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Historic American Newspapers Available via Library of Congress Website

by on April 21, 2014

The Library of Congress has unveiled a new website, Chronicling America, which contains digitized versions of 1,270 historic newspapers from across the country. Chronicling America was created by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint venture of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities.1 The goal of the project is to create a searchable internet database of historic newspapers.2 This site is a perfect way for those interested in genealogy or local history to learn more about the historic past. It is also beneficial for high school and college students to learn to use primary resources and better understand newspapers’ importance in the development of journalism and communications. Chronicling America is also a one stop shop for public librarians to use when answering complex research questions.

According to Gary Price of Library Journal, Chronicling Ameri ca contains 6.7 million pages of content from 32 states and Washington D.C.3 The newspapers span the years between 1836 and 1922. The states which participate in this massive digitization project “receive an award to select and digitize approximately 100,000 newspaper pages representing … regional history, geographic coverage, and events of the particular time period.”4 The site is easy to use, and the images are clearly displayed. Utilizing the simple or advanced search fields, users can search via state and time period (See Figure 1). You can save the images in various formats such as PDF. There is even the ability to narrow your search to a specific ethnic group, such as Irish or Latin American (See Figure 2). Additionally, the site includes a link to the Historic Newspaper page on Flickr, just look under “More Resources.” This worthwhile project will provide various user groups with access to hard to find resources. Prior to this, these newspapers may have been housed in archives, which can be difficult for some folks to visit or navigate. Having a searchable internet database available greatly improves the discovery and exchange of information. For more information on the National Digital Newspaper Program and its efforts, click here.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

Other great resources includes Google’s Historic Newspapers and European Newspapers

Resources

  1. About Chronicling America,” Chronicling America: Library of Congress,
  2. Ibid.
  3. Gary Price, “ Digitization Projects: Chronicling America Expands with Addition of Newspapers From Maryland and the District of Columbia,” InfoDocket: Library Journal, January 30, 2012.
  4. “About Chronicling America.”

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