Nearly 50 years of Brandywine student newspapers now available online

University Libraries’ digitization project allows access to The Lion’s Eye from 1967 to 2013
first lion's eye publication from 1967

Penn State University Libraries recently collaborated with Penn State Brandywine’s Vairo Library to digitize The Lion’s Eye, Brandywine’s student newspaper. 

Credit: Penn State University Libraries

MEDIA, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries recently digitized The Lion’s Eye, Brandywine’s student newspaper. Beginning in 2018, University library staff worked to add issues from 1967 to 2013 to the Pennsylvania Newspaper Archive, a free resource developed and hosted by University Libraries.

Founded in 1967 — the same year the campus started under its original name of Penn State Delaware County — The Lion’s Eye transitioned to a fully digital format in 2014 to ensure access to all members of the Brandywine community.

“The digitization of The Lion's Eye student newspaper is a very exciting milestone and allows for all Penn State alumni and friends to access the history of our campus,” said Karen Theveny, assistant teaching professor of communications and Lion’s Eye adviser. “Stories include commentary on campus, statewide and even national events — all through the lens of the student. What's even more impressive is that The Lion's Eye is still in publication on campus today.”

The Lion’s Eye digitization process took about five years to complete. The goals of this process were to allow alumni access to articles about their activities, campus members to learn when programs started, and community members to get a pulse of Brandywine’s history from the comfort of their computer or mobile device. The digitization makes 45 years of Brandywine’s history text searchable for the first time.

“As the student run newspaper for the campus, The Lion's Eye provides a unique and important look at what was impacting student life across the campus' history,” said Teresa Slobuski, head librarian at Vairo Library.

“When identifying a first collection from Brandywine to have digitized, the choice for this was obvious as issues had continuously been published since the first semester classes were offered at Brandywine, back when it was known as Delaware County.”

The digitization process occurred at both Brandywine and University Park to ensure the best quality images were uploaded to the database.

“To fully digitize The Lion’s Eye, we first had to collect and organize all of the issues of the newspaper and track down any missing copies to fill in gaps. Once we did that, library staff created an inventory that could be shared with cataloging and the digitization team at University Park,” Slobuski recalled about the digitization process. “The digitization itself took a few months, and then we had additional months to check the files and ensure everything was clean and up to standard.”

In addition, the University Libraries' conservation team provided custom housing for the original newspapers before returning the collection to the staff at the Vairo Library.

“Our colleagues at Penn State Brandywine delivered the physical newspapers to the Preservation, Conservation and Digitization department at the University Park campus. From there, our digitization technicians review the inventory and address any condition issues prior to transferring the materials to one of our approved vendors,” said Bethann Rea, digital collections management librarian at University Park.

“After imaging is complete, the digitization unit performs quality assurance checks on 100% of the files provided by our vendors," added Rea. "The batch of newly digitized content is uploaded to the PA Newspaper Archive for viewing by the public."