Austin Peay State University Library creates digital collection of student newspapers dating back to 1930

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – What was the first day of basketball practice like for the Lady Govs way back in the fall of 1930? According to the November 26th edition of The All State, the student-run newspaper of Austin Peay Normal School, from that year, “Coach Jackson has started the old basketball grind with only a few of the 1929 squad back as candidates for their old positions on the team.” 

If sports isn’t your thing, maybe you’re wondering what campus life was like at the then Austin Peay State College during World War II. In the March 19th, 1943, edition of The All State, students learned the disappointing news that there would be no spring break that year.

“Dr. Claxton has announced that there will be no necessity for a vacation since the meeting of the State Teachers’ Association in Nashville has been cancelled as a result of war shortages and rationing,” the article stated.

Anyone interested in catching a glimpse of what the APSU campus was like over the years can now use a valuable new tool available through the University’s Felix G. Woodward Library’s digital collection. For the last few months, APSU associate professor of library administration Gina Garber and Scott Shumate, APSU digital services assistant, have worked to digitize and make available all editions of The All State student newspaper. Two student workers, Kyle Nelson and Edd Garcia, also assisted on the project.

APSU Library Digital Collection of the student newspaper, The All State.
APSU Library Digital Collection of the student newspaper, The All State.

“Using optical character recognition (OCR) technology, each word on the page was read and indexed for use in our CONTENTdm system,” Shumate said. “This means that information from every issue can be searched for directly, no need for date or issue number, although those options are still available.”

The Library and the APSU Office of Student Affairs contributed in purchasing the CONTENTdm software and server. Now, anyone can peruse back issues of The All State by visiting

The first portion of this project, which was recently completed, contains 1,158 issues of the newspaper from 1930 to 1988. The remainder of the volumes from 1989 until the present is being added as quickly as possible.

For more information on this new digital collection, contact Shumate at