Library plans to archive and digitize 120 years of journalism with new grant

    The Media Arts Center displays notifications on its ticker. Palo Alto High School has always been a visionary in Journalism and with a project to archive past Journalism, Paly hopes to preserve its vibrant history. Photo by the Paly Voice.

    The Media Arts Center displays notifications on its ticker board. Palo Alto High School hopes to preserve its vibrant history by archiving past journalism online. Photo by the Paly Voice.

    Librarian Rachel Kellerman along with supporters of the project are archiving and scanning 120 years of Palo Alto High School journalism publications in an effort to make them available in an online, searchable database; the project is now viable due to a pledge by the Brin Wojcicki Foundation.

    Recently, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation pledged to match up to $50,000 in donations to make the project possible, according to the recently launched funding site. The project will cost this much because the database will be searchable.

    According to Rachel Kellerman, archiving Paly journalism will serve the important purpose of connecting the present Paly community to the larger Paly community of previous generations.

    “If we don’t scan and preserve these publications, their stories will be lost,” Kellerman said. “Current students, alumni and researchers from all over the world can come to know our school and our community from reading an online archive.”

    As stated by Kellerman, students and staff are currently scanning the documents and have completed the first decade of records.

    The project’s ultimate goal is to archive all of Paly’s previous pieces of journalism, even archiving pieces from publications that have been discontinued, according to Kellerman.

    “There are about 40,000 items in the archive making ours a ‘medium-sized’ publications archive,” Kellerman said.

    So far, $2,000 have been raised for the creation of the archive through the Media Arts Center Booster, a group of parents dedicated to the funding effort, according to Kellerman. 

    Kellerman says that the project will start immediately after funding is completed. The project’s estimated finish time is during the 2018-19 school year, in time for the Campanile’s 100th Anniversary. However, it depends on the how fast publications can be scanned.

    Students are welcome to help the project alongside trained volunteers, according to Kellerman. 

    “We are scanning in the back of the library using trained volunteers, and students are welcome to come by and get training to scan if they are interested,” Kellerman said.

    Related Posts

    Recap: Vikings take Dig Pink match in four sets
    Cross country: New practices yield promising results
    NorCal Media Day brings student journalists together