By CHRIS AGEE
In just over a decade, Portal to Texas History has blossomed into a comprehensive online clearinghouse for centuries' worth of state historical documents.
Boyce Ditto Public Library Manager Palin Bree said the local library was an early partner with the group.
"We received the deed of gift from the Weaver family for the A.F. Weaver collection of historical photographs," she said. "We looked at many different ways to showcase them and get them online."
After being advised of Portal to Texas History's record of digitally displaying such artifacts, Bree said the library decided to join the effort.
"They just hit their one millionth mark of pages of newspapers they've digitized," Bree said, explaining the service has grown exponentially since she first became involved.
Not only does the website feature more than three million digital files dating as far back as 1550, documents are also searchable.
"It's indexed down to the word level," Bree said, explaining locals can search either of two Mineral Wells city directories posted on the site.
Along with other documents on the site, she said the 1909 and 1920 directories can offer insight into family history and local landmarks.
"You can put in a name or address and it will take you to every instance it is found in that book," she said, explaining users can find out "who lived in your house or were your relatives here at that time."
She said newspapers are available as far back as the early 19th century and Boyce Ditto has received interest from regional media concerning items listed on the Portal.
"We've had people calling the library for permission to use [our documents] when they're making films or making things for KERA or The Daytripper," she said.