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One of the things I love about photography is its ability to record seemingly infinite detail. This photo taken at the Ely Times in Ely, Nevada, is a great example.
The photo is part of Peter Crabtree’s Newsprint series, which we’ve been featuring in the Daily Yonder. Peter shot the photos at community newspapers on a cross-country trip. You can read more about Peter and his series in his Viewfinder interview.
Each paper on the rack is delineated, and each weekly edition is obvious in the way the papers are stacked. The photo reminds me of what it takes to put out a paper day after day, or, in the case of the Ely Times, week after week.
A 16 x 20 silver gelatin print of the photo was recently included in the annual Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region exhibit at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, New York. One of the themes in the show was “archiving.” Curator Michael Oatman wrote: “Such a lovely photo, it conjures up a headstone (or series of headstones) for print media.The Ely Times? Still in print . . . I checked.”
Obviously, the word “headstone” is premature for the Ely Times and for thousands of other small-town weeklies.
The Ely Times has a circulation of 3,147, according to newspaper data service Cision, and is published weekly, on Friday. It’s town, Ely, Nevada, has a population not much larger than the paper’s circulation, weighing in at 4,255 as of the 2010 census.
Originally built as a stagecoach station for the Pony Express, Ely became a mining town in the early 1900’s when copper was discovered. Then, like many mine towns in the west, eras of boom and bust ensued. Ely now relies heavily on tourism and has a national park and two state parks nearby.