Louisville Leader: part of history to come into internet age - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville Leader: part of history to come into internet age

Rachel Howard Rachel Howard

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - From 1917 to 1950, The Louisville Leader told the stories important to the African American community. Now it's time to move the paper into the digital age with your help.

The Louisville Leader captured the African American community's headlines -- war, segregation, the Klan.

"It covered national news of relevance to the African American community but it also covered society stories, stories about African American businesses," said Rachel Howard, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University of Louisville.

At its publisher's death, the newspaper stopped burning up the presses.  Then fire tried to burn what was left.

"The copies of the newspaper that the family held onto in their warehouse were burned in a fire in 1954," Howard explained.

What was salvaged made its way first to Kentucky state university and then into the hands of the UofL archives and special collections. It was microfilmed in the 1970s. Now it's time for it to hit the internet age.

"Humans can actually read text a lot better than computers can," said Howard.

The microfilmed copies are currently available online, but they're not very searchable. Howard said sometimes words are confused, a number 1 instead of a letter "i" in Louisville, for instance. UofL libraries needs people who want to read and type out what they see so all of us can search out priceless pieces of Louisville history.

"If you wanted to find somebody's name or a street name or something very specific and you don't know what year it was mentioned in, it would be very difficult to do at this point," Howard said.

If you'd like to read and transcribe some of the copy, Howard said you can go to this website, click on an article, type what you see - typos and all - and then click submit to get it back to UofL.

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