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Windsor Star hands over 100 years of wars, strikes and other local history to the library | CBC News


Its reporters covered the First and Second World Wars. They covered the Great Depression.

They covered the amalgamation of 1935, when Windsor, Sandwich, East Windsor and Walkerville all united to form the City of Windsor.

Now the Windsor Star is handing over more than 100 years of archives to the Windsor Public Library, including photos, bound newspapers, and an envelope of circulation data from 1917. And soon, that information will be available to the public.

Postmedia, the parent company of Windsor Star, made the agreement with the city and the library this week. 

“It’s a rich trove of history documenting wars, strikes, celebrations, accomplishments,” Craig Pearson, managing editor for the Windsor Star, said in a media release Thursday. 

Previously, only Windsor Star journalists could access the archives. When Postmedia sold the Starway Avenue printing plant, the paper had to make a decision about its archives.

“I can’t think of a better fit for housing this historic information and, in turn, being able to make it accessible to all, than the Windsor Public Library,” said Coun. Mark McKenzie, library board chair.

McKenzie said securing the archives for the community of Windsor was a necessity. 

“So our biggest fear was that these archives were just going to disappear, right?,” McKenzie said. “As Postmedia’s closing the printing plant off E.C. Row there, we were afraid these archives would just get shipped to Toronto and then maybe we would never see them again.

“We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen.”

The library will incorporate the records into its design, including a public display and space for the public to access them. 

McKenzie said the decision to keep and showcase the archives in Windsor signal a shift in how Windsor views and values its own history. 

“Over the past 5, 10 years we’ve tried to start preserving our history. There was a long, long period where Windsor kind of ignored our history,” McKenzie said. “You see that with buildings that were torn down and we look back now and we’re like, ‘Okay, maybe we shouldn’t have done that.’ 

“It’s nice to see that we have a council and a mayor  who really want to preserve the history of this city.”

The Windsor Star has covered Windsor and Essex County since 1890 as a daily and 1860 as a weekly.

Its other names have included the Windsor Record (1888), the Border Cities Star (1918), and the Windsor Daily Star (1935), before becoming the Windsor Star in 1959.


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