Old Vail Trail editions are now digitized through July 1992
Friends of the Vail Public Library issues fundraising appeal to complete project
Vail in the 1980s can now be relived by locals online as ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org has digitized the Vail Trail newspaper’s weekly collection through July of 1992.
The newspaper is now searchable through the free website, which is a service of the Colorado State Library. ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org contains more than 600 newspapers published in Colorado from 1859 up to 2021.
The Vail Trail’s inclusion in ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org collection has been a major focus of the Friends of the Vail Public Library group for the last decade, said Lori Barnes with the Vail Public Library. The group’s goal is to see the Vail Trail digitized and searchable through 2003.
Barnes said Friends of the Vail Public Library has been fundraising for years to see the project completed.
“This is a big way that Friends of the Library dollars have been utilized over the years,” Barnes said this week.
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The work has become more expensive as the paper grew — the final digitized edition of the Vail Trail currently available on ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org is the July 24, 1992 edition, which is 91 pages.
The complete effort through 2003 cost about $100,000, Barnes said. The Friends of the Vail Public Library’s multi-year fundraising effort has seen the project to where it is now.
Friends of the Vail Public Library recently issued another fundraising appeal in November.
“This year’s appeal letter comes with an exciting milestone as Vail Public Library celebrates its 40th Anniversary in the coming new year,” Friends of the Vail Public Library wrote. “It is a tribute to Friends like you who support Vail Public Library with the same values of community and service that brought the 10th Mountain Division from Italy back to Colorado, and a new, post-war world. Today, we encounter many of the same challenges those ski town pioneers faced to build a better world.”
2023 marks the 40th anniversary of Vail Public Library in its current location.
A recent article in Give magazine details the library’s origin story, starting in the fall of 1963 with a children’s story hour before opening a small location in January of 1964.
“Through the efforts of many of the years, Vail Public Library stands as a legacy to the ski resort pioneers who started it, the values that continue to enrich it, and the community of users that enable it,” Give magazine writes. “The library stands out as a community resource on the cutting edge of library services in a changing landscape for libraries everywhere.”
Among those cutting-edge services is the digitization effort, along with the library’s oral history of the Vail Trail, which is part of the Vail Cultural Heritage Committee’s Vail Valley Voices project.
The Vail Valley Voices project uses video and voice recordings to create its oral histories, and the Vail Trail digitization project allows users to download PDF copies of the old papers for free.
“For anyone researching Vail, it’s an amazing tool,” said Jo Norris with the Vail Public Library.
To become a member of the Friends of Vail Public Library group, a Visa or MasterCard payment of $20 for an individual, $40 for a family, $50 for a business is suggested, but interested community members are also welcome to volunteer their time, as well.
You can support Friends of Vail Public Library by visiting VailLibrary.com/friends-of-the-library-form/.