In the local history collection, we have digitized the Rockland Messenger, a 19th century newspaper. This was done with a grant from the late Senator Morahan. Since that time, a more sophisiticated software has become available allowing for line segmentation and ease in searching. We are currently in the process of this upgrade through a company called Hudson Microimaging.
Newspapers are some of the last research tools that have been recognized for their valuable information and there has been a major effort o preserve the old editions. I came across an email from a librarian in Oshkosh WI and would like to condense her reporting. Apparently the Oshkosh Public Library began indexing newspapers through WPA in 1936-1938. The indexing was done by one person who covered a variety of information. Then in the nid-1950's, a researcher became so interested in family names that he indexed 1920-1948.
In addition,the project attracted more volunteers. The Girl Scouts cut out "Services were held" from 1930-1950. Then the staff began clipping obits in 1969 but eventually this became more tedious. The project grew with members from the Winnebagoland Genealogical Society aiding. Today the library hosts a database with a decade of obits.
I mentioned this story to show how a community can work together preserving its history. I thought this a fine example.