The Library of Virginia, in cooperation with the Greene County Record and the Greene County Historical Society, is making progress in converting microfilm records of past editions into a searchable online database. To date, no such digital collection exists for the paper that has served the Greene County community for more than 110 years. Many decades of archived papers exist only in the Record office, and some years exist solely on microfilm in the local office or at the Library of Virginia. If anything were to happen to these crumbling books and pages, county history would be irreparably lost—but this effort hopes to change that.
Microfilm records of the earlier editions date from 1903 to the current time. The first batch of records to be processed will be from the earliest available to 1964. Though work will begin next week, it is unlikely that the process on this first batch will be completed prior to January 2022.
When the editions become available, they will be posted on the web site of The Virginia Chronicle (https://virginiachronicle.com). It is a historical archive of Virginia newspapers, providing free access to full-text searching and digitized images of more than a million newspaper pages. The ability to do full-text searching of past issues will greatly aid the Historical Society and the public in their efforts to document the history of our county.
“The preservation of our newspaper archive is the most important project I’ve undertaken, in my opinion, since becoming editor in August 2018,” said Terry Beigie, who prior to becoming editor served as a part-time reporter for the weekly newspaper. “The goal has been to digitize our collection into a searchable online database and to preserve the story of Greene County—at least from the early 1900s. Our newspaper is the first and only newspaper published specifically in Greene County.”
The newspaper began in August 1903 as the Greene County Register for two issues before becoming the Greene County Record at the request of readers. We have very, very precious few hard copies from the early years. The Greene County Record opened under a different publisher in 1914 and began publishing every Thursday. We have nearly all the issues from 1921 on—in terrible condition.
“We would like to thank the Greene County Historical Society for working with us and the Library of Virginia for the addition of the Record into its digitized database,” Beigie said.