The National Digital Newspaper Program Accepting Proposals: Apply Now!

The following is a guest post by Leah Weinryb-Grohsgal, program officer in the Division of Preservation and Access at the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Washington times. (Washington [D.C.]), 04 Oct. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1921-10-04/ed-1/seq-15/>

The Washington times. (Washington [D.C.]), 04 Oct. 1921. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is now accepting proposals for the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The National Digital Newspaper Program is a partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress to develop a searchable database of historically significant newspapers published in the United States.  The Library of Congress hosts the site for this project at Chronicling America, a collection of information and digitized newspapers published in the U.S. and territories between 1836 and 1922 available on the web for anyone to use.  The collection can now accept not only English titles, but Spanish, French, Danish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish publications as well.

Each year, NEH and the Library of Congress seek to add more historic newspapers to the site, which currently includes more than 6.6 million pages and 1,100 titles.  Each award is made in the form of a cooperative agreement that establishes a partnership between NEH and the applicant institution, with technical support provided by the Library of Congress.  Awards support 2-year projects to digitize 100,000 newspaper pages from a state, primarily from microfilm negatives.  A list of the 36 institutions currently participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program may be found at http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/awards/.

NEH hopes eventually to support projects in all states and U.S. territories.  One organization within each U.S. state or territory will receive an award to collaborate with state partners.  Previously funded projects are eligible to receive supplementary awards for continued work, but the program will give priority to new projects, especially those from states and territories that have not received NDNP funding in the past.  New applicants are welcome to propose projects involving collaboration with previous partners, which might involve an experienced institution managing the creation and delivery of digital files, consulting on the project or providing formal training to the project staff of a new institution.

US States awarded NDNP Grants, 2005-2013.

US States awarded NDNP Grants, 2005-2013.

NDNP projects focus on:

  • Selecting newspaper titles to be digitized and analyzing available microfilm for optimal scanning
  • Digitizing page images from microfilm, preparing optical character recognition files, and creating relevant metadata
  • Delivering files and metadata to the Library of Congress in conformity with technical guidelines
  • Updating bibliographic records of digitized titles in WorldCat
  • Identifying free open access newspapers in the state or territory for inclusion in the CA newspaper directory

Proposals are now being accepted from institutions wishing to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program.  For more information, please visit the program’s funding page at http://www.neh.gov/divisions/preservation/national-digital-newspaper-program, and technical guidelines at http://www.loc.gov/ndnp.  Guidelines may be found at http://www.neh.gov/grants/preservation/national-digital-newspaper-program.

Applications are due January 15, 2014.

2 Comments

  1. Anthony Hoskins, Sonoma County Library
    November 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Dear LOC,

    I manage the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library in Santa Rosa, California. and aslo the Sonoma County Archives.

    In 2012, the Sonoma County Herald-Recorder newspaper closed its doors, and I accepted a complete run of this weekly newspaper from about 1905-2012. It is the original newpsprint, and we are quite sure it has never been microfilmed, let alone digitized. I esitmate there might be no more than about 55,000 newsapaper pages. Would this project be suitable for consideration?

    Thanks.

    Anthony Hoskins

  2. Deborah Thomas
    November 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for your interest in the program! The newspaper pages included in Chronicling America are selected and digitized by state institutions receiving an NEH award to represent that state in the program in cooperation with state partners. The institution representing California to date has been the University of California, Riverside, which also sponsors the California Digital Newspaper Collection, http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc . You may want to contact them directly for information and suggestions on how to approach preserving and digitizing this collection.

    -Deb (LC coordinator for NDNP)

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