In remembrance of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War – the day when Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939 – the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan is planning to release the first digitized copies of the province's community newspapers from 1939 to 1945 on the Saskatchewan Historic Newspapers Online website.
“We’re digitizing newspapers from the Second World War,” Curt Campbell said. Campbell is the Manager of Records Processing and Preservation Services for the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.
“This project started in 2014, when we were doing a commemoration of the First World War in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan,” Campbell explained. Campbell further mentioned the next phase of this project will centre on newspapers dating from the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
"Researchers interested in family history, military history and community engagement in the Second World War can now read online reports from Saskatchewan's towns and cities," said Ken Cheveldayoff, the Minister Responsible for the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan. "Insight into what was happening in Saskatchewan during this period is brought to life through these newspapers."
This is merely the foundation of the Archives' latest digitization project. The rest of Saskatchewan's community newspapers from various periods in the province’s history will be available by the end of 2020. When the project is finished, the digital content will feature almost 560,000 pages of newsprint from approximately 160 community publications across the province. Eventually, the newspaper project will extend to the province’s oldest publications from the Battlefords dating to 1878.
“When the whole project is completed, there will be about 10 million pages of newsprint,” Campbell said.
"We are excited about adding to the availability of these records online," Provincial Archivist, Linda McIntyre added. "Newspapers bring world events to the community and provide a rich source for local interest in the period."