Newspaper Archive of
The Observer
Rockford, Illinois

Newspaper Archive of
The Observer

The Observer Catholic Newspaper for the Diocese of Rockford created the Bishop Thomas G. Doran Preservation Project in 2011 on the occasion of Bishop Doran’s 50th year in the priesthood. This project is named in honor of the eighth Bishop of Rockford who tirelessly supported the Catholic press and served as The Observer’s publisher and columnist from his ordination as bishop in 1994 to his retirement in 2012. This preservation involves making digital copies of The Observer so the Catholic history documented in its pages will be archived and preserved for future generations to access and enjoy. These digital copies are high-resolution scans that are made directly from the last remaining printed copies of The Observer.


To make the scans of these printed newspapers, which are bound into books annually, The Observer has contracted with SmallTownPapers, a company that specializes in digital preservation of small weekly newspapers. Many of the pages are receiving 'white glove' treatment to remove creases and piece pages back together.


The very first volumes have been scanned and are now available. Volumes through 2002 of The Observer will be added as funding becomes available. For more current issues visit

This Archive
This Archive
Newspaper Archive of The Observer produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
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The Observer
Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Rockford
555 Colman Center Drive
PO Box 7044
Rockford, Illinois 61125
(815) 399-4300
(815) 399-6225 (fax)

Special thanks to all who help make the digitization of our archives possible through The Observer’s Bishop Thomas G. Doran Preservation Project.

Donations to the Bishop Thomas G. Doran Preservation Project, launched on the occasion of Bishop Doran’s 50th year of priesthood in 2011, make it possible for the public to view these historic issues. Volumes through 2002 will be scanned and made searchable as funding is available. Donations of any size can assist The Observer Catholic Newspaper in reaching its goal. For as little as $1,000, an individual, family or organization can sponsor a specific year, to honor a significant date in their family or history. To become a preservation partner, donors can send their gift, with their name and address, to The Observer, Bishop Thomas G. Doran Preservation Project, P.O. Box 7044, Rockford, Illinois 61125.