Northampton Press

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Atlas donates copies of newspaper

Thursday, January 8, 2015 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

The trustees of the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum donated a digital history of the Cement News newspaper to Northampton Area Public Library and the library of the Northampton Area High School.

The newspaper was a weekly publication that began in the Borough of Alliance in 1903. Its 40-year run ended in January 1943.

For many years, it was the only source of local news that the people of the community enjoyed. The Cement News covered everything from who traveled by horse and sleigh to school plays and musicals and church services. The newspaper also reported on the many accidents that took place at industries and businesses in the area.

Louis G. Rice founded the newspaper shortly after moving to the area. Edward J. Royer was hired as editor. Later, when Rice left the business, Royer took ownership, continuing the paper until 1943.

After the paper closed, someone took a copy of each Cement News and reproduced it on microfilm, which had become the technology of choice for archiving. Today the digital age has greatly altered the archiving landscape. Machines that read the old 35-millimeter film are difficult to find and expensive to repair. Fortunately the computer era gave the trustees of the Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum the ability to copy the 16 microfilm rolls of The Cement News into digital files that are simple and easy to use.

The museum trustees saw an opportunity to convert the films into the new format and applied for a grant from Northampton County. The $3,000 grant enabled the trustees to make duplicate formats of the newspaper archive and present a copy of the newspapers to the two libraries. The trustees hope to present copies of this archive to other historical organizations and libraries in the county.

The donation was made at a presentation at the Northampton Area Public Library Dec. 3.