More than 200,000 WWI-period Saskatchewan newspaper pages digitized

As early as mid-November, more than 200,000 pages of newspapers, published during the First World War in about 100 communities across Saskatchewan, may all be digitized and available online. The very good news is that most of these pages can already be searched and browsed on Saskatchewan Historic Newspaper Online.

This project is the first stage is an ambitious plan to eventually digitize about 11 million Saskatchewan newspaper pages.

Although the deadline for the WWI project was initially set for the end of this year, Curt Campbell, manager of the Preservation Management Unit and Digital Records Program at the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, said the work may be finished ahead of schedule, within a couple of weeks.

The Yorkton Enterprise, Saskatchewan, Thursday, August 13, 1914. Source: Saskatchewan Historic Newspaper Online.

The Yorkton Enterprise, Saskatchewan, Thursday, August 13, 1914. Source: Saskatchewan Historic Newspaper Online.

Saskatchewan Historic Newspaper Online is the result of a collaborative effort between the Saskatchewan Archives and the University of Saskatchewan’s Sask History Online. The collection includes newspapers published in English, French, German, and Ukrainian.

Millions of pages to be digitized
The long-term goal is to digitize all available Saskatchewan newspapers from 1878 to the mid-1960s. Due to sheer volume and limited resources, digitization of the entire collection could take decades.

According to Mr. Campbell, the digitization process is being “broken down into thematic chapters, which will make the work more manageable and provide a level of context for the material.”

After the WWI newspaper project is done, they will begin digitizing newspapers published during WWII, and then the years between the two wars. This will provide a significant digital collection from 1914 to 19145.

Searching the collection by keyword
Searches can be conducted by keywords within the newspaper name and within article headlines, as well as by the community associated with the newspaper and the repository of the newspaper holdings.

In the future, they hope to enrich the search functions to include the full text of the newspapers.

Browsing the collection
The collection can be also be browsed by the community associated with the newspaper. Communities are listed alphabetically, and results can be further narrowed down by newspaper title and then by year of publication.

Future plans include adding a dynamic map of communities with associated newspapers, as well as a timeline that will allow browsing by the publication date of individual newspaper issues and show publication ranges.

If a keyword search produces too many results, it is easy to narrow the search by eliminating newspapers and communities listed in the left-hand margin.

Transcribers wanted
Moving forward, Saskatchewan History Online would like to invite the public to assist them in further enriching the descriptions and transcriptions of the collection. If you are interested in contributing in some way, you are invited to contact Craig Harkema, digital projects librarian at the University Library, University of Saskatchewan: craig.harkema at

Newspapers in the Genealogy Research Toolbox
Links to this newspaper collection and others can be found in the Genealogy à la carte Genealogy Research Toolbox.

Follow Genealogy a la carte’s board Canadian Genealogy Resources on Pinterest.

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2 Responses to More than 200,000 WWI-period Saskatchewan newspaper pages digitized

  1. Chris Bukoski says:

    Good morning, Gail. Thanks for the update! Shared on our Society’s Facebook page:

    Have a great day!

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