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January 29, 2018

On August 22, 1908, the Sanford Herald published its first issue. Featuring articles about the cost of purchasing and developing farm land and details of orange culture, the first issue was named the “industrial edition” as Sanford was then known as the Gate City to Florida.
News of the past is no longer limited to newspaper print as the result of a collaborative partnership between the Museum of Seminole County History, the Sanford Museum and the University of Central Florida History Department.
Seminole County Historical Society led the initiative by raising funds to cover the costs of digitizing original newspapers and microfilm published from 1908 to 2005. Over 300 rolls of microfilm were digitized by local business partner, EZ Photo Scan. The Sanford Historical Society also joined the effort with fundraising, making the project a true working partnership. Together, these historical societies dedicated countless hours to review completed scans, provide quality control and assure that scans were legible.  Without their tireless effort, this treasure trove of newspapers would remain physically archived without digital preservation.
Final digitized images were supplied to RICHES™ to complete optical character recognition (OCR), a technology that enables the conversion of various types of documents into editable and searchable data. The OCR process ran continuously for nearly six months. Earlier newspapers were very slow to process due to print quality, but the more recent documents are processing much faster. Issues published from 1908 to 1962 are currently available digitally. As the OCR process continues, newspapers beyond 1962 will also be available through RICHES™.
You can view the current Sanford Herald 1908-1962 collection here.
RICHES™ is an umbrella program housing interdisciplinary public history projects that bring together different departments at University of Central Florida with profit and non-profit sectors of the community. We are proud to partner with local organizations in preserving history, if you are interested in digital preservation, please email [email protected] to learn more about partnership opportunities.