Ninety percent of the time, if I need to look up an old article at work, it's recent enough that I can find it on our website.
I search for it, print it off, and give it to a reporter or use it for my own information.
Stories from decades past require a little more effort to find. Over in The Post-Journal's library, there are thousands of hand-clipped files stored in a long row of cabinets. Thankfully, they're labeled clearly and alphabetized, making it fairly easy to find whatever I need.
For Dusten Rader's article on the former Evan's Skateland, which we ran last weekend, I found a handful of clippings from the 1970s and 1980s for his information. The paper had printed some neat photos of the rink's construction. The original photos were not in the file, however.
Taking a photo off of newsprint, scanning it and reprinting it results in a photo of very poor quality. So, I asked Ralph Heeter, our photo technician, if it would be possible to find the original images. He told me we should still have negatives from the 1970s stored upstairs on the advertising floor.
Ralph warned me, though, that they probably wouldn't be easy to find.
Unlike the wonderfully organized newspaper clippings in the library, the photo cabinets aren't labeled.
I decided I could spare 30 minutes to search for the negatives, knowing I would need some luck to find what I wanted. If I couldn't find them in that amount of time, I'd return to my desk and get back to work on something else.
Fortunately for me, I randomly and correctly selected a cabinet containing negatives from the summer of 1978 on my first attempt. I had clippings from July 5 and Aug. 14 of that year in my hand.
I struck out on finding the July images. They're either in a different cabinet or I skipped over them in my haste.
After pawing through white envelope after white envelope, I found one labeled "New Skate Rink Progress: 8-78." I held the negatives up to the light and realized I had what I needed.
It probably didn't matter much that I found them; we would've printed Dusten's article either way.
I think old photos and articles are fun, though.
For the images of the Evan's Skateland construction, I have Richard W. Hallberg to thank. He probably wouldn't have guessed we would reprint his photos a few decades later.
I don't consider myself to be a great photographer, but maybe a future newsroom employee will find one of my shots worthy of reprinting many years from now.