Welcome to the Rolfe Public Library!

Historical Online Newspaper


101 Years of Rolfe, Iowa Newspapers are Available Online!

In 1928 the Rolfe Public Library began its service to Rolfe-area patrons. Of course with newer technologies, today there is no limit to the boundaries of patrons for whom the library may provide service. These newer technologies are evidenced by 101 years of Rolfe newspapers being accessible online as described below. Rolfe's 1963 centennial book is also available online.


Click below to check it out!



Time Span of Newspapers: 1888-1989 (In 1989, The Rolfe Arrow, Rolfe’s local newspaper, was absorbed by the Pocahontas Record-Democrat newspaper.)

Additional Publication: The online collection also includes Rolfe’s 90-page centennial book titled Centennial History, Rolfe, Iowa, 1863-1963.

Periods of Inaccessibility: If the web site is inaccessible for short periods of time, it may be due to site maintenance.

Help: Until further notice, questions regarding the newspaper site may be directed to Louise Gunderson Shimon at mariongundersonart@gmail.com.

Funding: The Rolfe Public Library Trust is funding this project through private donations and the sales of donated prints of Marion Gunderson’s watercolors. “Marion the Librarian” worked at the Rolfe Public Library for thirty-five years, from 1963 to 1998.

A Fun Way to Start Searching: Using the "Advanced Search" option, 1) type in your (or someone else's) family name and 2) limit the time period to one year. Then you can have fun reading what comes up. You can save the newspaper page to your computer or copy and paste the part about your family into another document to collect them. The newspaper was like the Facebook of its day--social networking. (This suggestion is offered by Kim Webb Toth-Tevel.)


A Little More About Searching the Archives

It is important to note that optical character recognition (OCR) software used to scan and convert hard-copy text to a searchable electronic format cannot accurately recognize every text character. For example, if a font utilized in a newspaper is not standard but instead is rather stylized, it likely will not be recognized by the software. Likewise, if an area of a page is smudged or otherwise damaged, the character recognition software will not recognize words in that poor quality area of a page. In such cases, a search will not return a result for a term in which such a character was not correctly recognized.

To explain this further, take, for example, a patron searching the site using the search term "Webb." If the word "Webb" was included on a particular newspaper page, but the type of text (font) was not standard (e.g., Webb), it may not be recognized by the character recognition software. Therefore, it will not show up in the list of hits resulting from the search term "Webb."

Similarly," if “Webb” appears in a smudged area of a newspaper page, the OCR software will not recognize it, and the page will not show up in the list of hits resulting from the search term "Webb."

As of now, the capability to limit a search to a particular time frame is not an option. 

The Rolfe Public Library is sponsoring this archive project.