BELFAST — Belfast Free Library today announced the digitization and microfilming of the complete run of The Waldo Independent newspaper. The digitized content is now freely available to the public online for reading and searching.

The Waldo Independent was published weekly from Oct. 24, 1985, to June 28, 2008, a run of almost 23 years, and covered Waldo County news during a period of significant transformation.

Over the past year, Jay Davis and Jeff Shula, Waldo Independent editor and columnist/reporter, respectively, helped the library to acquire a complete run of the newspaper by tracking down all of the issues missing from the library’s collection. Belfast Free Library is now the only institution anywhere with a complete run of the paper, according to the library’s Feb. 10 announcement. “Therefore, it was crucial to ensure that the paper was preserved through microfilming, as well as made available online,” the press release said.

Made possible through public support in the library’s annual appeal, the project expands on newspaper microfilming and digitization work previously undertaken by the Friends of the Belfast Free Library, according to the announcement.

The Waldo Independent can be accessed online at https://belfast.advantage-preservation.com. This same digital archive also contains digitized issues of The Republican Journal from its beginning in 1829 up until 1868, courtesy of the Friends of the Belfast Free Library. The Republican Journal from 1869 to 1922 is available online through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America project.

The digital newspaper archive enables users to browse at their leisure through the issues and to search efficiently by keyword and with narrowed limits to find specific information. Users can zoom in or out, download pages as PDFs, and crop and enlarge extracts.