Old newspapers have been digitized

We are happy to announce that the early years of the New Port Richey Press, our local weekly newspaper, have been digitized.

This is important because it ensures the long-term survival of these newspapers, as the files will be widely distributed.

The scanning of the microfilm was done by MicroImaging Source Inc. of Dunedin. The microfilm, created in 1986, has all of the surviving newspapers from 1918 to 1947.

The files will be placed on both computers at the museum for viewing by the public. In the future we plan to offer the images on a USB flash drive for a small fee. The newspapers are not currently searchable, but are arranged by date.

The Port Richey Press was founded on Nov. 21, 1918. The name of the newspaper was changed to the New Port Richey Press two years later. The newspaper eventually became the West Pasco Press and declined in influence before becoming absorbed by the Tampa Tribune.

Some issues of the newspaper are presumed lost, including all of 1932 and 1933 and the second half of 1921. So if you happen to have one of those newspapers, please let us know! There is a missing newspaper from January 1930 that probably had a banner headline announcing that Gloria Swanson would be visiting New Port Richey. It’s understandable why the newspaper is missing. Her trip to New Port Richey never took place.

The New Port Richey Public Library is looking into the possibility of digitizing the later issues of the New Port Richey Press, which they have in the Avery Room, along with some years of the Hudson Chronicle, West Pasco Chronicle, and The Good News. It would be a more expensive project, as the scanning would require manual turning of the pages of bound volumes of the newspapers, whereas scanning the microfilm was a mostly automated procedure. If the library’s newspapers are digitized, it’s likely that the historical society’s newspapers and the library newspapers would be put on line.