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Online access to Arlington newspapers from 1871-2005

Arlington Newspapers, 1871-2005Click to access >>

UPDATED April 11: Local-history research has become easier in Arlington. Thanks to a gift from local historian Richard A. Duffy to the Arlington Libraries Foundation, The Arlington Advocate and other Arlington newspapers dating from 1871-2005 have been digitized.

The Historical Arlington Newspapers online resource is available at robbinslibrary.org and includes searchable full-page scans complete with photos and vintage ads. Look through the archive here >>

Users can search by topic or browse by publication or date. Entire pages of the newspaper or individual images and articles are downloadable.

Local-history librarian Steven Prochet said in a April 4 news release: “People will be able to easily discover the life events of their loved ones, moments in Arlington history, and details related to homes and businesses in Arlington.” 

Those interested in learning more about how to access Historical Arlington Newspapers were invited to attend an in-person program, held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, in the Robbins Library Community Room. For more, click here >> 

For a quick overview of Historical Arlington Newspapers, see this Robbins Library YouTube video:

The library’s collection of historic newspapers includes The Advocate and The Arlington Daily News, as well as some short-lived local papers. Until now, microfilm was the only option for viewing them. Preserving the aging microfilm collection is another natural outcome of the digitization project.

Linda Dyndiuk, head of adult services, selected microfilm digitization company Advantage Archives to digitize 134 years of newspapers on 177 reels of microfilm.

“We looked for a vendor with deep experience not only in digitization, but also with a real commitment to building strong search features,” Dyndiuk said.  

Duffy, whose gift made the resource a reality, said: “I'm very excited that so much more of Arlington's history now can be explored from anywhere in the world. We've got keys to deeper learning about our town, and I'm sure that users will discover content that is both informative and entertaining.”

Arlington Libraries Foundation Chairman Patrick Hanlon added, “The foundation is honored to have the chance to support this project. Arlington's history is central to our understanding of the town's present. This resource will show us what happened, as it happened. It is a wonderful step forward."

Asked about the cost, Anna Litten, assistant library directory, responded April 5 that the digitization project came to $28,000 and that Duffy's gift to the Arlington Libraries Foundation, which was  $33,000, covered that cost in full. The grant for this project came from the foundation.

She said that Gannett, The Advocate's corporate owner, granted permission to digitize microfilm through 2005. "We do not know why they embargoed the other years," she wrote. 


This news announcement was published Tuesday, April 5, 2022. It was updated April 6, to correct the amiunt of the gift.

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