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Rustler’s early issues now available in online database

KING CITY — Copies of the King City Rustler newspaper from 1901 through 1925 have been converted from microfilm to a digital version, making them accessible to anyone online.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) recently announced that the issues have been included in its database, which is associated with the University of California at Riverside. 

The CDNC is working to make historic newspapers from around California available to the public. The website has optical character recognition (OCR), allowing those using it to search the site by family names or specific words.

Funding for this project was raised during 2018, when donors in King City helped purchase a new microfilm scanner for the King City Library branch of the Monterey County Free Libraries. The microfilm scanner at the library allows patrons of the library access to 118 years of King City Rustler newspapers going back to 1901 and 18 years of King City Herald issues starting in 1914.  

Additional dollars raised were used to have the earliest editions of the Rustler included in the UC Riverside project.

John and Karen Jernigan worked with the King City Friends of the Library to raise the money for the microfilm scanner with the help of a grant from Community Foundation for Monterey County in conjunction with the San Antonio Valley Historical Association.

The CDNC is a freely accessible repository of digitized Golden State newspapers available at https://cdnc.ucr.edu. It contains about 5 million pages from counties throughout the state and from the first newspaper printed in 1846 to the present.

The project has more than 17,000 registered users, 3,750 of whom have corrected more than 11 million lines of computer-generated text. This human-verified and -corrected text then becomes searchable by other users.

The Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research (CBSR) at the University of California at Riverside began digitizing newspapers in 2005, as one of the original participants in the Chronicling America project, a joint venture of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. That project develops and maintains technical specifications and best practices for newspaper digitization that the CDNC still follows.

The CBSR officially launched the CDNC in 2007 with the initial 100,000 pages it had created for Chronicling America. Since then the CDNC has also received 11 awards from the State Library to digitize important historical newspapers, has partnered with dozens of local libraries and historical societies around the state to help them digitize their papers, and has established an ongoing partnership with Newspapers.com.

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