Sentinel archives now online
By RENEE MICK
Have you ever wished you could search for articles in The Big Bend Sentinel from your home, or from wherever you are in the world? This is possible, at least for issues from the 1920s through 2004, thanks to Don Dowdey, dean of library and information technologies at the Brian Wildenthal Memorial Library on the Sul Ross State University Alpine campus.
Last fall, the Marfa Public Library was able to digitize issues of the Sentinel with funding from the City of Marfa, making it possible to search on the library computers. No more microfilm! That was a welcome improvement. Then Don Dowdey asked if we’d like for the files to be available online. Naturally, this was a welcome suggestion, so he took the steps to make that happen.
The Sul Ross library has a server used to store digital material to make available through their catalog or web site. With the help of the Office of Information Technology, space was set up on it for the papers.
They are in the process of preparing files and instructions so that papers can be searched in five-year batches. Due to technical issues, this cross-searching will only be available on designated computers at the Marfa Public Library and in the Archives of the Big Bend at the Sul Ross library.
All of these improvements make it so much more convenient to search our favorite newspaper. Take a look! Just go to our website at www.marfapubliclibrary.org and click on Research and Learning in the sidebar. While you’re there check out other great resources, such as TexShare Databases and the Portal to Texas History. You’ll also see Good Reads in the sidebar with links to recommended books.
We greatly appreciate Don’s generosity with his time and expertise. We hope to digitize later issues of the Sentinel, as funding becomes available.
Come see us at the library!
Renee Mick is the Marfa Public Library director.
Story filed under: West Texas Talk