborn Heights (corner of Gulley Road and Wilson Drive, south of Ford Road). Barringer, one of the people on the Downriver Genealogical Society’s committee who are doing the type work on the project, will be reporting on the progress of preserving Wayne County newspapers, “but mostly Downriver newspapers,” said Tom Koselka, secretary and past president of the Dearborn Genealogical Society.
Barringer is one of two tech people working on the project, Koselka said, which the Downriver Genealogical Society is now undertaking because it already possesses copies received from most of the News-Herald newspapers.
“They’re looking to get rid of or dispose bound copies, because that’s one way of probably freeing up warehouse space,” Koselka said. “I’m not sure where the bound copies were previously stored, because there have been a couple ownership changes.”
So the Downriver Genealogical Society has developed a program to scan 60 years of newspapers from across the county, the Dearborn Genealogical Society noting “Each issue of any newspaper is more than just a collection of names, but also local history (good and bad),” adding that Barringer will provide a few short videos of the process at the March 26 program at Cherry Hill Baptist Church.
“I’ll find out with everyone else at the meeting, because I’ve seen a couple videos Jim has showed me on how they prepare for the project, but not any videos on the actual process,” Koselka said.
Koselka expects Barringer to discuss how the Downriver Genealogical Society has looked to address issues such as protecting the digitized files from on-line threats while still allowing the public access to them, as well as keeping the archives preserved through continual developments in technology.
“I think he’ll speak on their plans for that,” Koselka said. “Try to even find a CD-rom drive now, never mind a floppy disk.
“They had to do a lot of scanning, but fortunately most of the newspapers in Downriver are weekly or bi-weekly,” he said.
Whenever one of its speaking programs concludes, the Dearborn Genealogical Society will generally take a break for refreshments. During this time, Koselka added, the Dearborn Genealogical Society will also be taking reservations (costing $35 for society members, $40 for guests) for its upcoming April 21 trip to Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The two pickup points will take place that day at 7 a.m. at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center (at the southwest corner of Michigan Avenue and Greenfield Road), Koselka said, and 7:35 a.m. at the Park and Ride off the I-94 Exit 159 in Chelsea. The Ford Community & Performing Arts Center is located on the eastern edge of the city’s municipal complex (including the Dearborn Police Headquarters and 19th District Court, the Henry Ford Centennial Library, an athletic field and the Dearborn Administrative Center).
The center is on the south side of Michigan Avenue (U.S-12), generally across from Ford World Headquarters and just east of Exit 6 off the Southfield Freeway (M-39). The return to Dearborn will be expected about 10:30 p.m., Koselka said (arrival at Chelsea would be about 9:50 p.m.).
“We will do a full day of research,” he said. “The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana is probably has the second largest genealogical library collection in the country.
“Next after refreshments and taking reservations, that will be it aside from a short business meeting. We start at 7 p.m., and we’re generally out by 9 p.m.,” Koselka concluded.
Those wanting more information on Thursday night’s program, or wanting more information on the Dearborn Genealogical Society or its programs, are advised to call Koselka at (734) 729-7590, email the society at email@example.com, or Google the Dearborn Genealogical Society to visit its website.