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Perkasie Historical Society spearheads historic Central News and News-Herald Paper digitization project

The Bucks County Historical Society reports that the Perkasie Historical Society has completed work to preserve and digitize Perkasie’s Central News newspapers from 1881 to 1943, as well as News-Herald newspapers from 1943 to 2000.

The project makes these two newspapers available online for researchers and scholars worldwide. 

The Central News newspaper merged with the Sellersville Herald newspaper in 1943, forming the News-Herald.

With the 1881-1943 Central News being digitized and available in 2016, the Perkasie Historical Society continued the project for the papers stored with the Bucks County Historical Society in 2017 to microfilm and digitize the News-Herald. 

These fragile papers, which were stored at Sellersville Museum (1881-1943) and the Bucks County Historical Society (1943-2000), were rapidly deteriorating and in time, their content would have been lost to the community.

Because of the Perkasie Historical Society’s efforts, local historians and genealogists are able to access irreplaceable reference sources online through Newspapers.com. 

“It’s amazing that the Perkasie Historical Society was able to digitize more than 100 years of the Perkasie Central News and News-Herald, converting them from deteriorating and raggedy bound volumes to searchable digitized copies available to researchers and the public. This represents over a century of the entire history of Perkasie and its people and preserves it for future generations,” said Charles W. Baum, former editor, publisher and owner of the News-Herald, whose family owned the weekly newspaper for nearly 85 years.

The Perkasie Historical Society Museum will provide free on-site access to both of these local newspapers.

Patrons who are interested in learning more can call the society at 267-733-5441 to schedule an appointment.

Access to the newspapers will also be available at the Bucks County Historical Society via the Mercer Museum Library at 84 S. Pine Street in Doylestown.

Admission to the Mercer Museum Library is included with daily admission to the museum and is free to all Bucks County Historical Society members.

Cory Amsler, Vice President of Collections and Interpretation at the Bucks County Historical Society, adds, “The Bucks County Historical Society is thrilled to have collaborated with the Perkasie Historical Society to make this rich archive accessible to researchers both in our libraries and online. More than a half century of local history is contained in these vital News- Herald editions.”

Subscribers to Newspapers.com and Ancestry.com subscribers may also access the collection online, based on the terms of their own personal subscriptions.

“These newspapers offer a more personal and comprehensive view into the past through advertisements, obituaries, letters to the editor, real estate listings, front page news and engagement and wedding announcements,” said Martha A. Steeley, avid amateur genealogist and Sellersville historian.

Of note, within the News-Herald archive is a unique collection of “vest pocket” versions of the newspaper that were mailed to Pennridge servicemen during World War II.

This collection was donated to the Society by the Wilbur Hendricks family following his death.

This digitization project was made possible through support from the Pezzanite Family Charitable Trust, the Perkasie Anniversary and Historical Society, the Perkasie Industrial Development Authority and Newspapers.com.

Digital access to the entire run of this local newspaper, with its detailed accounts of community activities and leaders, provides a unique window into the history of Perkasie and the entire Pennridge area.