The Katy City Council Monday honored the Katy Heritage Society for its work in digitizing the Brookshire Times newspaper. Recently, the Texas Historical Commission gave the society an award of merit …
The Katy City Council Monday honored the Katy Heritage Society for its work in digitizing the Brookshire Times newspaper. Recently, the Texas Historical Commission gave the society an award of merit for this work.
Adrienne Davitz, society president, said the newspapers came from the estate of Mary Ann Ernstes, the paper’s owner and editor. Davitz said Ernstes was one of seven children who grew up on a 75-acre farm where Memorial Herrmann Hospital Katy now sits, at 23900 Katy Fwy. Davitz said the family grew corn, sorghum, cotton and peanuts on the farm.
Davitz said the society received the printed newspapers, which date from approximately 1898-1984. The society also received microfilm of those newspapers, along with letters giving approval to copy the newspapers without fear of copyright infringement.
The printed papers were sorted, cleaned off and organized into acid-free archival boxes. The boxes, in turn, were labeled y year and placed in a specially built closet in the Wright Museum at Katy Heritage Park, 6001 George Bush Dr.
The society sent the microfilm to Kansas to be copied and processed for online access. The company produced about 25,000 PDF pages that one can search using the Control-F key combination. Project funding came through society memberships and a grant.
The PDF pages are presently for member access only, Davitz said. Members wanting to research a particular situation—for example, Brookshire news in July, 1965—would make a research request to the society. But the plan is to make things more accessible.
“We do not yet have a platform for making it searchable to the public,” Davitz said, adding that the society is working on such a platform.
Davits thanked Ward A Council Member Dan Smith and Council Member-at-Large and Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris for arranging the city’s recognition of the society’s work.
“They supported us, and ask that it be put on the agenda,” Davitz said. “This was a huge project. Now, it’s done. It’s preserved, protected, and easily accessible.”
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