A Grant for Preserving Parkland's Past: Digitizing The Prospectus Student Newspaper

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In the summer of 2022, two librarians from Parkland College applied for and received an Illinois State Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB) Historical Records grant to digitize issues of The Prospectus, Parkland’s student newspaper. The Prospectus serves as a primary account of historical events and decisions made at Parkland College by administration, faculty, staff, and students from Parkland’s inception in 1968 to present day, and the Parkland College Archives is the only known collector of this paper. The content of the newspaper is chosen, written, and edited by the students, thereby allowing readers a glimpse into the diverse voices and unique perspectives that comprise Parkland College’s student body. After a brief evaluation of the papers, it was noted that the first year of issues were becoming brittle and discolored due to aging and lack of proper climate control. Librarians in the past had worked to preserve the newspaper by transferring paper issues from 1968 to 1996 to microfilm, but this still limited accessibility as microfilm readers become more obsolete and are limited to use in-house. The primary objectives for this project were to inventory, digitize, preserve, and increase accessibility of the complete collection of The Prospectus newspaper. In all, 1,153 issues (732 from microfilm, the rest from paper) have been digitized, which amounts to just over 6 cubic feet of physical documents and approximately 14,000 pages of Parkland College history made openly available to the public. This poster will explore all stages of this year-long grant and will be of interest to students and professionals pursuing preservation grants, working on digitization projects, or preserving college history.

Keywords: student newspaper, community college, The Prospectus, ISHRAB, Parkland College, digitization

How to Cite: Haskins, K. & Avery, A. (2023) “A Grant for Preserving Parkland's Past: Digitizing The Prospectus Student Newspaper”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations. 2023(1).