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Online History Now Available For Public
newspaper pix
Staff member Marissa Cabral demonstrates the newspaper archive program for young daughter Ava, able to easily access long ago issues of The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. Teresa Hammond/The Leader

Community members, family members and the history buff no longer need to span the vastness of bound books or microfiche at the local library as the Oakdale Leader, Riverbank News and Escalon Times have gone digital.

Thanks to the efforts of General Manager Drew Savage and Oakdale community member Don Riise, all past issues may be obtained through

According to Savage the company has digitally reproduced the past issues from the microfilm and host the content on their platform.

“So if you type in J Gilbert,” Riise said, “you can see how many times J Gilbert was in the Oakdale Leader paper, going clear back to when he was in little league, maybe.”

Savage said he first learned of the service and its accessibility through Riise. The Oakdale Leader maintains a subscription to the site, with a designated desk in the office for those interested in accessing the site at no charge. This is true for looking up past issues of Riverbank and Escalon newspapers as well.

“Customers are welcome to come into the Leader office and access all three publications through our access,” Savage said. “If they access (the site) from home they will have to pay a fee.”

Hours of operation for the office are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“Once you find the clipping that you want you can do several different things from it,” the General Manager continued. Savage noted customers may share the info, e-mail it, clip it or print it.

Riise shared shortly after learning about the service, he took a meeting with Savage to see about the possibility of bringing the local papers up to speed.

“I feel really great about that,” Riise said on his partnership with Savage and the three local publications.

Savage noted that since then, he’s utilized the service personally, searching out family information in a newspaper based out of Butte, Montana.

“It’s incredible. It’s really, really neat,” he shared.

According to the website, it is the largest online newspaper archive, serving over 15,000 newspapers from throughout the United States, archiving over 544 million pages of historical data.

The Oakdale Leader office is located at 122 S. Third Ave, Oakdale, and is home to the Oakdale Leader, Riverbank News and Escalon Times.