I know I mentioned it before, but I’ve got to mention it again, Interlibrary loan is one of your best friends. I wrote last January about the Georgia Virtual Vault and Edward Lamb McAllister.
I still had many questions regarding Edward’s murder. Could newspaper articles provide answers to the questions I’ve been looking for?
One of my favorite places to look for books, or anything is WorldCat. WorldCat is a huge network of library content. It will tell you the availability of all kinds of things at thousands of libraries. So, I wanted to see where I might find the newspapers I was looking.
It took some poking around WorldCat to find a Savannah newspaper from 1925 available. World Cat showed The Savannah Press had issues from 1891 to 1931 available at two libraries. Zooming in, I found it available at University of Georgia, only about 1-1/2 hour drive so certainly a possible road trip. (The holding at University of Rochester (NY) was a bit far for a visit.) Looking more closely at their holdings, they appeared to have both a paper and microform versions and the microform has multiple copies. One more click and I see their status as “Not Checked Out.” I took that as code that they allow the film to be checked out and will allow interlibrary loan.
Logging into my county library, I selected their interlibrary loan option, which opened their link to WorldCat. I found the same selection, Savannah Press, and ordered it.
Jan 14, 1925, Pg 14
A few weeks later I receive a call from my county library, the microfilm has arrived. Going through unindexed newspapers on microfilm is a brutal process. This one was like I expected. The nice thing about having the film local is I didn’t have to review it all in one sitting. I could take my time and review the material over several visits if I so desired. Nice.
Anyway, the view was about 1/12 of the page, so it was necessary to make three sweeps across each page, top, middle bottom, looking for relevant articles. I read, the papers slowly looking for key words in headlines and the first paragraph of most articles. Luckily, I could skip over the Society pages, and the entertainment pages.
I found nine articles during the two weeks following his murder. Lots of detail about Edward’s life, a photo of Edward, a photo of the man arrested for the murder and a photo of that man’s wife. Could she be the woman he was “bedding,” as mentioned in the family oral history? There was even a photo of the grizzly murder weapon.
What a treasure trove of information. Having the film available via interlibrary loan save me several hours driving time, parking hassles, (It is usually a hassle parking at a University.) and the frustration of using unfamiliar equipment. Yes, Interlibrary is one of my best friends.