Just over a week ago, the Wellington County Museum and Archives opened its doors for our 50th anniversary open house.
In conjunction with that event, the archives revealed a digitization project that has been a year in the making. A grant allowed them to scan and create a database of issues of the Advertiser since it started in 1968. It is hoped that historians and curious people can take advantage of the paper’s content over the years as they search out family history amongst other things.
Karen Wagner was the staff driver of that project. Through her, we met and spent time with Hailey Johnston. Between these two, and countless others behind the scenes, an exceptional showcase was put together from a historical perspective. The display is to remain open until Labour Day. That plan could change, but certainly there is time for interested parties to see it and get a flavour of the good old days running a Newspaper pre-computers.
Lately I have felt that I’ve been around too long to be surprised. But sure enough, I was surprised with this event and the days leading up to it.
The attention Hailey put into the project, in terms of distilling my notes down to something easy and understandable for patrons, was great. She really wanted to understand it all. That was pleasant surprise enough, but at our own office there was more.
We have been lucky to attract some younger workers in recent months. Between the production department and the Newsroom, there are half a dozen new to the business. They’re keen and curious and it’s a refreshing attitude.
For weeks now our graphics people have been devouring old issues looking for some ads, columns and fun stuff for our commemorative edition. The basics of design haven’t changed all that much, but the tools with which the job is performed are vastly different.
Much like a dad gathering kids around to see a turkey carved on the holidays or some other momentous event, I had the staff check out a Gourlay’s grocery ad that I hand-cut and pasted like the old days. That I had to borrow wax from a friend in New Liskeard and order graphics tape online at great expense were side issues.
Our staff asked questions about how and what I was doing. Some suggested through the ordeal that maybe I could do it this way or that way to make the task easier. But it always came back to limitations with the technology.
That rounded out the next surprise – that they would be so interested in watching me put together an old grocery ad. It did give them pause for thought on how lucky they are today with the equipment we have.
The open house itself was an event to remember. There was a full crowd, despite inclement weather. Suffice to say, it was a humbling experience to hear local dignitaries speaking so highly of their county-wide community Newspaper. For that we are grateful.
Please be sure and look for the commemorative edition in this week’s Wellington Advertiser.
Great effort was taken and an incredible amount of hours went into publishing something we are sure readers will enjoy.