Databases: About the Post-Crescent Index

The Appleton paper began publishing on February 10, l853 and has published continuously to the present time under several different names including its current name, The Post-Crescent. Various librarians at the Appleton Public Library have selectively indexed the paper over a number of years. Their intent was to make significant current and historical information available rather than to provide comprehensive indexing of the local paper.

There are no remaining guidelines for the indexing prior to 1981 to furnish clues on how events were chosen for inclusion in the index. The majority of entries for the years 1853 to the end of 1919 are sporadic and many were added at a later time when librarians happened on reports of noteworthy events while looking for other information such as an obituary. The selective index for the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s covered primarily city and county events. The entries for these early years also included the obituaries for prominent local people. While there is indexing for the 1950s, it is uneven with large gaps in the coverage. The entries for 1960s and the 1970s covered local politics, crime, notable people as well as other significant events in Appleton and the surrounding area.

From 1981 to 1983, the index began to also include statewide legal and political stories that were thought to have widespread ramifications along with the noteworthy city and county events . The index also expanded to cover key stories from areas beyond the city and the county. The greater index coverage ends in December of 1983 when it became too labor intensive to produce. Beginning in 1984 until December of 1995 a Current Events Calendar provided access to The Post-Crescent. The calendar listed in chronological order significant occurrences in local affairs, such as prominent murders, deaths of local officials, and elections of local citizens to state office.

Beginning in January of 1994, the index was produced electronically. There was a one year overlap when the Current Events Calendar and electronic index existed together. With a grant from the Friends of the Appleton Public Library, the Appleton Library was able to make the original electronic index available and searchable from our homepage. Upon completion of a retrospective project in 1999 the selective index from 1853 forward was converted to electronic format and was also made available from our homepage.

The current newspaper index is a selective index with an emphasis on

  • Local politics
  • Major community events
  • Important social issues
  • Prominent local people
  • Local businesses and organizations
  • Education

The index does not generally cover

  • Obituaries
  • Crime
  • Sports
  • State News
  • National/International News
  • Cartoons/Comics
  • Advertisements/Want Ads

At this time there are no plans to go back and index the paper for the periods that have significant gaps i.e. the 1950s.

Online access to The Post-Crescent Index was made possible by a grant from the Friends of the Appleton Public Library.

APL is a member of the Outagamie-Waupaca Library System.
©Appleton Public Library