Library hosts open house in honor of digitization of Daily Kent Stater

Taylor Rollins

The library hosted an open house showcasing the Daily Kent Stater’s digital archive on Friday, providing guests with the opportunity to experience the publication throughout its history.

The Daily Kent Stater digital archive is an ongoing project run by the library’s special collections and archives department.

“It’s a pretty intensive project so we just decided to go a decade at a time,” said Cara Gilgenbach, head of special collections and archives.

So far, the library has digitized the Daily Kent Stater from 1959-1969, and aims to eventually digitize the entire collection.

“We’re starting pretty slowly,” Gilgenbach said. “It takes a lot of resources, both staff time and money to get the newspapers into digital form. It costs about $25,000 a decade just for the digital work. That doesn’t include my own staff time to prepare everything.”

The value of the project will extend to anyone who chooses to access the digital version of the Daily Kent Stater.

“In special collections and archives, we’ve archived the paper-based volumes of the Stater for a really long time,” Gilgenbach said.

The move to a digital archive will allow students to access the Stater anywhere, anytime without having to dig through endless paper copies of the newspaper. It will also save the fragile print copies from being worn out and destroyed with time, Gilgenbach said.

The open house featured a running slideshow of images from the paper that had been scanned as well as a physical display of reproductions of front pages and articles. Staff members were available to demo the site.

“The searching software that we’re using for them makes them keyword-searchable down to every word including the ads,” Gilgenbach said.

The special collections and archives department is accepting donations for this project. The event was scheduled during Homecoming weekend to cater to alumni who may have attended Kent State during the ’60s.

“Alumni of those decades being digitized, I would think, would have a natural interest in revisiting,” Stater advisor Mitch McKenney said. “These have the pulse from another era.”

The special collections and archives department expects to complete a decade every one to two years, depending on the level of financial support and resources they receive. Gilgenbach said the department is currently in the process of digitizing the ’40s, and they plan to digitize the seventies next. The project is expected to take about 10 years to complete in its entirety.

Contact Taylor Rollins at [email protected].