Chronicling America Newspaper Project Reaches 48 States

New grants to digitize historical newspapers from Rhode Island, Wyoming, and the Virgin Islands bring the NEH-LOC National Digital Newspaper Program closer to goal of comprehensive U.S. coverage.

News Release, National Endowment for the Arts

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 28, 2019) — Chronicling America, the free, searchable database of historical American newspapers, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and housed and maintained online at the Library of Congress, has reached a new milestone in its development: the participation of partners digitizing newspapers from 48 states and two territories.

With recent NEH grant awards to new National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) hubs covering Rhode Island, Wyoming, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Chronicling America website will now include newspapers from all U.S. states except Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“I am thrilled to announce that the addition of new state partners brings the National Digital Newspaper Program closer to our goal of comprehensive coverage of U.S. history, both geographically and chronologically,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These new projects expand the range of voices from America’s past represented in this extraordinary national resource. Through Chronicling America, the American public will soon have access to contemporary accounts of great moments of our nation’s history, from the Revolutionary Era through World War II and the civil rights movement, from all corners of the country.”

Now at 15 million pages, Chronicling America gives users on computer, tablet, or phone direct access to American history as it was recorded locally in some 2,800 newspaper titles, in 19 different languages. In 2016, the project expanded its scope to include newspapers in the public domain published between 1690 and 1963. Users may now read the 1789 Gazette of the United States, a partisan paper friendly to George Washington’s administration and the emerging Federalist party, contemporary coverage of the Chicago Fire of 1871, or the headlines announcing that the United States had entered World War I.

Newly funded efforts in Rhode Island will digitize titles from a state where the first newspaper, the Rhode-Island Gazette, was established in 1732 by a relative of Benjamin Franklin, and where the short-lived 1790 Gazette Françoise provided information in French to Count Rochambeau’s expeditionary force during the American Revolution.

A grant for the Wyoming Digital Newspaper Project will allow for public access to 100,000 pages of newspapers documenting the advent of railroads in the West, Wyoming’s statehood, women’s suffrage, the Teapot Dome Scandal of the 1920s, and WWII Japanese internment camps.  

And an expansion of an existing partnership between the University of Florida and the University of Puerto Rico to undertake digitization of newspapers from the U.S. Virgin Islands will add to Chronicling America a rich source of information on the Caribbean islands’ colonial history, including slavery and emancipation, the conflicts brought about by the transfer of the territory to the United States, and life under the new jurisdiction.

Launched in 2007, Chronicling America is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress to create a national digital resource of historically significant United States newspapers. NEH grants to state newspaper projects allow NDNP partners across the country to select historically important newspapers published in their respective states and oversee digitization of those titles for inclusion in the Chronicling Americadatabase.

Below are the most recent NEH National Digital Newspaper Program grants, awarded this month:

ARKANSAS
Little Rock
Arkansas State Archives
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Brian Irby
Project Title: Arkansas Digital Newspaper Program
Project Description: The digitization of 100,000 pages of Arkansas newspapers, published from 1819 through 1922, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $250,552
CONNECTICUT
Hartford
Connecticut State Library
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Gail Hurley
Project Title: Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Connecticut newspapers, dating from 1690 to 1963, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $263,291
DELAWARE
Newark
University of Delaware
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Monica McCormick
Project Title: Delaware Digital Newspaper ProgramProject Description: The digitization of 100,000 pages from three historically significant Delaware newspaper titles, published from 1904 to 1963, as part of the state’s continuing participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $250,427
FLORIDA
Gainsville
University of Florida
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Patrick Reakes
Project Title: U.S. Caribbean and Ethnic Florida Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of newspapers published in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States in participation with the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $324,965
GEORGIA
Athens
University of Georgia
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Sheila McAlister
Project Title: Georgia National Digital Newspaper Program Phase II
Project Description: The digitization of 110,000 pages of Georgia newspapers, published between 1690 and 1963, as part of the Digital Library of Georgia’s (DLG) participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $136,724
MINNESOTA
St. Paul
Minnesota Historical Society
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Shawn Rounds
Project Title: Digitization of Minnesota Newspapers, 1690–1963
Project Description: The digitization of 100,000 pages of historical Minnesota newspapers, published between 1690 and 1963, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $242,129
RHODE ISLAND
Providence
Providence Public Library
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Jordan Goffin
Project Title: Rhode Island Historical Newspaper Digitization Project
Project Description: Digitization of 50,000 pages of Rhode Island newspapers, published before 1923, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $250,000
VIRGINIA
Richmond
Library of Virginia
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Errol Somay
Project Title: National Digital Newspaper Program, 2019–2021
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Virginia newspapers, dating from 1690 to 1963, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $324,988
WEST VIRGINIA
Morgantown
West Virginia University Research Corporation
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: John Cuthbert
Project Title: West Virginia Digital Newspaper Project Cycle 5
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of West Virginia Newspapers, dating from 1790 to 1923, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $201,917
WISCONSIN
Madison
State Historical Society of Wisconsin
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Paul Hedges
Project Title: Wisconsin National Digital Newspaper Program
Project Description: The digitization of approximately 100,000 pages of newspapers, published in Wisconsin from 1836 to 1963, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $213,242
WYOMING
Laramie
University of Wyoming
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Amanda Lehman
Project Title: Wyoming Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of Wyoming newspapers, dating from 1863 to 1963, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).Outright: $208,713

National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

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