Newspapers from Athens Georgia

The Digital Library of Georgia announced last week the addition of the Athens Historic Newspapers Archive, which consists of five newspaper titles published in Athens from 1827 to 1922. The collection has over 57,000 pages and is available at

You will need the DjVu plugin to view the site. You can browse by title/year or do a keyword search. I did a full search for Carriage and got 8570 results. Results included name and date on the paper and how many matches for your keyword were on a full page.

Click on the result and you’ll get the full page for browsing, but if you don’t have the DjVu plugin you won’t be able to see anything, so make sure you get that before you start your search!

The Digital Library of Georgia has several great newspaper collections. You can get a rundown of what’s available at

Movie Theaters in North Carolina 1896-1930: The Digital Archive

UNC Libraries had a blog post earlier this month about a new exhibit. “Going to the Show” covers information on moviegoing in over 1300 North Carolina venues from 1896 to about 1930. It’s available at

You can do a keyword search, but I found browsing the maps to be more interesting. You can look at a list of cities or browse an interactive map.

There isn’t a Mayberry in North Carolina to look up, so I took a look at Charlotte, which had six overlay maps available, from 1885 to 1911. I chose the 1911 map. You can specify what kind of information you want to see on the map, including locations of theaters and whether or not they were active in the year you’re viewing. In this case I chose to look at theaters active in 1911 and found over a dozen active in Charlotte.

Click on a ticket icon and you’ll get the basic information about the theater (name and address) and if you click on the More Information link, you’ll get a page of data, including who the theater served (African-Americans, Caucasians), performance type (all I saw were movies) and associated people. Sometimes there are additional notes about the operation of the theater.

There are additional pointers to more theater information — sometimes city directories are listed but most of the information comes from newspapers. The newspapers are presented in full-page format with the relevant theater part highlighted. I like that the whole paper is left as one page but keep getting distracted by the other advertisements — ooh look! A sale on straw hats!

As our consumption of media changes almost, it seems, day by day, it’s fascinating to go back and look at the very early days of movies and movie theaters. I am old enough to remember newspapers with pages and pages of large movie ads. It makes me wonder if in 100 years those will look as quaint as — hey! Allan’s Magnetic Cough Syrup!

PS — Interested in the music from Runaway June? Check this out.

Emory University Makes Huge Library of “Yellowbacks” Available for Download

Another one that’s been sitting in the queue for a while. Emory University announced a few months ago a new digital book collection from Emory University Libraries’ Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

The books are called “yellowbacks,” 19th-century British literature. I guess 19th century pulp fiction or penny dreadfuls? Anyway, there are about 1200 books available. Unfortunately the announcement did not refer to a standalone Web site for these items (why not?) Instead you have to search the Emory Libraries’ Web site for “yellowbacks” and go from there. You can get that search narrowed down to book results here. (The URL is ridiculously long.) I didn’t recognize most of these authors but I did see six books by Victor Hugo and seven titles by Benjamin Disraeli.

When you see a book you like (and you’re going to be looking a while — I didn’t see summaries for ANYTHING) click on a title. You’ll get a detail page that gives you information on copyright and links to the book in Google Books and Worldcat. You’ll also have the option to save the book to one of several different organization tools, and of course you have the option to download the book as a PDF.

I had some trouble with that. Repeated attempts to download The Cloud King using Chrome failed. I was able to do the download with Firefox, though, so I don’t know what that’s about.

With no standalone Web site and no summaries, you’ll be poking around a bit in this collection of books. On the other hand, I found myself fascinated with The Cloud King and I’m planning to send it to my Kindle. I’m sure there’s a lot of great material to read here; it’s just going to take a little digging to find it.