The Clarke Historical Library, a part of Central Michigan University, is pleased to announce that over the next few months The Beaver Beacon, published between 1955 and 1958, will be digitized and made freely available online.
The Beaver Beacon was begun in 1955 by the Beaver Island Civic Association. Individuals who paid for a membership in the Civic Association received the newsletter. Each issue was filled with the news of the Island happenings, contact information for servicemen and women, weddings, births, deaths, birthday and anniversary celebrations and school events. It was run as a public service more so than profit-making venture.
In the last few years, copies of the Beacon from 1955 and later have been stored and preserved. Jacqueline LaFreniere, librarian-wanted to preserve the deteriorating and fading original, typed pages. In conjunction with the Beaver Island Historical Society, Jacquie applied for the CMU Library program that would cover the cost of scanning and getting the pages available online.
Prior to that, Kathleen Antkoviak and others were hand-scanning old beacons and they are available for viewing on www.bihs.org, the Historical Society webpage. Thanks to Jeff Cashman, former co-owner and publisher, pdf files of the Beaver Beacon Years, August 2002 through September 2014 are online and have been in place due to Jeff's foresight and skills. It's easy to click on any issue to view a pdf of the entire magazine.
The contest win from Clarke Library will get the original three years early files online at their website...the middle years are online at the Museum site, and a link to Jeff's files will be on the CMU Library website.
The Beaver Beacon was a link for off-island relatives and friends to stay connected to the Island. The paper also included information about the extended Island families who resided off-island. The Beacon also served as a tool for visitors who were looking for a place to stay, things to do and much more.
When the project is complete the paper will be available on the Clarke Historical Library’s Digital Michigan Newspapers website, https://digmichnews.cmich.edu/ .
The Beacon was jointly nominated for digitization by the Beaver Island District Library and the Beaver Island Historical Society and selected through a competitive process.
The project is made possible by funds made available by the Robert and Susan Clarke Endowment housed within the Clarke Historical Library and also funding from the LSTA grant made by the Institute for Museum & Library Services to the Library of Michigan.
The Clarke’s Digital Michigan Newspaper Site makes freely available approximately 600,000 pages of historic Michigan newspapers that have been digitized. The Clarke site offers access to Michigan Newspapers not found in the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America newspaper website, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ ,
where approximately 400,000 more historic Michigan newspaper pages, all originally digitized at the Clarke
Historical Library, are also freely available.
For more information about Michigan newspapers available online please contact the Clarke Historical Library reference desk by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.