The last of the old copies of the Venice Gondolier newspaper were moved Wednesday, Sept. 2, from the paper’s building on East Venice Avenue to the Julia Cousins Laning and Dale Laning Archives & Research Center.
The 267 bound copies of newspapers, dating back to March 1949, will eventually be digitized and available online.
“We’re very excited about this project because these newspapers, in effect, represent the history of this community,” said Jon Watson, Venice’s Division of Historical Resources Curator and Collections manager. “We recently got the first batch of papers online and, eventually, all issues will be available to the public.”
The online collection, including more than 22,000 pages, currently spans from the Gondolier’s inaugural edition published on March 6, 1946, to December 1967.
The Venice Gondolier will celebrate its 75th anniversary March 6, 2021. Historically a weekly, it began as a one-day-a-week paper. Now published each Wednesday and Saturday, it was a three-day-per week paper on three short-lived occasions.
Additional electronic editions will be added annually until the collection extends to 2003, when the newspaper became available electronically.
The project began two years ago as a collaborative effort between the newspaper and VHR. After each edition is inspected and thoroughly cleaned, World Archives microfilms, scans and uploads the pages to its website. The papers can be browsed by date or through keyword searches.
Watson said free access to the website is available at the CLARC. To schedule an appointment, call 941-716-7255 or by email at email@example.com.
Those wishing to access the website from home may subscribe for an annual fee of $29.95, or by purchasing a membership to newspaperarchive.com, which includes access to more than 10,000 newspapers, including the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.