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Indiana newspaper auctioning off its archive

(WISH Photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind (WISH) — You can own a piece of history when the Bloomington Herald-Times auctions off 950 binders of newspapers covering its archives between 1950 and 2013.

The newspaper recently moved to a smaller building, and does not have room to store the old newspapers. Among the stories covered include the blizzard of 1978, which buried Indiana under several feet of snow, and Astronaut Gus Grissom’s Project Mercury flight in 1961.

“Indiana had a lot of ties through NASA, both through astronauts that had gone to Purdue, and Gus Grissom, who was from Mitchell, Indiana,” said Janice Rickert, who was an editor at the Herald-Times for 42 years.

Proceeds from the auction will stay in the community.

“We created a fund under the Community Foundation of Bloomington-Monroe County, and it’s a local news fund, and it’s meant to support local reporting in our community,” said Rickert.

Only a handful of archives remain from before 1950, since many of them were thrown out. The newspapers covering all five of Indiana University Basketball’s national championships are also missing.

(WISH Photo)

There are plenty of other editions available, including the newspaper’s coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The Limestone at the Pentagon had been mined here, and replacement pieces were made here and sent out over the next several months,” said Rickert.

Even though many of these world events have an Indiana connection, it’s the local stories that intrigue Rickert.

“I found a story about someone from Bloomington who had taken a vacation to California in the early 1950’s, and came back and had Atom sickness. A-T-O-M.”

The auction runs from August 25th to September 13th and is online only. It’s being conducted by Estate and Downsize Specialists.