Herald revamps archives service

The Hyde Park Herald archives receives a dramatic facelift beginning this week, with a new set of tools for searching past issues in the Historical Archive and a Text Only Collection of recent issues of the Herald going back to 2010.

The new digital collections are as complete a set of the 131-year-old community newspaper as is possible, with every known historical issue represented in the archive and current issues archived within days of publication.

The revamped resource is another step in the Herald’s efforts to leverage the Internet to improve the neighborhood’s access to news and information.

In late 2012, the Herald launched a new website at hpherald.com which added interactivity to the site, with such features as the ability to comment on stories and like them on Facebook. It then launched a new Facebook and Twitter presence, further enhancing the community’s ability to access articles and information provided by the Herald online.

Earlier this year, the Herald also introduced its first mobile platform tool, polling readers regarding the proposed high-rise slated for 53rd Street. Residents replied enthusiastically, weighing in for and against the project. The poll results were published in the Herald.

“The Herald has always sought to reflect the community back to itself, and in this digital age, we are looking for ways to include our neighbors in doing just that,” said Herald Publisher Bruce Sagan. “Now you can share our news and information on your own network and add to what we all know by commenting on our stories.”

At the same time, the Herald hopes to help provide background and context to the stories of the day through use of the archives, Sagan said.

“In a sense, the overarching themes of Hyde Park keep repeating,” said Sagan. “By making an archive of the historical record of the community available and easy to use, we hope our readers will appreciate the context within which our ongoing efforts to manage change in the neighborhood exists.”

The Herald is also in the process of designing a blog, which will focus on even greater interactivity with the community and a larger range of opportunities for readers to use the Herald as a platform for their own expression.

“We see the Herald as a service for the community,” said Herald Vice President and General Manager Susan Walker. “We want the neighborhood to be able to use that service in as many creative and fun ways as can be imagined.”