Newspaper Microfilms

The Danville Public Library has available on microfilm at its Reference Desk on the main floor of the Library complete copies of the Danville Bee from 1970 through June 1980 and of the Danville Register from January 1905 through June 1980 and of the Register and Bee from July 1980, when the Register and the Bee merged, until the present. Microfilm readers are available, and the microfilms may be read on those readers without cost. Articles of interest will be copied by Library staff at a cost of $0.25 per 8 ½ by 11 inch copy.

Newspapers contain many articles of historical or genealogical interest. Obituaries are of particular interest because they often contain information not available from other sources. If the exact date of the death of a person is known then the obituary usually appears in a newspaper within a few days after the death and is usually relatively easy to find. Exact death dates may be found from death certificates, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries of spouses who died later, family Bibles or other family records, funeral home records or the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). Sometimes the SSDI and other sources may give only the month and year of death which will require a broader newspaper search. Not all deaths will have an obituary, particularly those in early years and those of minorities. In recent years obituaries have all appeared on one page in the newspaper, but in earlier years they were scattered throughout the paper requiring more searching.

Since 1991 the VA/NC Piedmont Genealogical Society has attempted to clip all obituaries appearing in the Danville Register and Bee and these are filed in notebooks by year in alphabetical order and provide a quicker and less expensive way of finding a particular obituary than searching newspaper microfilms. Recent obituaries tend to be longer and more detailed than earlier ones. Prior to 1991 obituaries were clipped and kept in notebooks in alphabetical order, but these are not complete and may require a newspaper microfilm search to find missing ones. Obviously obituaries appearing in newspapers prior to the years of which microfilm copies are available will not be found on microfilm, but can sometimes be found from other sources.