Recently digitized issues of the “Northern Illinois,” now known as the campus newspaper “Northern Star,” are providing a link to local history.
At 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, at the Glidden Homestead, 921 W. Lincoln Highway, in DeKalb, learn more about the digitization process of the newspaper, a project led by the Special Collections and Archives department through Northern Illinois University’s Founders Memorial Library.
The digital versions are available through NIU’s Digital Library. Editions from 1899 through the 1920s will be available to access online this spring, while the remaining publications created through 1997 will be available this fall. The papers are being digitized from microfilm.
“The Northern Star’s longtime documentation of news allows us to learn more about our local history,” said Jessi Haish LaRue, Glidden Homestead executive director. “It’s exciting that this wealth of information will be easily accessed online.”

Bradley Wiles, MA, MLIS, associate professor and department head, will present on the digitization process, interesting discoveries made while viewing the papers, and other projects the department is working on. Wiles has worked in a variety of archives and library settings for more than fifteen years. In addition to digitization projects, his department will host a regional history conference, and a local history skills workshop, both on NIU’s campus.

The Glidden Homestead museum will be open for tours, and The Phineas Vaughan Blacksmith Shop will be open and operating that day while volunteer blacksmiths provide demonstrations of the craft. Admission for the program and tour is $5 for adults; children younger than 14 and homestead members are admitted free.

The Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and Historical Center is a not-for-profit organization working to preserve the home and barn while providing educational opportunities to the public. The house and Welcome Center are open from noon to 4 p.m. each Sunday, April through November, with a special event in December. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of Glidden’s “The Winner,” the most widely-used barbed wire in the world, which also earned Glidden the title “The Father of Barbed Wire.”

For more information, call 815-756-7904, visit or visit J.F. Glidden Homestead & Historical Center on Facebook.

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