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100 years of The Provo Herald

Fully searchable issues are now available online in the Marriott Library's Utah digital newspapers.

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library has digitized 100 years of editions of The Provo Herald—known today as the Daily Herald—and made the archive available online and free to the public.

Starting with 1909 and ending with 2009, the project, which is part of the Utah Digital Newspapers online repository, is one of the largest digitization efforts completed by the Marriott Library to date.

The Provo Herald’s editors condemned the U.S. Government response to the 1909 earthquakes in San Francisco and Italy, which left hundreds of thousands without shelter. Here, Uncle Sam offers a worthless check drawn on “The Bank of Sympathy.” In the caption, the Herald offers to collect donations for the needy.

Those with Utah County roots will surely want to explore this exciting new resource. The Herald published three times a week until 1921, when it ramped up to five days a week. The fat, 18-page Sunday edition started in 1922 and ran for 50 years. The daily edition started in 1939 and continues to be published today.

“The primary advantage of digitization is that every page of every issue is keyword-searchable, a feature that cannot be replicated in print or on microfilm,” said Tina Kirkham, Digital Library Project manager. “Having it available online also means that the newspapers are freely accessible to the public—those residing in Utah as well as throughout the world.”

The first issue of the Herald, printed on Jan. 2, 1909, is labeled “Volume 12, Number 1,” which may seem confusing. However, the Herald’s predecessor, the Utah County Democrat, had been issued from the same office since 1898. When the paper changed ownership at the end of 1908, its political stripes morphed too. The newly christened Herald gave up its Democratic party affiliation and became politically independent. But in a nod to its predecessor, the first issue of the Herald was treated as Volume 12 instead of Volume 1.

About the Utah Digital Newspaper Project

On May 15, 2019, Utah Digital Newspapers reached a new milestone with the addition of the 3 millionth newspaper page. Utah Digital Newspapers now has over 3 million newspaper pages from 165 publications.

The database is one of the longest running statewide digital newspaper repositories in the United States. It all started in 2001 with a Library Services and Technology research and development grant to digitize 30,000 pages from the Vernal Express, Grand Valley Times/Times Independent and Wasatch Wave. In 2002, the Marriott Library launched the official Utah Digital Newspapers website to make collection freely available.