It all started when a mysterious cartridge of microfilm turned up in the possession of history and journalism teacher Bill Gabriel at Ashland High School in southern Oregon. Well, perhaps the cartridge wasn’t so mysterious, since the words “Rogue News” were clearly hand-printed across the front, but having never seen anything like it before, the true contents of the cartridge remained a mystery.
That is, however, until Gabriel contacted us and delivered the cartridge to the ODNP headquarters at the University of Oregon. Luckily, the UO Libraries has special machines that allow for viewing the contents of all kinds of microfilm reels. We were able to load the film onto one of the machines, and sure enough the cartridge contained images of the Rogue News, Ashland High School’s student newspaper, with issue dates ranging from January 18, 1929 – September 21, 1973.
Thanks to Bill Gabriel, Ashland High School, and the ODNP Advisory Board, these issues of the Rogue News are now included in the keyword-searchable Historic Oregon Newspapers online database. This project is not only exciting for the current students and alumni of Ashland High School, it is also a way for students nationwide and across the globe to connect with peers of the past and get a feel for what high school was like during the mid-20th century. Now that the content is available online, it will be interesting and educational to search and browse through the historic pages and identify the similarities and differences from past to present. Although technology and society continue to transform and shift our culture, it is clear that some traditions will remain in place for years to come.
Here are a few snippets from the paper to spark your curiosity: