It's a golden age for archive access. Another unique collection is slowly hitting the web, this time in the form of newspapers at the New Orleans Digital News Paper Archive (NOLA DNA). Local preservationist Joseph Makkos is the recipient of 30,000 tubes filled with Times-Picayunes (and its predecessors The Daily Picayune and The Times-Democrat) from 1885 to 1930. Originally a part of the British Library's collection, these papers were rescued from routine destruction of original newsprint and old books as they were transferred to microfilm, a more space-friendly way for libraries to preserve documents.
Though the website shows just a small glimpse of the collection's wealth now, the shots that are shared offer unparalleled insight into the social mores, culture, and news of their time. Recent posts include "Thanksgiving 1900," illustrations and headlines from World War I, Election Day 1912, colorful comics, and more.
Part of the challenge with the large collection is the lack of organization. “When I open up a box, it’s like Christmas,” Makkos said in a recent interview with Collectors Weekly. “I’ll pull up one paper and it might be a Wednesday paper from 1899. Then I pull out another, and it’s a Sunday society section with a photo on it from the 1920s.” Even though the editions and sections have become mixed up over the years, this is still a truly unique and amazing collection!
Check out some great samples from Makkos' newspapers below.