Some years ago, the Idyllwild Area Historical Society, under the leadership of Bob Smith, decided it would be in Idyllwild’s best interest to invest in a digital archive of the Town Crier. Smith researched NewsBank, a global information archive, pursued funds to start the project and began looking for a partner to help with the expense of completion.
Smith approached Idyllwild Library Branch Manager Shannon Ng and together they worked with the IAHS. Shannon presented the project to the Friends of the Idyllwild Library who willingly stepped-up, solicited donations and paid for the project.
The Idyllwild Library began binding Town Crier issues in 1946. When it became obvious a few issues were missing, the Town Crier came forward, filled in the blanks and provided access to their digital subscriptions, too. Over the years, Ng sent NewsBank 10 years at a time of back issues, which took three months to digitize.
The history of Idyllwild is now available from 1946 to 2015 online in page format and can also be searched by word through a date range. It’s also accessible from the library and at home if you have a library card at http://infoweb.newbank.com/signin/idyllwildbranchlibrary.
Town Crier back issues also are available through GenealogyBank, which is a sister company to NewsBank. Friends of the Idyllwild Library pay an annual fee to maintain the collection and make it available online. Donations to this ongoing effort can be made to Friends of the Idyllwild Library or IAHS to continue digitizing back issues of the Town Crier from 2016 through 2018.