From Papers to Pixels: A campaign of the Knox County Public Library Foundation
The Knox County Public Library Foundation is engaged in a campaign to cover the cost for NewsBank to create digital archives of the Knoxville News Sentinel from 1922–1990.

What is a historical newspaper archive?

Knoxville News Sentinel front page - Sept. 2, 1940 with the headline: He's Here! Thousands Jam Streets to see FDR - Great Smoky Mountains Dedication IssueA historical newspaper archive offers community members—from students to senior citizens, from genealogists to researchers of all topics—a unique searchable digital edition of their local newspapers. 

Many high-demand local newspapers like the Knoxville News Sentinel span decades and include tens of thousands of issues and millions of pages. These are often available only on microfilm reels and frequently in a state of deterioration. The Knox County Public Library will partner with NewsBank to create a digital archive of the Knoxville News Sentinel from 1922-1990. 

Financial support from our community can help bring the invaluable historical newspaper archive of the Knoxville News Sentinel into the 21st century. For the first time, library card holders of all ages will be able to browse and discover the distinctive and important history of the entire Knoxville area, as it was reported, in a way never before possible.

Thanks to our donors

Many generous donors have already pledged their support for Papers to Pixels. We'd like to thank all of our current supporters.

Try it for yourself

Newsbank has provided a sample archive of the Knoxville News Sentinel to see in action. You can explore every issue for the years 1940 and 1982.

  • username ncd19022
  • password: ncd19022
  • Select The Historical Knoxville News-Sentinel Newspaper

Who Is NewsBank?

NewsBank utilizes sophisticated digital technologies to transform difficult-to-use microfilm holdings into state-of-the-art online newspaper resources of immeasurable significance. These newspaper archives deliver a complete and accurate digital facsimile of every page, resulting in a comprehensive electronic resource that not only is keyword-searchable but also contains every original image—every photograph, illustration, cartoon, and display advertisement.

How would this acquisition benefit our community?

The wide appeal of the Knoxville News Sentinel archive, delivered as a fully searchable online resource, means the Knox County Public Library will have something permanent to offer every patron, setting the community’s past in a tangible form. This archive will be a major asset, and will belong not to a company, but to our community.

  • Local government officials, historic preservationists, and members of diverse community groups will use the archive to meet a variety of research needs.
  • Property owners, real estate agents, small business owners, and attorneys will discover timely answers to questions about property and land use, the local economy, and demographics.
  • History buffs will spend hours uncovering hidden details and histories about local people, places, and events. All citizens will enjoy looking back at everyday life of yesteryear. 


Longtime Knoxville News Sentinel columnist and humorist Sam Venable has joined the board as Honorary Chair in support of the From Papers to Pixels campaign.

I have but one word for this project: WOWZERS! Imagine: seven decades of Knoxville’s history—day-by-day, 24/7/365, just as these events unfolded. You’ll be able to see ‘em all—national news, local news, sports, editorials, display ads, classifieds, gossip, comic strips, puzzles, even (ahem) pearls of wisdom from newspaper columnists. Every word and every picture will be there, just as they appeared on the pages of the Knoxville News Sentinel, 1922-1990. Never have we been privy to such a detailed, intimate look into the life and times of our favorite ‘scruffy little city.’

Sam Venable, Honorary Chair, Knox County Public Library Foundation

You can learn more by reading the campaign brochure (4.87 MB). 

Papers to Pixels campaign brochure - What is a historical newspaper archive? / How would the digital archives benefit Knox County Public Library?