Archived issues of The Chronicle-Express can be searched using text recognition software

A wealth of local history is within easy reach with a few clicks of your computer keyboard.

Thanks to the efforts of Paul Bullock, a dedicated volunteer and board member of the Yates History Center, 66 years of Chronicle-Express issues dating back to 1926; 60 years of the Penn Yan Express (1866-1926), and 25 years of the Penn Yan Democrat (1822-1947) are now available for viewing and searching online from the comfort of your home at nyshistoricnewspapers.org.

As more issues become available in pdf format, they will be added to the website, and a system will be put into place to continue supplying files to the public website.

Since the summer of 2015 volunteers have been imaging the pages of the historic newspapers archived in the Oliver House Museum. Bullock estimates that if all these 100,000 plus pages were piled, the resulting stack would be at least 30 feet high. The images were then processed into searchable files, and using these newspaper page files searches for people, places and events have been made on a computer at the History Center.

Now, as of January 31, 2017, these files are available for searching online.

The NYS Historic Newspapers project provides free online access to newspapers that reflect New York State’s unique history. This free service was created and is administered by the Northern New York Library Network in partnership with the Empire State Library Network.

More than 6 million New York State newspaper pages are available for searching. Previously, they had only two Yates County newspaper titles: Penn Yan Democrat and Penn Yan Express.The addition of 100,000 plus pages adds six Yates County newspaper titles: Chronicle- Express, Yates County Chronicle, Yates County Whig, Yates County Republican, Rushville Chronicle and the Rushville Chronicle and Gorham New Age. Also, our issues of the Express and Democrat add to what they already have with some overlap.

The link to NYS Historic Newspapers is: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/titles/places/new_york/yates/

Newcomers to the site will want to click on Help to take you to FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and links to video podcasts that will help you get started searching.

Soon, most pdfs of Chronicle-Express pages from 2012 forward will be added to the online source, and History Center staff are looking for a way to convert the microfilm files of other years (1992 - 2011) to pdf format to also add to the collection.