October 24, 2018

Library offers customers free access to Columbus Dispatch Digital archive

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) now offers its cardholding customers free access to Columbus Dispatch Digital, a keyword-searchable archive of the entire 147-year history of the Columbus Dispatch. It enables customers to narrow their searches based on keywords, headlines, bylines, dates, sections and even photo captions, among other filters.

CML’s Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the archive from Newsbank, a third-party organization, at its Sept. 27 meeting.

This new archive grants full-text access to the Dispatch’s very first editions in 1871 all the way up through 1985. CML already offered customers access to a similar Dispatch digital archive spanning from 1985 to the present day – also through Newsbank. Both archives have been combined and can be found by visiting columbuslibrary.org/research and clicking Columbus Dispatch Digital. Standard copyright and reproduction rules apply. Any editions from 1923 and earlier are considered public domain.

“This new research tool provides our customers with unparalleled access to our city’s history,” says CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “Whether they’re searching for family members or a specific central Ohio event or topic, we know it will serve our customers well and bring us ever closer to realizing our vision of a thriving community where wisdom prevails.”

CML will maintain its physical collection of Dispatch microfilm, which also spans the entire history of the publication, at its Main Library downtown.

The image above depicts the front page of the Columbus Evening Dispatch 100 years ago today, Oct. 24, 1918.

Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Challenge and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college and career readiness and employment resources.

CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.