The Sonoma Valley Historical Society has been chosen to participate in the California Revealed project, a program created by the California State Library. California Revealed is an initiative that works with local heritage organizations to digitize and preserve important documents in the history of California.

The Historical Society nominated two historic Sonoma Valley newspapers in its collections for the digitizing program: The Sonoma Valley Expositor (1885-1901) and The Sonoma News (1898-1901), two early competitors to the Index-Tribune.

These newspapers were printed during formative and interesting times in Sonoma’s history. Stories revealed in their pages include Solomon Schocken’s purchase of the Barracks and their conversion to the Schocken Store; the first efforts to beautify the Plaza; the construction of the Buena Vista Castle by Robert and Kate Johnson; and the devastation of local vineyards by the dreaded Phylloxera, or root louse.

The California Digital Preservation Service will fully digitize each issue of these newspapers, and when this is completed, these rare and fragile documents will be available online and the originals kept in safe storage in the Society’s archives.

Patrica Cullinan, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society, said she would announce when the newspapers become available for viewing online.