In the late ‘80s, Nan Washburn, a high-school English teacher at Hamilton Central School, was approached by some students to teach a journalism class. In 1990, that class evolved into a full-fledged weekly student newspaper called the Emerald Press. About 150 copies circulated throughout the Hamilton Central School District free of charge, and like any small-run newspaper it was a living document reflecting the lives of students, faculty members, and the greater Hamilton community for over 20 years. Even after Mrs. Washburn’s retirement in 2009, the newspaper continued to be published until 2015. The Emerald Press has recently been resurrected by some students as recently as a few months ago, under the advisement of School Librarian Amy Jerome.
And now is the part of the column where I tell you what this all has to do with the Hamilton Public Library. Currently, archives of the Emerald Press are available… well, nowhere publicly. Luckily, Mrs. Washburn saved all the issues published throughout her time as adviser. I don’t remember how exactly I came to know this information, but knew of a grant that could help convert Mrs. Washburn’s binders into a searchable database.
So we applied for said grant, aptly named the Access and Digitization Grant, through the Central New York Library Resources Council (CLRC) and as of last week the project was approved! Soon all the papers in Washburn’s personal collection will be available in their entirety online. As far as the details on where this collection will be housed, it’s still too early to know. But you can rest assured that between the frequency of this published column and the lack of interesting information I have to share, you will know when the time is right.
As always, thank you for reading.