A community newspaper is more than just a reflection of the times. It's a window into our past, says historian Mary Willa Littler. Without it we would never now where we came from.
Historian Mary Willa Littler has taken charge of maintaining The Records collection of bound editions, which begins with the August 14, 1975 issue -- the first printed edition after a fire destroyed The Records office and most of downtown Springhill.
SPRINGHILL: A community newspaper is more than just a reflection of the times. It's a window into our past, says historian Mary Willa Littler. Without it we would never now where we came from.
In a move to preserve our history and ensure it is readily available to history seekers and genealogist The Record has entrusted its bound collection and some annuals to Littler and the Springhill Historical Society last week and the donation, Littler says, is more than welcomed.
"In 1975 the public archives wold have yet to be microfilmed," Littler said.
Following the fire in 1975, Littler says, the availability of The Record's back issues were lost and as a historian Littler personally picked up the charge to create a complete collection, beginning with the year 1929 and working her way into the present. Having the bound editions will assist both herself, the Historical Society and the many inquiries Littler encounters each week from from persons around the world interested in Springhill's past, their own history, possible relatives and topics of interest like Springhill's mining history or even the legendary Fencebusters baseball team.
"The actual newspaper is better than microfilm, definitely. Microfilm is grainy and you get a better copy from print," Littler said. "Sometimes I get more than one phone call a day from people asking about certain editions of The Record. Sometimes I have dry spells but I'm fairly busy during the year."
The public archives in Halifax have various microfilmed copies of The Record up to the year of 1977 thanks to the assistance of former owner of The Record, Charlie Albon, making Littler's and the Historical Society's collection the most complete catalogue of The Record in existence but there remains a few editions they've yet to acquire.
Rather than toss out old copies of The Record Littler says calling on her could lead to finding those cherished few copies she needs to complete her collection.