A Visit From Mary Solari

We hosted an important visitor today! Mary Solari and her late husband, Richard, are major benefactors of our Library and the University of Oregon as a whole. They have lent financial support to no less than five library endowments, including the Corrigan-Solari Endowment for Collections, which supports our efforts to build the Digital Collections. Knight Library’s beautiful spiral staircase is also named in honor of the Solaris.

Mary Solari (left) discusses historic newspaper digitization with UO Libraries' Image Services Coordinator, Lesli Larson and NDNP Project Manager, Jason Stone. (Photo by Mandy Garcia)

Mary and her daughter, Ann Ferrante, are currently spending a few days touring the campus here in Eugene. Given all the stops they will be making, we at the Digital Newspaper Program were pleased to get a few minutes with them! We explained the overall goals and processes of our project, displayed a few finished page scans,  and demonstrated the keyword-searching feature on the Chronicling America Website. Mary informed us of their family’s connection to James Piratsky, a newspaper publisher in turn-of-the-(20th) Century California. Searching for ‘Piratsky’ on Chronicling America brought up no less than 17 hits, all published in the San Fransisco Call between 1892 and 1907. Here is the reference from June 24, 1895:

Looks like we found our man! This was an excellent demonstration of the speed, convenience and utility offered by this digital resource.

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