Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Old Detroit News materials will be transferred to — and preserved by —the Archives of Michigan

This is cool! As The Detroit News prepares to move to Fort Street, they'll give much of their historic material to the Archives of Michigan.

You should check out the Detroit News article for the photos and more details, but here are some highlights:

The archival materials going to the state archives will be properly preserved, and much of the material will be available for online access!

Among the materials are two million typed cards which provide an index into Detroit News stories from the 20th century. These let researchers quickly find every story, on microfilm, related to pretty much any topic, and they'll be online "within two to three months".

The Detroit News's clip file is also going to the state archives in Lansing, and it'll be available for research.

Glass negatives and other historic material will also go to U-M's Bentley Historical Library, The Henry Ford, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the DSO.

…I could go on, but really you should just read the article. Super exciting.

This last bit is sad, though:
One thing that did not turn up in the months-long house cleaning at The News was the Pulitzer Prize public service medal the newspaper won in 1982 for a series by Sydney P. Freedberg and David Ashenfelter that brought to light a coverup by the U.S. Navy of the deaths of seamen aboard ships, and led to significant reforms.
News staffers were used to seeing the medal on the wall by the front lobby elevators, but it disappeared during a renovation of the building in the late 1990s, when the Detroit Free Press was moved into the building. It was Ashenfelter who started asking about it, and it was discovered that in fact, nobody knew where it was.
Ashenfelter is glad to have a certificate from the Pulitzer committee, but as it's not an option to get a replacement, he'd like to see the medal returned to the newspaper. No questions asked.

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