Complete original historic Eagle now available via BPL ‘s digital archives

April 10, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Readers of the Brooklyn Eagle website and the print edition of Brooklyn Daily Eagle may now easily read the pages of the original Brooklyn Eagle, through Brooklyn Public Library (BPL).  

Founded in 1841, the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle published continuously until 1955, changing its name during the 1950s to simply Brooklyn Eagle. When the original Eagle folded, the Brooklyn Daily Bulletin was started as a downtown newspaper published Mondays through Fridays. In 1996 the Bulletin began publishing the Eagle again, merging the two titles.  

But valuable Eagle archives and the traditional newspaper ‘morgue’ had been donated to the Brooklyn Public Library. And through the intervening years between closing of the original Eagle, and the re-start of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle in 1996, passionate memory of the Eagle had been generally dormant in the public awareness.

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Until today, the only feasible way to read the original pages from 1902 until 1955 was via microfilm at Brooklyn Public Library (or the Library of Congress), or access to the original bound copies in numerous collections—including this newspaper, which possesses bound copies from 1860 to 1955.

But now, BPL has more great news for readers.

BPL announced on Thursday that it has launched a new digital archive of newspapers, available through its Brooklyn Newsstand portal. In collaboration with Newspapers.com, the library’s historical division – the Brooklyn Collection – is releasing the portal’s first newspaper, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, to the digital shelves of the Brooklyn Newsstand. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle’s archives and other newspapers added to the Brooklyn Newsstand in the future will be freely available to all BPL visitors.

The Brooklyn Newsstand will now provide the public with free access to the entire collection of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper ranging from the date of its publication in 1841 to its close in 1955. Previously, thanks to a 2001 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS), BPL was able to digitize a microfilmed copy the Eagle from 1841 to 1902 and make those years searchable in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online database. As with the IMLS project, the second phase of digitization completed by Newspapers.com uses negative microfilm provided by the Library of Congress.

Anyone can access the Eagle’s archives by searching BPL’s website through the Brooklyn Newsstand portal. Users will be able to print, save, email and share any page or article they view with no extra effort or need to register.

“Brooklyn Public Library is delighted to collaborate with Newspapers.com to offer access to the full archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. These documents open a window into Brooklyn’s past and offer visiting researchers and community members alike an opportunity to explore Brooklyn’s exciting history within a national and international context,” said Linda E. Johnson, President & CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We look forward to continuing this project and adding other historic Brooklyn papers to the shelves of our digital newsstand.”

“We are thrilled to work with Brooklyn Public Library to make historical issues of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle available online free of charge,” said Brian Hansen, General Manager of Newspapers.com. “These newspapers provide a wealth of information about Brooklyn ancestors from birth, marriage, and death announcements to stories of family members or, at the very least, rich historical context of everyday life in Brooklyn through the years.”

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle has a rich history as an institution of the press and a pillar of the Brooklyn community. Founded in 1841 by Isaac Van Anden and Henry Cruse Murphy in order to provide a temporary political forum for the 1841 election of Brooklyn’s mayor, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle quickly transformed beyond this narrow mission into one of the longest running (published without interruption for 114 consecutive years) and largest papers in Brooklyn, absorbing all other local Brooklyn papers aside from the Brooklyn Citizen under its roof.

Standing apart from many other major metropolitan daily newspapers of that time, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle had global and national reach with offices around the world. Reporting on national and international affairs as well as local news, for a brief period the Brooklyn Daily Eagle was one of the most widely read afternoon papers in the nation. In addition, the paper assumed a critical role in fostering Brooklyn’s independent identity apart from Manhattan. Before the consolidation of New York City in 1898, Brooklyn had existed as an independent city. As Brooklyn evolved and became a part of the city, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle actively promoted the development of the borough and nurtured a sense of community and pride. Consequently, the archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle offer a rare glimpse into Brooklyn’s past alongside the national and international circumstances that shaped local people’s lives as well as the country’s history.

The paper’s legacy was so profound that in 1996, the Brooklyn Daily Bulletin merged with the revived Daily Eagle to give life to the modern edition of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The current edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle serves as the only daily in New York City devoted exclusively to Brooklyn and is published five days a week.


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