Texas A&M University Libraries Announces Digitization Of The Battalion

The Texas A&M University Libraries are proud to announce their newspaper digitization project. The project is being kicked off by digitizing all issues of The Battalion held in the Libraries’ collections.

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This digitization project is a coordinated effort between the Texas A&M University Archivist, Greg Bailey, Assistant Professor at Cushing Memorial Library & Archives and both the Preservation and Digital Initiatives Units in the Libraries.

The decision to start the digitization project was driven by the high number of requests the Libraries receive to view back issues of The Battalion. These requests come from academic researchers as well as others looking for information about family and friends. However, the current condition of the newspapers is an issue. Having been created using inexpensive, acidic wood pulp, many copies are now fragile, torn, or have been bound using outdated methods.  The Preservation unit is taking this opportunity to preserve and conserve the newspapers before they are digitized. This will ensure that not only a complete digital record is created but also that the physical newspaper will continue to be available to researchers who desire to use the native artifact. Another advantage of digitizing the collection is that this resource will now be available to an audience beyond the boundaries of campus.

“We are digitizing them for not only access but also to take care of the physical collection in the process, making sure the physical newspapers are being preserved in the most appropriate way for the collection as a whole and for the type of material that they are made of,” said the Director of Preservation, Julie Mosbo.

Most of the work of digitizing the over 11,000 print issues in the collection has been completed by the Libraries’ own student workers and approximately 4,000 issues of The Battalion are currently available at newspaper.library.tamu.edu.

Updates to the site will be done periodically so that all digitized copies will be available in the near future.

The Battalion, which began in 1893, hasn’t been the only newspaper on campus. After work on The Battalion is complete, other campus publications such as The Texas Collegiate (1876-1880), The College Journal (1889-1893), The Daily Bulletin/Reveille(1916-1938) and the Little Battalion (1947-1951) will also be preserved and digitized as part of this project.

The digitization of the Texas A&M Newspaper Collection is funded through the generosity of the Class of 1949.  If you would like to help support this project or other digitization projects, please contact Adelle Hedleston ’88 at adelle-h@tamu.edu or 979-862-4574.

Although the Libraries have most copies of all the newspapers created at Texas A&M, some holes in our holdings do exist.  If you have copies of old TAMU newspapers and would like to donate them to help complete our holdings, we would greatly appreciate those contributions.  To donate, please contact Greg Bailey at gtbailey@library.tamu.edu or 979 458-7886.

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