Bruce County Newspaper Digitization Project
Over 12,700 historic newspaper issues (over 90,000 pages) of historic Bruce County community newspapers, many of which are no longer in print, were digitized in 2022 as part of the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s efforts to make this valuable resource easily accessible to the public.
The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre made best efforts to identify issues under copyright and to contact copyright holders. Individuals or organizations wishing to identify themselves as copyright holders are encouraged to contact us with questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project was funded in part by the Province of Ontario through the Municipal Modernization Program (Intake 2), with additional funding provided in part by the Federal Museum Assistance Program. The “Canadian Echo”, Wiarton, First World War era newspapers were digitized in 2015, in partnership with the Bruce County Genealogical Society who was supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Community Foundation Grey Bruce.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may view a list of newspaper titles in the “Browse Newspapers” section at https://newspapers.brucemuseum.ca/
Visit the Bruce County’s Historic Municipalities and Newspapers page which lists the newspapers by the municipality in which they were published and features a map identifying the general publication location of the newspapers. This will help you decide which newspapers you may wish to read while searching for information.
The earliest newspaper issue is an 1861 Bruce Weekly Herald (Walkerton). Most surviving newspaper titles begin in the 1880s or 1890s. The newspapers uploaded to the website generally range from that early time period up to the mid-1920s, with a couple of titles from the Mildmay and Walkerton areas reaching into the 1950s.
When you select a newspaper in the “Browse Newspapers” area, a page will open up. On this page, at the bottom of the “Narrow Results By” column on the left, the years available for that newspaper will be listed.
The newspaper titles, and years digitized, were chosen based on many considerations, including the availability of source original or master negative microfilm newspapers, copyright laws, and copyright clearance / license agreements.
Copyright holders are requested to contact email@example.com if they have any concerns regarding BCM&CC’s use of the newspapers.
We recommend browsing and reading the newspapers issues, in addition to using the search function. You may search the newspaper contents; however, the search function is not 100% accurate due to the condition and font of the historic newspapers and/or microfilm, and due to the limitations of technology currently available for converting digital images of historic text to searchable text. This digitization project gives you the very valuable advantage of being able to take your time reading these newspapers from anywhere with an internet connection!
When searching for names, using the proximity operator, wildcard operators, fuzzy search tool and the Boolean OR operator can be very useful. See the newspapers.brucemuseum.ca Help Page for details.
Additional issues may be added in future years when appropriate copyright clearances are received and/or when additional issues of sufficient quality for digitizing are donated or made accessible to the Archives. In the meantime, Archives staff and volunteers are continue to do the work necessary to manage these digital assets and create inventories of the newspapers in our Collection to support decisions about future digitization efforts.
We have received a number of inquiries asking whether additional issues of the Wiarton Echo will be added to the site. To date, the BCM&CC has been unable to access the original newspapers or source high-quality microfilm negatives from which to create digital files. We intend to continue communications with the publisher to continue to request permission to access the historic newspapers for digitization and/or to gain copyright clearance as appropriate. At this time, it is unknown as to when or whether such permission will be granted.
You may view the newspapers featured on the website, as well as newspaper issues beyond the digitized dates, in the Research Room at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre. You may look at some issues on microfilm, while others may be viewed in their original paper format. This Guide to Local Microfilm Newspaper Holdings provides a general description of the newspaper issues available to view on microfilm. Staff and volunteers are working to create a comprehensive inventory of newspaper issues available to view in original paper format. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about the availability of particular newspapers in the Research Room.
The Bruce County Genealogical Society and the Bruce and Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society maintain surname newspaper clipping collections in the Research Room. In those collections, you may look for birth and marriage notices, as well as obituaries, by surname. If you are a member of the Bruce and Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, you may also view most of their surname collection online in the Members area of their website.
You may print and download newspaper issues from the PDF viewer which opens when you click on “View issue with Search Words Highlighted.”
Newspapers are provided on this site solely for the purpose of research or private study. Any use of copies for a purpose other than research or private study, including uploading copies to social media or other websites, may require authorization of the copyright owner of the work in question. It is your responsibility to determine whether the newspapers are subject to copyright and to obtain appropriate clearances, as necessary. Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre cannot grant nor deny permission to third parties to publish or otherwise distribute the material.
Digitizing newspapers is a lengthy, skill-intensive process. BCM&CC began planning for this project in 2019, knowing that newspapers contain a wealth of detail about people and all aspects of our communities and local history. This involved researching best practices for newspaper digitization and various online hosting options. Following receipt of grant funding in 2021, the project formally began. Appropriate source material to be used for digitization was identified and located. When it was determined that the microfilm reels used by researchers in the Research Room were not of high enough quality from which to create digital copies, we searched out the location of master negative microfilm reels, and arranged for their use, in some instances. In other instances, original copies of the newspapers from the BCM&CC Collection were prepared for digitization, involving hours of unfolding dog-eared pages and repairing tears. Four digitization vendors were used to digitize each of the 90,000 newspaper pages, to master TIFF and access PDF formats, and apply optical character recognition to make them searchable. Having received over 90,000 digital files, Archives staff are working with the County Information Technology services to ensure the long-term preservation of these digital assets, while ensuring the recording of proper metadata concerning the files, including date of digitization, source material data, digitization vendor, software used.
BCM&CC worked with an external hosting service to build a web interface to facilitate user-friendly browsing and searching of the newspapers, and to host the newspaper files online. The project also involved researching the history of various newspapers, the results of which may be viewed on the Bruce County Historic Newspaper Histories page.
You may view digital images of thousands of photographs, postcards and other types of material, from the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s Collection, online through its Online Collections. This site also provides descriptions of a portion of the Archives’ non-digitized material which can be viewed in the Research Room at the Museum. If you are unable to find references to particular resources, please feel free to contact email@example.com to ask about resources not yet described online.