New database features 6,000 pages of historic Chattanooga newspapers

Authored By Sean Phipps

The Chattanooga Star (Photo:

“Miss Alice Young entertained last night at her home on Lindsay Street,” reads a report from The Chattanooga Star on June 21, 1907. “Heart dice was played at five tables and the score cards carried out the heart idea. Miss Mabel Young and Miss Frances Heary presided at the punch bowl. An ice course was served later in the evening.”

The above paragraph is just a small clip from more than 6,000 pages of historical Chattanooga newspapers that are now available online for the public. features a searchable online database with “free, open resources to benefit researchers, students, genealogists and the general public.”

The project is a dual effort led by Sam Hall, founder of Deep Zoom Chattanooga and Picnooga founder, David Moon. It was made possible by a collection of about 30 campaign donors in May.

The first batch of newspapers covers 1862 to 1907 and 12 different newspapers. Publications include The Chattanooga Star (1907), The Daily Times (1869-1895), The Chattanooga Daily Times (1875-1911), Chattanooga Daily Gazette (1864-1865) and others

From a news release:

In 2016, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) selected and provided reels of Chattanooga newspapers on microfilm from their collection to be digitized via a 3rd party partner and coordinated by Hall. Since then both history advocates have been proactively working to find affordable and sustainable options to bring newspapers online over the past four years.

Advantage Preservation, an Iowa based company was selected based on their dedication to preserving history while providing a standards?based process to host online?access. The company works with libraries, state and local historical societies, newspaper publishers, genealogical societies, museums, schools, colleges, and other institutions to preserve and provide access to their local history.

Hall said even casual users of the website will find something interesting.

“It has interest on so many levels,” he said. “The writing style, the type of content in multiple columns; it’s an endless entertainment source. There’s hardly anybody who wouldn’t find it mildly fascinating.”

Although some historic newspapers are available online, the Advantage Preservation process allows users to enter keywords to search the pages.

And this is just the beginning. Moon and Hall are already making plans to expand the collection further.

Advertisements, 1907
The collection includes more than 1200 pages from The Chattanooga Star in 1907. Below is a few of the many advertisements from the newspaper that the team found interesting.