More than 20 years of The Wingspan, Laramie County Community College’s award-winning student newspaper, is now available online for free, thanks to a collaboration between LCCC and the Wyoming State Library.
The digitization effort makes 119 Wingspan issues, dating from October 16, 2000, to May 12, 2021, freely available in the Wyoming Digital Newspapers Collection. The pages are browsable with magnification features. Text is displayed in a window next to the pages and the pages can be downloaded. Users can also search for terms that appear in the Wingspan.
J O’Brien, LCCC’s Communication & Creative Arts Pathway coordinator, said it’s exciting because the Wingspan is the most comprehensive history of the college available.
“There’s nowhere else where we are curating and celebrating and keeping track of all the great things that happen on campus,” he said.
The community college sent PDF files of Wingspan pages to the Wyoming State Library where a team worked to integrate them into the newspaper archive. It was an interesting project for Jessica Otto, WSL Digital Initiatives Specialist, because she was the Wingspan’s online editor in spring and summer 2015, and was involved with the paper doing graphic design and writing throughout her two years at LCCC.
“I’m excited by the fact that I went to LCCC, and I get to see now some of the things that I worked on and that my classmates worked on preserved forever,” Jessica said. It’s been fascinating, she continued, to see the changes that took place through 21 years at the paper.
“You can see a really big evolution,” she said. “Some of the earlier issues were talking about the internet and how that can be helpful to students.”
Meghan Kelly, LCCC Library & Learning Commons Associate Dean, said it’s important to digitize newspapers like the Wingspan because it preserves the content from its current fragile medium.
“Adding The Wingspan to the Wyoming Digital Newspaper Collection is exciting because it makes more LCCC historical information widely available to alumni and the community,” she said.
About the collection
The digitized Wingspan collection is available at wyomingnewspapers.org. Collaborators are currently gathering quotes and attempting to identify funding for digitizing Wingspan editions spanning from 1970-1999.
The Wyoming Digital Newspaper Collection is a partnership between the University of Wyoming Libraries and Wyoming State Libraries. The online collection features a wealth of reliable information from first-hand accounts valuable to historians, genealogists, students, and scholars. The earliest archive dates back to 1849. Intriguing highlights include five German prisoner of war camp titles, the Heart Mountain Sentinel, Italian-language newspapers from Rock Springs and papers that survived for only a brief time before disappearing in the boom-and-bust ghost towns of Wyoming and the West.