Lake County Star archives now available

Search issues from 1873 to 1977 online; 1978 to 1999 at Pathfinder Library or Lake County Historical Museum

Pathfinder Community Library and the Lake County Historical Society's goal to make all issues of the Lake County Star newspaper available online to everyone is now complete.

Pathfinder Community Library and the Lake County Historical Society's goal to make all issues of the Lake County Star newspaper available online to everyone is now complete.

Photo courtesy/Jill Engelman

LAKE COUNTY — Pathfinder Community Library and the Lake County Historical Society's goal to make all issues of the Lake County Star newspaper available online to everyone began over three years ago, and the project is now complete.

The Library and Historical Society felt it was important to offer this online research tool to the public at no charge, so raised funds and paid for the scanning and digitization of each newspaper.

The project was made possible through grants from the Lake County Community Foundation, DQF Foundation and private donors. It is with this financial support and the original vision of librarian Bonnie Povilaitis and Kathy Oostmeyer, then board president, both of the Pathfinder Community Library, that this dream has been realized.  

Jill Engelman, museum curator and the Lake County Historical Society jumped on board early on to merge their set of newspapers with those of the library into one combined collection, and to lend their financial and administrative support.  

Early issues of the Star had been previously digitized by the Library of Congress, and the Big Rapids Community Library had microfilms of a number of years as well.  

Each newspaper was scanned, digitized and then prepared for online hosting by the staff of Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library and is now hosted on their Digital Michigan Newspapers site.  

You can search Lake County Star newspapers dating back to the first issue May 1, 1873. Fortunately, only a few issues are missing from the collection that spans nearly 100 years.  

About 1,400 newspaper issues through December 1977 are now available on the digmichnews.cmich.edu website at no cost to the researcher. Issues from 1978 to 1999 have also been scanned and digitized and are available for the public’s use on hard drives at either the Pathfinder Library or the Lake County Historical Museum’s Research Library, again at no cost.  

Items can be searched by name, date, year, event, etc. Once the selections have been reviewed, the researcher can select and then print each that proves relevant to their particular research project.

This electronic search is more time-efficient than spending hours looking through physical newspapers and does not further destroy the original fragile documents. Thus, through the digitization of the newspapers and their use online, the originals will be preserved for the future in the Lake County Historical Museum’s research library.   

For more information, stop by and see Bonnie at the Pathfinder Community Library or Bruce at the Lake County Research Library.