Productions librarians, staff, and interns are scanning based on historical themes and patron areas of interest. For example, a "feature" on the John Norman Collins murders in the 1960s combines scanned stories from the News with links to other relevant material and podcast interviews with historical figures such as former sheriff Doug Harvey. This approach results in a creative web page dedicated to local history, rather than just a portal to a digitized newspaper, which would be impossible in any case because of the issues regarding the digital rights. Other features trace the history of local institutions such as movie theaters, Argus Camera, and the Ark.
The News' archive of photographic negatives is the highlight of the collection. Photos by long time photographers Jack Stubbs and Eck Stanger show up in digitized format as crisp, light, and filled with detail and contrast that were never visible in newsprint.
Among the countless treasures are a photo from 1957 of the Ann Arbor fire chief with his new station wagon, a Cadillac decked with fins and chrome; shops on Main Street in 1964 being painted "three pre-determined color schemes," including the Sugar Bowl Cafe, Richman Clothing, and Walk-Over Shoes; and a frozen custard stand at Liberty and Stadium in 1948, completely on its own, surrounded only by gravel and dirt.
[Originally published in March, 2013.]