19 Million Pages of Historic Newspapers Digitized by Library of Congress

The April 16, 1912 entrance web page of the New York Tribune (all pictures courtesy Library of Congress by way of Chronicling America until famous in any other case)

The times of microfiche — and even those that can keep in mind what that’s — could also be properly behind us, however that doesn’t imply we will’t proceed to entry the historical past of newsprint. Actually, with the Chronicling America initiative from the Library of Congress increasing to incorporate media from all 50 United States, Washington, DC, the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, it’s simpler than ever to have interaction with a large, searchable database of archived newspapers from across the nation. This system at the moment gives free on-line entry to a staggering 19.9 million pages of newspapers revealed within the US between 1777 and 1963.

A June 1921 headline from the Tulsa Each day World

The newest improvement of the undertaking, which has been ongoing since 2005, is a Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant awarded to a Nationwide Digital Newspaper Program associate for the state of New Hampshire, which completes the participation of all 50 states. Considered one of 12 grants totaling $3 million prolonged by the NEH, the funding will tackle the digitization of serious newspapers from New Hampshire by way of Dartmouth Faculty, which is able to function this system’s state hub. Dartmouth will associate with the state library, college, and historic society to resolve which historic newspapers must be prioritized for the information. Work has already begun on digitizing the New Hampshire Gazette, the primary newspaper recognized to be printed by an enslaved particular person; the Dartmouth, the nation’s oldest college newspaper (based in 1799 because the Dartmouth Gazette); and Among the many Clouds, a newspaper printed on prime of Mount Washington between 1889 and 1917.

The New Hampshire Gazette was the primary newspaper recognized to be printed by an enslaved particular person. (by way of Wikimedia Commons)
Newsboys below the Brooklyn Bridge, captured by muckraker photographer Lewis Wickes Hine (ca. 1900–1937) (picture by way of NYPL Digital Collections)

“Constructing on 40 years of collaboration between NEH and the Library of Congress, Chronicling America is a uniquely wealthy nationwide useful resource that paperwork the histories of the occasions, concepts, and people that make up the American story,” stated NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe in a press release. “The addition of the fiftieth state associate to the Nationwide Digital Newspaper Program is a milestone achievement that can develop protection of this unparalleled useful resource to embody all US states, giving the general public entry to the ‘first draft of historical past’ from the attitude of communities throughout the nation.”

The April 19 entrance web page of the Name-Chronicle-Examiner protecting the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that left town in ruins

Searchable by subject, topic class, and date vary, the database is an interesting useful resource, stuffed with slice-of-life perspective, present occasions of the time, odd artifacts of promoting, and a “today in historical past” function that posts newspaper pages from 100 years in the past on the entrance web page of the archive on any given day. It is usually, in lots of circumstances, a painful testomony to the media’s position in propagating racism and different dehumanizing ideologies.

The Morning Tulsa day by day world, December 1922

“The Chronicling America assortment is a treasure-trove of newspapers of file, group voices and native historical past not like every other brazenly obtainable main supply materials,” stated Deborah Thomas, chief of the Serial and Authorities Publications Division on the Library of Congress, and the Library’s program supervisor for the Nationwide Digital Newspaper Program.

For these wishing to discover particular moments in historical past or just to get a man-on-the-street perspective from nearly wherever within the US, Chronicling America is an interesting and frequently rising useful resource. Look far sufficient again in time, and also you would possibly even discover somebody who nonetheless is aware of how one can use microfiche.

Leave a Comment