Historians will get a charge with the digitization of what was West Virginia's first daily newspaper, the Wheeling Intelligencer with other other early state newspapers to follow

The online availability is being made possible with grants from the National Digital Newspaper Program at the Chronicling America website, a project of WVU Libraries.

Early editions of the paper covered events in Calhoun and most of the state's northern counties.

The Wheeling newspaper is already partially available, and will cover from 1836 to 1922. So far 39 years, or 12,000 issues are available.

The nationwide program will also cover other early state newspapers: Cooper's Clarksburg Register, Clarksburg (1851-1861); Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town (1844-1899); Star of the Kanawha Valley, Buffalo (1855-1856), and Kanawha Valley Star, Charleston (1856-1861); Monongalia Mirror (1849-1855) and American Union (1855-1859), both Morgantown; The Weekly Register, Point Pleasant (1862-1909); The Democrat (1868-1874) and The Weston Democrat (1875-1902), both Weston.

"This changes everything," said John Cuthbert, director of the West Virginia and Regional History Center. "Researchers will no longer have to pore over countless pages looking for needles in a haystack. The ability to do online full-text searches is going to revolutionize newspaper research."

See chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

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