You can own a vintage Vindy

School tours of The Vindicator are a guaranteed good time.

One cool part of the tour is when we figure out how old the students are and how far back their family dates to living here in the Mahoning Valley.

Great-grandparents? Great-great grandparents? Great-great-great grandparents? With St. Rose of Girard students recently, I think we got back to four greats.

That exercise is to try to count the students back to the 1870s. When we get there, I point to a secured storage area a few feet away. I tell them that if your family traces itself to way back then in Youngstown, then they are probably listed in that storage area there. In that area are real, actual, full copies of The Vindicator and other papers dating back to 1877.

We have a cool collection of old newspapers – just about every edition dating back to 1877. They are bound like books – 15 to 30 days in each book – and are as easy to read as what you are reading now.

Not only are they easy to read, but also fascinating.

I keep a 1909 Vindicator book available for the students to page through. Small, yellowed fragments of those editions sprinkle to the floor as the students carefully turn pages.

The stories from back then are cool. So, too, is the way they were written – the language, the phrases, the titles, etc.

The names and variety of stores are wild to see – as are the pages and pages of advertising in an era before Google and television ads.

We keep these because, well, you never know what you might want them for.

Humans always have preserved their stories in some way. Older versions of the newspaper are also available at the library on microfilm.

Google, of course, archives stories since about 2000 or so. They also had a project some years ago where they scanned many years of microfilm pages of U.S. newspapers – including ours. Those are available in searches.

But real, true, actual pages of The Vindicator are priceless.

We go to them from time to time to re-create pages and content for special needs, like for the anniversary of the Titanic and other such mega events.

The tattered 1909 book that I use for tours is actually a duplicate.

We have a lot of duplicates of these books. Now, you can buy them. We’re going Marie Kondo on our space!

Starting now, you can peruse a few hundred of these books from various years and various months. They’re pretty cool to have.

There is an 1893 and 1909 book. There are some books from most every year from 1910 to 1949; a handful from the 1950s and 1960s; and plenty from 1976 until 1988. And that’s it.

Think about those possible pages: World War I & II, presidential elections, the 1929 stock market crash, the Indians’ World Series wins, the Steelers Super Bowls, etc. – all in vintage appearance.

We have a web page that shows some samples, has a list of the months and years available, and how you can order them.

Go to You can also call 330-740-2961. The cost is $30 per book. Sales are on a first-come, first-served, basis, and you must come to our office to obtain; no shipping.

Have fun.

Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes emails about stories and our newspaper. Email him at Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.