Historical Society Launches New Digital Archive of Delaware Newspapers

Researchers can now access over one hundred years of southern Delaware history from their homes. The Seaford Historical Society recently launched its digital archive of Seaford newspapers.

The online archive includes copies of six local newspapers: the Sussex County Index, the Delmarva Leader, Seaford Tribune, the Delaware Pilot, the Leader & State Register, and the Seaford News. The earliest paper in the collection dates back to 1878, while the most recent is from 2003. Overall, the collection shows the development of Seaford from a small port town to the industrial center of southern Delaware.

The bulk of the collection is consists of editions of the Leader. Newspaperman Wright Robinson donated bound copies of the paper to the historical society in 2000. After receiving the donation, local historian Jim Bowden developed the idea to digitize the collection. The Seaford Historical Society finished scanning the papers in 2003. Unfortunately, the original digital files soon became obsolete and could only be viewed on an aging computer within the historical society. The organization partnered with Lewes-based Techno Goober to convert the files to a searchable format and create the user interface.

Jim Bowden described working on the project for Delaware State News. “It was a fun project for me. It was scary at first because it was mind-boggling. This is a neat project the historical society took on. This is certainly the best of all worlds,” Bowden said.

The Seaford Historical Society digital newspaper archive is free to use and can be accessed here.