120 years of the Exponent archives to go digital

By JASON BERG/Montana State News

Montana State University’s student newspaper, The Exponent, has launched a project that will store all 120 years of issues digitally.

With the help of the Associated Students of Montana State University Senate and the Renne Library staff, the Exponent will have over 3,200 issues available online. The newspaper received $5,000 from the ASMSU Senate, which unanimously approved the project.

ASMSU senators have voiced their support of the project. Levi Birky, ASMSU’s newest vice president, said, “What the exponent is doing is a great way to archive more than 100 years of MSU history in an easy and accessible form.”

ASMSU Business Manager John Cowles said, “It was tricky to approve funding towards a self-funded program like the Exponent, but ASMSU is in support in increasing more student employment, and the project is valuable for preserving the history of MSU.”

This project will entail students scanning all of the microfilm and uploading the scans onto a separate webpage. After the scans are uploaded, students will be able to scroll through microfilm before finding the desired article.

Once the project is completed, anyone will be able to print off a past issue right from the Exponent’s website as a PDF. According to Nicole Duggan, current editor of the Exponent, these past issues will be searchable. Finding an article will be much quicker and easier than going through the special collections section in the library.

Duggan also explained that finding the specific article by its title is usually not feasible, but the articles will be keyword searchable. This will save MSU students and alumni much time and effort when looking through the archive.

The Exponent hopes to complete the project by the end of the 2016 spring semester.

Edited by Molly Wright

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