Sterling Heights Public Library, Sterling Heights Historical Commission, Utica Public Library, and Utica Heritage Association are partnering to compete in a contest that could result in the digitization of 10,000 pages of the historical Utica Sentinel.
The Utica Sentinel newspaper was produced from 1876 to 1971. The Michigan Digital Newspaper Project grant, which helps communities digitize their local histories, will offer the first-prize winner of the contest the scanning and placing online of 10,000 pages of a previously microfilmed Michigan newspaper. The Sterling Heights and Utica collaboration is competing with four other groups for the grand prize: The L’Anse Area Schools/Baraga County Public Library, the Leelanau Historical Society, the MacDonald Public Library and the Shelby Area District Library.
The competition involves voting from the community in a myriad of ways beginning Jan. 16 and running through Jan. 28. Residents can participate by mailing traditional postcards, tweeting anything or anytime using the hashtag #DigUtica, and tweeting to vote for the best hand-drawn postcard one day only on Jan. 26. A flyer explaining the voting guidelines, dates and times is attached.
Sterling Heights Library Director Tammy Turgeon said Sterling Heights and Utica are thrilled to be participating in such an exciting competition — especially one that would result in such incredible, tangible results for residents.
“Sterling Heights and Utica have such rich history, but we know not everyone has the time to sift through microfilm to find information about our past,” Turgeon said. “By digitizing the Utica Sentinel, residents of all ages could easily access our history from a computer or tablet. Especially as our City gears up for its 50th anniversary in 2018, it would be wonderful for us to have the ability to showcase our history in this exciting way.”
In an effort to help gain votes, the Sterling Heights Public Library is hosting a postcard decorating party from 10 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, Jan. 14 in the Library Programming
Center. Residents can drop-in anytime to decorate a postcard. No artistic talent is required, Turgeon said—the postcards simply need to be Michigan-themed. The Sterling Heights Senior Center is also hosting an all-day postcard decorating day on Wednesday, Jan. 18 for seniors to participate.
The Utica Public Library is also hosting the postcard decorating party this Saturday, Jan. 14 for Utica residents to participate.
“This contest is a great opportunity for Utica and Sterling Heights to collaborate on a project that would serve both communities immensely,” said Marsha Doege, Director of the Utica Public Library.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Community Relations Director Bridget Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or (586) 446-2471.