Back issues of WMU student newspaper to be digitized and searchable

Contact: Deanne Puca
Scan of the front page of a Western Herald issue from December 1963 reporting on Martin Luther King Jr.'s visit to campus.

Western Herald issue from Dec. 20, 1963

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University will digitize back issues of its student newspaper, the Western Herald, by late next year and make them searchable and available to the public. 

The project, announced by University Libraries and WMU's Archives and Regional History Collections, will include Herald issues from 1916 to 2009. They will be searchable online through the Digital Reel interface.

Instead of currently browsing through microfilm, scanning it and sending it through email, having digitized student newspapers will streamline users' ability to answer questions about the University's history because the information will be electronically searchable.

“The digital version will open up access to the newspaper and especially make researching the last 50 years of the Herald much easier,” says Sharon Carlson, director of Archives and Regional History Collections. 

The University is working with BMI Imaging to scan 91 reels of microfilm to an online format, approximately 10,000 total pages. Once scanned, the original newspaper and microfilm will continue to be preserved at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center. 

In addition to the student newspapers, yearbooks and course catalogs were added to University Libraries' digital collections and can be found at A list of digitized collections is available at

For more information, contact Lou Morgan, University Libraries, at (269) 387-5202.

For more information about BMI Imaging, visit

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