Small town history made accessible with USHRAB grant

Mahala Ruddell Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board

Newspaper clipping, Emery County Progress
During WWII, the Emery County Progress kept locals up to date on soldiers serving overseas and encouraged supportive homefront activities. A 2018 USHRAB re-grant awarded to the Emery County Archives made the digitization of this and other Progress issues possible.

The Emery County Archives was awarded a grant from the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) in 2018 amounting to $1,397 for the digitization of the Emery County Progress.

Because issues from the paper’s first ten years had already been digitized, this portion of the grant-funded project focused on issues from September 1918 to September 1940. Over the summer and fall of 2018, nearly 10,000 pages were digitized by the Mountain West Digital Library. Completing this project has allowed Emery County to preserve the fragile original newspapers in archival boxes while making high quality digital copies available to the public.

In the words of Suzanne Anderson, Archivist at the Emery County Archives:

“The saying, ‘there’s nothing like living in a small town – everyone knows your business,’ rings true for Emery County. Each town in the county submitted to the paper the comings and goings, illnesses, and births and deaths of its residents. In this way, the entire community was aware of everything going on in each town. 

“The towns were tight-knit pioneering communities that relied on each other for their very survival, separated from family, doctors, food, and basic supplies by a mountain range. The Progress holds stories about all of this and so much more in its pages. Among the information it printed, the paper included local, state, and world news, as well as home remedies and homemaking tips. One such tip advised homemakers to use apples as a base for jellies because they are high in natural pectin. Another advised on what to feed chickens when they were molting.”

All currently digitized issues of the Progress are available on the Utah Digital Newspapers website. 

The USHRAB assists public and private nonprofit organizations throughout the state in the acquisition, preservation, and use of records of enduring value. Its re-grant program is funded through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.