Donated old newspapers take Yakima's library-goers back in time - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Donated old newspapers take Yakima's library-goers back in time

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YAKIMA, WA - A historic contribution has been given to Yakima Valley Libraries: newspapers dating back to the 1900's showing what life used to be like.

"Yakima Valley Libraries recently received a very generous donation from publisher Bruce Smith," said Terry Walker, archive librarian with Yakima Valley Libraries. "He gave us all the back issues of The Toppenish Review, The Toppenish Tribune, The Wapato Independent."

And the list goes on...Walker describes the donation as an act of kindness.

"He didn't want to see them wasted so he offered them to the library,” Walker said.

And it's what these newspapers contain that keeps Walker busy preserving them.

"These are things that showed how people lived, where they lived," she said. "And simply it informs the way we live today so we need to know about it. It's to our benefit to know what it was like in the day."

Like when people only paid 65 cents for frozen strawberries, when a parking fine was two dollars and fifty cents, or how they got people to vote.

"They closed down the city, the schools in order to get a lot of people to register to vote,” said Walker.

"It's information like that these publications contain, which make them one-of-a-kind, Walker says.

"You'd find that kind of news in these old newspapers, and it's the only place you'll find it,” said Walker.

All newspapers will be digitized so library users can easily access them, but that might take up to a year. For now, anyone wanting to see these publications or many like it can go to the Yakima Central Library and ask the main desk for help.