McGregor Historical Museum working to digitize North Iowa Times

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The McGregor Historical Museum is working to digitize the North Iowa Times, making archives of the state’s third oldest weekly newspaper available online. 

The goal, said museum director Diane Malcom, is to preserve a digital record of the North Iowa Times for the community, library, museum and all members of the historical society. 

“People will have the ability to trace their ancestors, not only in McGregor, but as families migrated from town to town in Clayton County,” Malcom said. 

By typing in family and business names, events and other key words, people will be able to access any newspapers containing those terms, dating back to the paper’s inception in October 1856—all from their home computer, tablet or smartphone. 

The museum currently houses the North Iowa Times archives, and the McGregor Public Library offers most old editions on microfilm, but searching for information can be difficult. 

A link to the newspaper’s digitized records will be accessible from the McGregor Historical Museum’s recently-updated website, mcgregormuseum.org. 

Malcom said digitization is a roughly $10,000 project, and the museum is currently writing for grant support from the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation. The Clayton County Genealogical Society has also lent both promotional and monetary support for the project. 

“We have a good start,” Malcom noted. 

More support is always appreciated, though. If you would like to contribute, donations can be sent to the McGregor Historical Museum at P.O. Box 426, McGregor, IA 52157. People are also welcome to stop by the museum at 256 Main St., on Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m., now through the end of October. Donations are tax exempt. 

McGregor isn’t the only community whose newspaper archives have yet to be digitized. The Clayton County Genealogical Society is currently working to digitize newspapers from Edgewood, Volga and Strawberry Point, as well. 

Newspaper collections from Elkader, Guttenberg, Garnavillo and Monona have already been digitized and are available online due to the generosity of interested donors.

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