The Richmond Daily Dispatch is now accessible on-line. The work has been overseen by University of Richmond History Professor Robert Kenzer and Librarian James Gwin. The project was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Two years ago I took part in a day-long meeting with roughly 50 other historians and teachers to discuss the direction of the project; it is nice to see it come to fruition. Plans also call for the digitizing of the Richmond census which will make this an even more useful research tool. From the Richmond-Time Dispatch article:
The Daily Dispatch, one of four predecessors of The Times-Dispatch, was
chosen because its circulation was equal to those of all other Richmond papers
combined, it was independent of any political party and it was able to continue
publishing throughout the war. It also contained news from the entire East Coast, reprinting articles from
distant newspapers and even the letters of captured Union soldiers.
Plans also include digitizing the Richmond census and linking to other databases that contain relevant material. I’ve already used this in class and the search engine works well so check it out.