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Access the past with the Lake Scugog Historical Society on April 26th

COURTNEY McCLURE, The Standard

SCUGOG: Join Peter Hvidsten, at the Scugog Memorial Public Library, at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, April 26th, for a brief history lesson on Scugog Township.


Mr. Hvidsten is a member of the Lake Scugog Historical Society (LSHS), and he will be teaching residents how to use the Scugog Digital Newspaper Collection.

“People can access history, as recorded in the newspapers, at any time, from the luxury of their own homes,” explained the president of the LSHS, Marilyn Pearce,

Convenience and accessibility were the LSHS’s top priorities, when creating the Scugog Digital Newspaper Collection.

Mr. Hvidsten said, preserving newspaper in an online platform is very important, not only for accessibility but so people can learn about their family history and the history of Scugog.

“It’s our history,” he said. “It’s where we came from. It’s important we know where we came from and how we got to where we are today.”

The Scugog Digital Newspaper Collection is a separate website from the LSHS’ main page. However, you can access the archive through the LSHS’s homepage.

The collection includes five newspapers and the Focus on Scugog magazine.

The Scugog Digital Newspaper Collection has been active for about two years. Although, the LSHS has made multiple updates throughout the years because they want to include a lot of content for people to use.

The point of this event is to show residents how to navigate the Scugog Digital Newspaper Collection and and be able to learn a bit of Scugog’s history.

“I’ve always been interested in history,” said Mr. Hvidsten. “I [have written] books and I’m a part of the historical society as well as the Heritage [Advisory] Committee. So, I’ve had a long career in that field involving history and writing.”

He was also the owner of the Port Perry Star newspaper for many years. Around 1985, Mr. Hvidsten had all of the Port Perry Star newspapers put onto a microfilm, but the microfilm has been deteriorating.

Microfilm had also become in-accessible for some people, as they had to leave their homes to access the microfilm. So, that’s what gave Mr. Hvidsten the idea to move a few local and old newspapers onto a digital platform.

“Now, with the digitization, people can work from their homes or from their phones,” he said.

Everyone within the community can access this online archive – residents, students doing research for projects, business owners and many more individuals.

The LSHS is now working on fundraising because it costs a lot to keep the digital archive running. Mr. Hvidsten said, most of the money the LSHS will use will likely come from government grants. However, the LSHS accepts donations from business and community members who want to help. You can donate through the LSHS’s website. On the site's front page, you will see a button [which] says “Donate through Canada Helps.”

You can donate in the form of an e-transfer or a physical cheque. You can drop off cheque donations at Books Galore on Perry Street, Port Perry, said Ms. Pearce.

According to Ms. Pearce, the LSHS has raised about $45,000.

For more information about the Scugog Digital Newspaper Collection, please visit the LSHS website, at: lakescugoghistoricalsociety.com.

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