More than 150 years' of newspapers dating from the early 1800s to 1950s have been digitised - including more than 50,000 pages of Jersey's last French language newspaper.
The newly digitised editions are one of many new features available for viewing on the newly upgraded Société Jersiaise website.
Société, a charity whose mission is to “produce and facilitate research on the Island’s history, culture, language and environment”, says its goal was to make its collections more accessible to Jersey's community.
Search and browser functionality has been improved and a technology known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has been applied to the digital archive to allow detailed text searching.
Moreover, the new website features automated translations to help users navigate archive items which appearing in languages they may not speak, such as Jèrriais.
The Société’s new website can be used to research family members, personal and business activities, or the history of the local organisations.
Pictured: Société Jersiaise's new website.
Moreover, as part of this project, the Société has digitised all 50,000+ pages of the Chronique de Jersey newspaper, Jersey’s last French-Language newspaper, which ran from 1814 to 1957.
The Société’s collection is completely unique being the only near complete set in existence.
This unique social document allows users to learn about how societal and political values evolved in Jersey. Reports of historic debates, petitions and even riots are all there to see, all written as if they happened yesterday.
Pictured: The website homepage.
Librarian Valérie Noel said: “Having online access to our items makes them available to a wide audience and ensures their preservation for generations to come. The importance of this for our more delicate items, such as our Chronique de Jersey newspaper collection, cannot be overstated.”
Ged Sargent, Digitisation and Outreach Coordinator said of the Chronique project: “These newspapers offer a deep social record that provides value to our island community, but also beyond our shores.”
This project was supported by the Jersey Community Foundation with funds from the Channel Island Lottery and the Association of Jersey Charities. It was undertaken in partnership withTownsWeb Archiving, while the new online digital collections hub is powered by their product PastView.
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