Ottumwa Public Library Receives Another Grant for Project


Ottumwa Public Library Friends announced more grant funding for the library’s microfilm digitalization project.

According to Ottumwa Public Library Director Sonja Ferrell, State Historical Society, Inc provided the library with a $5,000 grant. This is the third funding gift the digitalization project has received.

This project specifically had Advantage Archives scan and digitize local newspaper collections that had been preserved via microfilm from 1952-1957. 

Earlier this year, thanks to funding from the Wapello County Board of Supervisors digitization has been completed as far back as 1867 up through 1952.  By digitizing them the information is secured long past the shelf life of the microfilm and newspapers.

Another benefit will be the accessibility of the information.  Not only will one not need to be in the library to have access, but the information will be keyword searchable.

“Previously a person conducting research over microfilm would either need to already know dates of the information they were looking for or spend a long time scanning through reel after reel of microfilm. This will speed up the process for both patrons and staff conducting research on local Ottumwa history.”Ottumwa Public Library Director Sonja Ferrell

The library and the Ottumwa Public Library Friends, Inc.  are continuing to seek out funds in order to further the project of digitizing not only the microfilm in their collection, but also the scanning and digitization of the physical books and papers in their local history materials.

The website for the newspaper archives is and is linked through the library’s website


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