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Alleghany Star Vol. 1, No. 1

ISI recently completed publication of 10,000 copies of a reprint of the original 1889 Alleghany Star Newspaper. We scanned a copy of the newspaper supplied by Sparta Mayor John Miller. The original paper was only 4 pages with few ads.

ISI added 4 more pages of county news stories and 78 period style ads. Advertisers were encouraged to submit ads in the same style as the original 1889 Star pages, without logos. Any logos we received, we regenerated to line illustrations. Though not entirely historically accurate (some clip art was from the 1920’s) the paper contained no photos, colors, or screens. All illustrations were line shot style in black and white.

Publishing the entire paper, from inception to delivery was approximately 2 months. ISI sold all ads, built or rebuilt all (but 3) and got 100% advertiser approval before the print date.

This first fundraiser for the Alleghany County Sesquicentennial put the finance committee in the black before the kickoff at the Mountain Heritage Festival from ad sales alone, as all but one ad was paid for by deadline. Copies are available at 50-cents per copy all around Sparta.

Here are examples of ads we generated:

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ISI helps AHGS snag prestigious Paul Green Multimedia Award from NCSH

The AHGS cookbook, Recipes That Raised Us, now in its second printing, was the first cookbook ever to win the award, given by the North Carolina Society of Historians, at the 2008 Banquet and Award Ceremony in Hickory on October 11.

Imaging Specialists performed all prepress work including cover photography and design, page design, type setting, illustrations, and photographs. There were 11 illustrations and approximately 125 photographs submitted and printed.

The cookbook is a memorial that includes photos and stories with old timey southern recipes. Copies are available in Sparta at the Alleghany County Public Library, Buxton Abbey, Victoria’s Tea Time, Imaging Specialists, or online at The price is $20 each or $15 each for 3 or more.

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Give an unforgetable donation.

We now offer large checks, up to 20 inches tall by 40 inches wide. The checks can have your organization’s logo and name on them, as well as the name of the organization you’re donating to or the person you’re awarding.

As a security measure, we don’t put your real signature or bank account number on the checks. To fill in all the written areas, we use a handwriting font, which is perfectly legible and protects your signature from being copied. We use a fake routing number on the checks.  01020304 0506070809, for example.

Doing so ensures the novelty matches the real one as closely as possible, but doesn’t expose your actual financial information.

We mount the big checks on foam-core board so that it is easy for you to present it. It also is a memorable gift for your recipient.

The next time you’re making a large donation, give a big check.