Discover the stories that formed Wyoming, through Wyoming Newspapers. Making Wyoming’s historic newspapers available to the world for education and historical research, including genealogy, is the cornerstone of the Wyoming Newspaper Project. For the sheer volume of information they contain, newspapers are the single most important printed record of human activity. Historians, genealogists, students and other scholars rely on them to provide a first-hand and sometimes the only account of local news. Many newspapers only lasted a short time and many have disappeared just like the boom-and-bust ghost towns of the past.
In a statewide planning meeting in August 2004, representatives from libraries, museums, historical groups, public television and the press identified the digitization of Wyoming’s historic newspapers as their highest priority. The Wyoming State Library took responsibility for the project. The 2006 Wyoming State Legislature appropriated funds to the State Library to acquire software, purchase necessary servers and storage devices, and to digitize newspapers through 1879. The Wyoming Newspaper Project made its’ archive available to the public in 2009. There were initially about 275 different independent historic Wyoming newspapers identified.
Wyoming Newspapers currently includes over 340 historic Wyoming newspaper titles, the earliest of which is the Chugg Water Journal from 1849. More than 800,000 newspaper pages have been converted from microfilm and paper to a digital format. Anyone with an interest in history, whether local, territorial, state of Wyoming, regional, national, and international, can search by keyword or browse by specified towns or counties, on certain dates, or by a specific title from any computer, tablet, or smart phone. The text is searchable, including news articles, news briefs, obituaries and other items of interest. In fact, the amount of information a researcher can find in Wyoming Newspapers is astounding; advertisements, businesses, church activities, fashion, land sales, military service, occupations, art, poetry, inventions, marriages/births/deaths, who ran for office, election returns, crimes, characters of the old West, social and sporting events, who stayed in the local hotel, where people traveled to and who they visited, and so much more.
Digitization of additional newspapers continues through partnerships with local libraries, museums, organizations, and individuals. Funding for the initial project was made possible by the Wyoming Legislature, the support of Governor Dave Freudenthal, and the Library Services and Technology Act federal program.