Microfilm Reader Available

Did you know that we hold a treasure trove of newspapers on microfilm, dating all the way back to 1883 from Valentine, NE?

“Wait a minute, you still use microfilm? Aren’t all newspapers digitized these days?”

This is a question we often hear, and it’s a valid one. In an era dominated by the Internet, where information is at our fingertips with just a few clicks, the assumption is that everything has been digitized. However, the reality is a bit more nuanced.

The high costs associated with digitization, coupled with the labor-intensive process of indexing and scanning newspapers, means that most historical newspapers and documents remain accessible primarily in one format: microfilm. Surprisingly, microfilm has proven to be an incredibly resilient and effective medium for preserving and viewing the written word, and it’s likely to stay with us for many more years.

Our collection boasts 134 microfilm reels of newspapers spanning Cherry County’s history from 1883. If you have your own 16mm, 35mm, microfiche negative and positive, or aperture card, you’re welcome to bring it in for viewing. Once you’ve found the information you need, you can print, scan, or save it to your own flash drive (please bring your own, as we don’t provide them at the library).

If you’re unfamiliar with how to use a microfilm reader, don’t worry—the VPL staff is more than happy to guide you through the basics. It’s much simpler than you might think!

For a seamless experience, we recommend giving the library a call before your visit to ensure that we can access the specific reel you’re looking for (as meeting room conflicts may affect availability).

Here are a few papers and dates available:

Cherry County Newspaper (Valentine, NE) from Dec 8, 1892-Jan 31, 1957.

The Cody Cowboy (Cody, NE) from Dec 6, 1900-June 10, 1927

The Cody Roundup (Cody, NE) from May 28, 1936-Oct 28, 1943

The Crookston Herald Messenger (Crookston, NE) from Sept 26, 1913-July 1, 1921

The Democratic Blade (Valentine, NE) Sept 18, 1885-Sept 7, 1888

The Merriman Maverick (Merriman, NE) Mar 25, 1910-Dec 28, 1928

The Nebraska News (Elsmere, NE) Oct 4, 1912-Mar 8, 1917

The Republican Reporter (Valentine, NE) May 3, 1883-Apr 3, 1884

The Searchlight (Valentine, NE) Sept 19, 1913-Nov 8, 1918

The Stockman (Wood Lake, NE) Aug 4, 1911-Dec 26, 1941

The Valentine Newspaper (Valentine, NE) Apr 13, 1888-Dec 30, 1987

We also have bound copies of the Valentine Midlands News available dating back to 1998.

Come visit the Valentine Public Library to explore this unique historical resource—it’s an opportunity to connect with the past that you won’t want to miss!