Posts Tagged ‘Rolfe Arrow’

101 Years of Rolfe, Iowa, Newspapers are Available Online

February 26, 2012

UPDATE June 4, 2012: The URL for the newspaper site has been updated. The current (as of today) URL is The URL will be updated a final time (to something easier to memorize) during summer of 2012. At that time, I’ll post the final updated URL here.

The main gist of this post is that the Rolfe, Iowa, newspapers are online and that over the next approximately two months, modifications will be made to the web site. There may be periods of inaccessibility. If/when there are, feel free to email me* to let me know, or you may contact the company directly. It will not be until a few weeks after the host company has its new servers in place that everything runs smoothly all the time. So…patience is in order. In the meantime please read the information below and…enjoy! P.S.: Thank you to those of you who contributed financially to this project. If you did not contribute (or even if you did!), but like the access to these papers and want to contribute to help meet other library financial obligations, you may do so through the Rolfe [Iowa] Public Library Trust. The phone number for the library is 712-848-3413. The email address is Or, you may simply write out a check to “Rolfe Public Library Trust” and mail it to Rolfe Public Library, 319 Garfield St., Rolfe, Iowa, 50581.

Remember…if there are technical difficulties searching the site, either wait a day to see if it works, or contact me or the company. In a couple of months everything should be smooth sailing.

101 Years of Rolfe, Iowa, Newspapers are Available Online


Time Span of Newspapers:
1888-1989 (In 1989, The Rolfe Arrow, Rolfe’s local newspaper, was absorbed by the Pocahontas Record-Democrat newspaper.)

Additional Publication:
The online collection also includes Rolfe’s 90-page centennial book titled Centennial History, Rolfe, Iowa, 1863-1963.

Web Site Tweaking: In March or April, the web site will undergo minor modifications. This will include the provision of additional search features and a change in the URL to one that is more easily memorized.

Periods of Inaccessibility:
If the web site is inaccessible for short periods of time, it may be due to site maintenance.

Until further notice, questions regarding the newspaper site may be directed to Louise Gunderson Shimon at

Funding: The Rolfe Public Library Trust is funding this project through private donations and the sales of donated prints of Marion Gunderson’s watercolors. “Marion the Librarian” worked at the Rolfe Public Library for thirty-five years, from 1963 to 1998.

Search Tip from Kim Webb Toth-Tevel (a great-granddaughter of C.M. Webb): I have been having a ball with this [the archives] and my family has learned many things about our ancestors we never knew. Very cool. A tip for using them is to 1) go to “Advanced Search.” 2) Type in your family name and 3) limit the time period to one year. Then you can have fun reading what comes up. You can save the newspaper page to your computer or copy and paste the part about your family inot another document to collect them. The newspaper was like the Facebook of it’s day–social networking.

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As of January 2012, the contents of 101 years of Rolfe, Iowa, newspapers are available online. For another month or two, the site will undergo tweaking by the web hosting company.

It is important to note that optical character recognition (OCR) software used to scan and convert hard-copy text to a searchable electronic format cannot accurately recognize every text character. For example, if a font utilized in a newspaper is not standard but instead is rather stylized (e.g., a non-standard swirly font), it likely will not be recognized by the software. Likewise, if an area of a page is smudged or otherwise damaged, the character recognition software will not recognize words in that poor quality area of a page. In such cases, a search will not return a result for a term in which such a character was not correctly recognized.

To explain this further, take, for example, a patron searching the site using the search term “Webb.” If the word “Webb” was included on a particular newspaper page, but the type of text (font) was not standard (e.g., the non-standard swirly font), it may not be recognized by the character recognition software. Therefore, it will not show up in the list of hits resulting from the search term “Webb.”

Similarly,” if “Webb” appears in a smudged area of a newspaper page, the OCR software will not recognize it, and the page will not show up in the list of hits resulting from the search term “Webb.”

As of February 26, 2012, the capability to limit a search to a particular time frame is not an option. However, the plan is that, before the end of April, it will become an option.

The Rolfe Public Library is sponsoring this archive project.

Help*: As yet, there is no “help” available at the URL cited above. Over time, that “help” link will become active.


I found this January 19, 1928, Rolfe Arrow article by searching the terms “Rolfe library” and the timeframe of 1927 through 1929. I chose this timeframe because I knew that in 1928 the Rolfe Public Library began its service to Rolfe-area patrons. (Click once or twice on image to enlarge it. Twice to magnify even further.)


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(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

101 years (1888-1989) of Rolfe, Iowa, Newspapers Online

April 18, 2010

UPDATE July 12, 2012: The URL for the Rolfe, Iowa, newspaper archives is:

The oral history project endorsed by the Rolfe (Iowa) Public Library board is nearing completion.

The next fabulous project is that of digitizing 101 years of Rolfe newspapers so that they will be online and keyword-searchable.

The September 4, 1969, issue of The Rolfe Arrow on microfilm at the Pocahontas Public Library. (Click photo once and then again to enlarge.)

Currently those newspapers from 1888 to 1989* are on microfilm at the Pocahontas Public Library. For many of us who live at a distance, and even for those who live near Pocahontas, sometimes it is a little tricky to get to the Pocahontas library to look at that microfilm.

The Rolfe Public Library board recently endorsed the project of raising funds to digitize those 101 years of Rolfe newspapers. Once they are digitized, any computer with Internet access will be able to access those newspapers (unless the newspaper web site is blocked on a particular network).

Click here for an explanatory document about the project, including microfilm roll ID #s.** If you cannot open the explanatory document, please contact me. (Contact information is given below.) The information is also available at the Rolfe Public Library.



The first two pages of the explanatory document are informational, including the time span and ID# for each roll of microfilm. On the third page is a form to be used for donations to the project.

If you want to print just the donation form and not the rest of the information, click here for just the donation form. Directions for donating are on the form. All donation amounts are appreciated. (For the oral history project, donations ranged from $10 to several hundred dollars.)

If you have questions, please contact me for clarity and/or more information. My (Louise Gunderson Shimon) contact information is: 515-465-2746;; 14106 Green Dr., Perry, Iowa, 50220.

You may also ask at the Rolfe Public Library; however, since I know all the ins and outs of the project, it may be that you are referred to me.

If you’d like to contribute to the project but can’t right now, please give yourself a reminder.

If you think you might like to contribute but don’t currently have time or funds to do so, please write yourself some sort of reminder note or put a twist-tie around your finger!

One important detail is that all contributions should be made to the “Rolfe Public Library Trust.” The word “Trust” is important to include.

On behalf of the Rolfe Public Library board and staff, thank you for your interest in this project.

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Questions? Comments? Or, are you thinking I left out a vital piece of information? If so, please let me know.

*There may be a few issues missing.

**Roll ID #s are  provided on page 2 of the explanatory document for anyone who wishes to donate and specify sponsorship of one or more entire rolls of microfilm.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)