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Earlier this year, several new titles were added to Virginia Chronicle, the Library of Virginia’s digital newspaper database. Among the latest additions are the earliest issues of UVA’s student newspaper, College Topics; The Free Press of Woodstock; three new Fauquier County newspapers; new Winchester, Leesburg, and Fredericksburg papers; as well as additional issues of the Herald-Progress, Rappahannock Record, Floyd Press, Northside, and the Peninsula Enterprise. And, just a reminder — you can always find new arrivals to Virginia Chronicle on the home page under the “On This Day” display page.

We are delighted to announce the addition of the University of Virginia’s College Topics to Virginia Chronicle, with 1890-1916 issues now accessible through the site. College Topics, which began on January 15, 1890, became the Cavalier Daily in 1948 and is still published today. Starting as a four-page weekly, College Topics became a semiweekly in 1902, reporting on student activities, classes, theatre and musical performances, sports, personals, club meetings, chapel services, and all things related to UVA life. College Topics ran regular features like, “Biographies of Contemporaries,” which featured a biographical write-up on a chosen student and editorialized on topics like city laws and ordinances affecting both students and local Charlottesville residents. Each issue also contained poems, like “Chaw, Chaw, Chaw,” which was “Addressed to the Mess Hall Beefsteak” and waxed poetically on the perpetual lack of tenderness of the cafeteria steak. A student perusing College Topics could learn about the latest Raven Society event, read about Yale’s sparkling new gymnasium, take part in an article-writing contest or get the real story on President Alderman’s gubernatorial aspirations. College Topics is also a vivid record of the local businesses that advertised on its pages during those years.

Another fantastic addition to Virginia Chronicle is The Free Press, also known as The Shenandoah Free Press, published weekly by Keith Stickley in Woodstock, Virginia, from August 1985 to May 2019. An introductory article in the first edition of the paper explained that, “there will be no subscription price and no single copy fee for issues of The Free Press.” It went on, “The Free Press will devote much of its news space to feature stories and in-depth coverage of local reporting.”

Stickely started The Free Press less than two weeks after leaving the Shenandoah Valley-Herald, where he had been editor and general manager, in order to create a paper that would be the “people’s newspaper.” His sons, Dave and Jeff, as well as other former employees of the Valley-Herald joined him in the endeavor. “Rather than to accept the mandate for a softened approach to news reporting and editorial writing,” Stickley instead created a harder-hitting alternative to the Valley-Herald with an impressive run of nearly 34 years. 1997-2019 issues of The Free Press are now on Virginia Chronicle and 1985-1996 will be available soon, thanks to the publisher who lent bound copies of those years so that a complete collection could be filmed and digitized.

Three new historical Fauquier County newspapers have also arrived on Virginia Chronicle. The Remington News, later called the Tri-County Herald, published by Fred C. Thurston every Friday was self-described as “A Paper Devoted to the Interests of Remington and Surrounding Country.” Whether it was the opening of a new gas station in Remington or the murder of a Catlett wife by her husband, the Remington News and the Tri-County Herald chronicled news of Fauquier and Culpeper counties from 1932-1940. Additional issues of the Remington Press, precursor to the Remington News, have also been added to Virginia Chronicle. It is thanks to the Fauquier Heritage & Preservation Foundation (FHPF), who lent newspapers from their extensive local history collection held in the Gott Library, that these titles are now accessible on Virginia Chronicle. Another title lent by the FHPF, Southern Echo, hails from the very small town of Calverton, located fifteen miles southeast of Warrenton. Though there are only seven extant issues of the Echo, it offers a glimpse of life in the rural communities of Calverton and nearby Catlett, Elk Run, and Midland in 1930.

Rounding out the new historical offerings on Virginia Chronicle are 1896-1907 of the Daily Item, Morning News-Item, and Evening News-Item of Winchester; 1939-1941 issues of the Shopping News of Fredericksburg; and 1901-1906 of the Record of Leesburg. In addition to new titles that have been added, additional issues of the Herald Progress of Ashland, the Floyd Press, the Richmond publication Northside, and the earliest issues of the Rappahannock Record have been added to complete the runs of these titles. Finally, issues from 1923 and 1956-1963 of the Peninsula Enterprise are now on Virginia Chronicle, with 1924-1955 coming soon.

In the next few months, look for the Virginia Gazette, the Kaleidoscope, the Yorktown Crier, Salem Times Register, and the Hampden Sydney Tiger, among many others that will be added to Virginia Chronicle in 2024. Visit Virginia Chronicle today and check out what’s new!

Kelley Ewing

Senior Project Cataloger

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