The Morrison County Historical Society has a collection of bound volumes of the Pierz Journal newspaper that are so fragile they can no longer be handled without damage. Little bits of newspaper flake off each time they are moved. Due to their condition, they have not been available for public use for a few years and staff only handle them with trepidation when absolutely necessary.
A majority of the newspapers in the state have been microfilmed by the Minnesota Historical Society. When a newspaper is on microfilm, we can use the microfilm copy for research and leave the originals alone. The problem with most of the Pierz Journals is that they have never been microfilmed. There are 45 bound volumes of Pierz Journals in MCHS collections. Of these, 9 have been fully microfilmed and 3 have been partially microfilmed. That leaves 36 volumes not on microfilm, plus portions of the 3 mentioned above.
The Minnesota Historical Society no longer does microfilming of newspapers, but even when it was actively microfilming them, we did not want the Pierz Journals to undergo the process because they would be sliced from their bindings, effectively making the originals unusable. We were waiting for a kinder, gentler technology to come along in order to capture the information inside. Current digitization techniques fit that requirement.
The Minnesota Digital Library has agreed to digitize the first 15 bound volumes, the ones that are clearly in the public domain. The first one they will do at no cost to MCHS, however, there is a sizable cost to digitize the rest. Because of the fragility of the volumes, MDL has to use the most costly method of digitization, which involves handling the newspapers with the utmost care. The cost to digitize the other 14 volumes is $30,000.
We need your help in order to raise the funds needed to digitize these volumes of the Pierz Journal.
The Pierz Journals span from 1909 to 1968, with some volumes/issues missing. Even considering the missing issues, we believe MCHS has the most complete set of this newspaper in the state. This represents a huge trove of information concerning the history of eastern Morrison County.
Once the newspapers get digitized through the MDL, they will be made available to the public on MDL’s Minnesota Reflections website.
Please help us save the Pierz Journals by making your tax deductible donation to the Morrison County Historical Society.
There are several ways to contribute. You can …
- Make your donation online at the Save the Pierz Journals page on GiveMN.org. Click this icon to get to the page (icon also in right sidebar):
- Drop your donation off at The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum, 2151 South Lindbergh Drive, Little Falls, MN.
- Mail your donation to the Morrison County Historical Society, PO Box 239, Little Falls, MN 56345.
For further information on the project, call us at 320-632-4007.
Thanks for your assistance.