Monticello library gets $100,000 for digitization

MONTICELLO — The Allerton Public Library District has received a $100,000 grant from the local Robert Mulligan Trust to digitize old Piatt County newspapers and yearbooks.

A digital image is an electronic snapshot scanned from a document. The process allows for the images to be made searchable and available online.

Library director Lisa Winters said digitization of the documents, which date back to 1865, will begin this summer and take about a year. The project will include newspapers from Monticello, Atwood, Bement, Cerro Gordo, DeLand, Hammond and Mansfield, and is being done with the cooperation of the Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society,

"We are very fortunate that the Piatt County Historical and Genealogical Society owns the original newspapers in a large book format," added Winters. "We are even more fortunate that they will allow us to borrow these treasures to digitize."

She added that the project will also help in the preservation of the original papers and yearbooks.

"The most important reasons to digitize are to enhance access and improve preservation," said Winters. "For example, with the newspaper collections we can make information accessible that was previously only available to a select group of researchers."

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