Historical Newspaper Collection
Over the years, issues of various county newspapers found their way to the Clay County Archives, including copies of our first newspaper, The Spring (present-day newspaper, Clay Today). Currently, the collection is sporadic so we are always looking for additions. If you have any historical Clay-based newspapers you’d like to donate to us, we are happy to accept them.
The Spring, or the Green Cove Spring, began publishing sometime after the Civil War and is the only important newspaper printed in Clay County (Green Cove Springs) until 1928 when the Clay County Crescent appeared.
Four short exceptions to this include:
- A newspaper established in Sharon by H. E. Bemis (see reference in Webb’s directory 1885)
- The Clay County Chronicle (one edition which is known to exist in 1890)
- The Clay County Times (in existence at least from 1900-1902)
- The Mirror, published in Middleburg at least in 1914 (see reference in “The East Florida Annual 1915-1916”)
The Crescent billed itself as the official county newspaper. It had the contract for publishing official notices, foreclosures, etc., so, in that respect, it was official. The Breeze began competing with the Crescent in 1944. In 1968, the Breeze was renamed Clay Today and survives until the present time. Clay Today (Breeze) purchased the Crescent in the 1990s and merged operations.
Newspaper Clippings in the Subject Files
The Subject Files contain all sorts of documents, photos, genealogy and newspaper clippings. Some of the newspaper clippings in the Subject Files are indexed. The Archivist can search the Master Index (available only at the Archives) to find Subject Files which may have clippings in which you are interested.
Whole Newspapers at the Archives
The Archives has many original hardcopy issues of Clay County newspapers beginning in 1891. They are arranged by publication and then chronologically. Each archival box is a series and each newspaper is an item in the Whole Newspaper collection.
For your convenience, the Archives maintains an index to Clay County Articles in the FL Times Union from 1885 through 1901.
Many issues of Florida papers are available online at the Florida Digital Newspaper Library. These papers have been scanned and the content is fully searchable.
Accounts related to guests at the Magnolia Springs hotel have been extensively researched and a scrapbook of articles is available at the Archives.
The Archives has developed an index to American and British papers which mention Florida in colonial times (1756-1819).