Wednesday, February 22, 2006

First 150 years of Hartford Courant now online--for free!

A news release from the Connecticut State Library:

"HARTFORD, CT -- It was April 10, 1865 and the Hartford Daily Courant headline read 'Glorious News! Surrender of Lee and His Whole Army!' This is but one of the fascinating moments in time captured by the Hartford Courant historical collection, a newly created digital archive offered through the State Library’s Connecticut Digital Library (iCONN) project.

"The Hartford Courant historical collection is a fully searchable digital archive of more than 280,000 pages of the paper that is 'older than the nation.' The collection spans over 150 years of news, from the inception of the paper in 1764 to December 31, 1922.

"'This is an exciting and signficant addition to the suite of iCONN databases and one that benefits all Connecticut residents,' said State Librarian Kendall F. Wiggin.

"The Hartford Courant historical collection joins the current iCONN offerings of more than 4,000 full-text magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals, ebooks, images, encyclopedia entries, and a statewide library catalog. iCONN databases are available to every academic, public, and K-12 library in Connecticut. They are also accessible to Connecticut residents through Residents using iCONN from outside of a library need their public library card to use the service.

"The Connecticut State Library worked with a coalition of other libraries, educational institutions, and private foundations to underwrite the costs of digitization. The State Library contracted with ProQuest Information and Learning to create the digital archive.

"'This was the first time the State Library has gone to the library community to help fund an iCONN database and the response was gratifying,' noted Mr. Wiggin.

"The Connecticut Digital Library – a.k.a., iCONN - was proposed by then-Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell in 1999 and was subsequently passed into law in the 2000 legislative session. Since the service 'went live' in 2001, over 30 million searches have been conducted. iCONN is administered by the Connecticut State Library, in conjunction with the Department of Higher Education.

"A direct link into the Hartford Courant historical collection is available at If you are outside of a library, you will be asked to provide a valid public library barcode number to enter the database.

"If you have questions or comments about the Hartford Courant historical project, you can contact the Connecticut Digital Library offices at 860-344-2475 or via our web-based form at:"

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