Just as all my brothers and sisters at press/newspaper associations across the U.S. and Canada are on the distribution list for On Second Thought, most all share with me their weekly e-bulletins or printed monthly publications. We “borrow” a lot of stories or ideas from each other or use that news to see what other associations are offering their members, or facing in their legislatures.
A few weeks ago, I came across an article by Jim Wood, in the Wyoming Press Association e-bulletin, that caught my attention. It was about archiving of the state’s newspapers and of interest because of the great relationship we have at KPA with Kopana Terry, Curator of Newspapers, University of Kentucky Libraries. We’ve had Kopana speak at KPA conventions and she’s always helpful when we might need help from the newspaper archives. She was a tremendous help when John Nelson was writing our sesquicentennial book, “Still, We Speak.”
Jim Wood, publisher with Wyoming Newspapers, Inc., and chair of the Wyoming Press Association’s Legislative Committee, wrote about a recent meeting with the State Librarian and State Archivist. The discussion was about “the vast trove of microfilmed and digitized pages from Wyoming’s newspapers archived, housed and managed by the state library, state archives and at the University of Wyoming,” he wrote.
“These pages are accessed over 133,000 times each year by researchers, academics and historians. Our recent discussion centered around how the process is working for all involved, including Wyoming’s newspapers. It was gratifying to hear that the system is working pretty well for all involved.”
Stating the number of times the archived pages are accessed in Wyoming made me wonder if there were some figures available for Kentucky. So I went straight to Kopana, wanting to see if numbers are available and if so, what those numbers would look in Kentucky.
Kopana wrote back:
“We do track usage of our digitized content, though not to the granularity we (I) would like…
“That said, here’s what we had last year, where “usage” means page hits/access. These include our usage stats from Chronicling America.
“Usage FY 2019-2020 = 1,591,924
“Usage Jan 2017 – present = 7,323,925
“The figures below account only for KDNP. We have about 400,000 pages in Chronicling America, but those are duplicated in KDNP, so we don’t generally track ChronAm stats anymore since we have not been allowed to contribute more since 2013.
“Issues = 86,238
“Pages = 1,034,856
“Here’s our about page in the Internet Archive if it might be of interest. https://archive.org/details/kentuckynewspapers?tab=about”
Kopana added that she should have 2020-21 fiscal year figures by the end of August. We’ll check back then to see how usage has, hopefully, increased. In the meantime, check out the link to learn more about the archives at UK and usage numbers.