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LIBRARY TALK – JANUARY 29, 2020

Another week passed without having to salt or shovel, and the river forecast is good against flooding. Small things that make a dreary, drizzly week seem not so bad!

I received an email from the company that is basically a jobber for most of our magazine subscriptions. It was somewhat sad, but a sign of the times.  I enjoy flipping through a magazine (paper version!), and it is pretty easy for us to maintain several years of back issues.  I think the serendipitous discoveries are easier with paper copies, but I do use the online versions and online searches as well. Anyway, the email gave me a list of the current titles that we subscribe to that have either discontinued or reduced the number of issues per year. So, no more Traditional Homes, National Geographic Traveler, Brides or Family CircleGood Housekeeping is alive, but no set schedule for how many issues per year, Popular Mechanics will be published only 6 times a year now, and Young Rider is down to publishing only quarterly. This isn’t the complete list, but it gives you an idea of the possible future of paper magazines.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Ripley Friends of the Library, I have sent 23 reels of microfilm to be digitalized.  While we have continually sent the ‘last’ year of our local papers to be microfilmed and then digitalized, and over the years sent reels of early Ripley Bees to be scanned, we haven’t had the budgeted funds to digitalize some of the other early Brown County papers.  There are still lots of unscanned reels, but 23 is a significant number, and will improve the research capability. In 2019, over 58,000 page views were tabulated, and some of the searchers were from outside the US—amazing how many people are interested in our local papers!  If you haven’t searched our newspaper archives, I welcome you to do so—can be lots of fun, or very useful in looking for an event, a person, a story…. Just go to our website www.ripleylibrary.com and click on to the Newspaper Archive tab.    If you find yourself lost or not sure how to use it, stop in, and we’ll be glad to show you. I don’t know how soon the new old stuff will be online, but I’ll be sure to announce when it happens.

Back in 1999, Lester Horwitz wrote a book titled The Longest Raid of the Civil War, researching the exploits of General  John Hunt Morgan, including his run through Brown County.  Jump 20 years later, and Mr. Horwitz has penned another book, this time titled After the Raid and after the Civil War. His short description is “This book is about Civil War survivors and their descendants. It describes what happened after the Civil War to many rebel raiders, pursuing Union soldiers and families whose homes were raided”.

Matthew