In the news business, we live in the present. What is happening now usually matters more to us than what happened five days ago, let alone five years ago.
But we also are history's first draft. That makes us an invaluable resource for historians, investigators and settlers of bar bets.
So it is with these people in mind that we are offering our new, improved online archive. Effective immediately, all Salt Lake Tribune articles and photographs going back through 2005 are available free of charge on our website, sltrib.com.
Simply type a word or two in the search box in the upper-right corner of any page on sltrib.com, and you will be taken to The Tribune's archive section. There you can choose any time period since Jan. 1, 2005 one week, one year or the entire 6½ years to narrow in on the old stories you are interested in.
We even managed to revive our old, dead links from that period. If you had pasted a link on the web to a 2005 Tribune article, that link has not been working for several years. But it does now. And going forward we will not let those links expire.
We also made it easier to search for photographs. Click the "Images" tab on the search page to scan thumbnail photos of your subject. Clicking on photos or headlines will take you to the full article with photos as they were originally packaged.
There are a couple things to remember. First, this archive does not include obituaries, but you still can search for past Tribune obituaries at sltrib.com. Just click on the "Obituaries" tab at the top of any sltrib.com page, and you will see another search window for obituaries only. There you can find any Tribune obituary going back to January 2001. If you're looking for an older obituary, you will need to search microfilm at the library. (See below.)
Second, these old articles reflect our best understanding at the time they were written. They may be outdated by better information that emerged later. We offer them only for personal research purposes.
So 6½ years is nice, but what about the other 133½ years going back to The Tribune's start in 1871? Here is a quick guide to finding old Tribune articles:
1871 to 1899 • The University of Utah's Marriott Library has scanned the first 28 years of The Tribune and indexed the headlines to make them searchable. They are available online at Utah Digital Newspapers: http://digitalnewspapers.org/newspaper/?paper=Salt+Lake+Tribune
1900 to 1990 • Nothing digital here, yet. The Tribune donated original bound copies of all its newspapers to the Marriott Library in 2009, but the library hasn't the funding to scan and index these yet. Sorry, couch historians. You'll have to trudge to the Salt Lake City Library and search microfilm copies of The Tribune. (We also send microfilm copies of all papers to the Library of Congress, as do all copyrighted U.S. publications.)
1990 to 2004 • For the time being, you still have to go through a third party for these articles. You can search online through sltrib.com's regular search window, but you will need to click the "Archive (before 2005)" tab on the search page. You can search free of charge, but you will be asked to pay a small fee if you want to read the full article. We are working on making this content available free through our own archive system, so stay tuned.
2005 to infinity and beyond • Just use the search window at the top of any sltrib.com page to find articles and photos. And feel free to paste links to those articles anywhere you want. We won't let them die.
So please give the new archive a try, and, as always, let us know how it went.
Tim Fitzpatrick is deputy editor of The Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.