Four decades of historical Rockland newspapers now available online

Wed, 10/23/2019 - 10:45am

    ROCKLAND — A project to digitize Rockland’s newspapers marked an important milestone this week with the upload of nearly 40 years of issues from the Rockland Gazette and the Courier Gazette covering a period from 1861 to 1900. Over the last two years, the historical society has worked with New England Micrographics to capture high resolution images of the many reels of microfilm that cover the Courier Gazette and its previous iterations: the Lime Rock Gazette (1846-1850) and the Rockland Gazette (1851-1882).

    “We are excited to bring this history into every home in Rockland and beyond,” said Ann Morris, curator of the Rockland Historical Society, in a news release.

    In March, the society announced a partnership with the Maine State Library to load the newspapers into the DigitalMaine Repository, an online portal that the State of Maine manages to provide access to historical collections from libraries, museums, and historical societies around the state.

    The earliest papers, the Lime Rock Gazette from 1846 to 1850, were uploaded to the repository early this year, and the Courier Gazette from 1903 and 1920 were uploaded in August. Upload of the papers from 1851 to 1860 as well as papers from 1901 and 1902 is expected to occur at the end of the year. Work is also underway by interns and a volunteer at the society to process the digitized files from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Those papers will be available early next year.

    “Digitization is an important tool for anyone interested in learning more about the history of our state,” said Adam Fisher, Director of Collections and Digital Initiatives at the State Library.

    “When old newspapers are made available online, they can be easily searched for references to people, places, and events from the past.”

    Funding for the digitization work was made possible through donations from Rockland area publishers and museums, including: Courier Publications, Inc.; Maine Boats, Homes and Harbors; Down East Enterprises; Owls Head Transportation Museum; Sail Power and Steam Museum; Farnsworth Art Museum; and from Friends of the Rockland Public Library; Rockland Public Library Endowment Association; and the Maine Community Foundation.

    Morris must raise funds for the further digitization of the microfilm from the 1950s on and is encouraging those interested in local history to consider contributing to the project.

    The Rockland newspaper collection can be found online at In addition to the Rockland newspapers, the Maine State Library is involved with the digitization of thousands of pages of historic Maine newspapers with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities National Digital Newspaper Project.

    For more information visit

    To Search the Courier Gazette Online:

    1. Go to
    2. Choose the newspaper that includes the right date:
    Lime Rock Gazette – 1846-1850.
    Rockland Gazette – 1851-1882.
    Courier Gazette – 1882-present.

    3. In the upper left search box, type a name or subject.
    4. Issues that contain the name will be listed. Download an issue.
    5. When you can scroll through all the pages, hold down “Control” and click on “F.”