Talk about newsworthy! Chronicling America, an online searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers, has posted its 10 millionth page today. Way back in 2013, Chronicling America boasted 6 million pages available for access online.
The site makes digitized newspapers (of those published between 1836 and 1922) available through the National Digital Newspaper Program. It also includes a separate searchable directory of US newspaper records, describing more than 150,000 titles published between 1690 to the present and listing libraries that have physical copies in microfilm or original print. The site now features more than 74 terabytes of total data – from more than 1,900 newspapers in 38 states and territories and the District of Columbia.
For the past eight years, the site has grown with content and providing enhanced access. The NDNP data is in the public domain and available on the web for anyone to use. In addition, the web application supporting the Chronicling America web site is published as open-source software for others to implement and customize for their own digitized newspaper collections.
The technical aspects of the program are based around sustainable practices in digital preservation, including open and standardized file formats and metadata structures, technical validation, and using the digital collection and inventory management tools developed at the Library.
“It’s very exciting to have created such a large collection of newspapers from so many places around the country covering a wide breadth of time,” said Deb Thomas, who manages the program for the Library of Congress. “We can see how individual communities understood the world around them in those decades.”
The goal for Chronicling America, Thomas said, is to have all 50 states plus U.S. territories represented in the archive– something she estimates may take about 10 more years. “The newspapers are the first draft of history,” she said. “That’s it – it has something for everyone in it. It’s not a specialized resource. It’s a record of community history and cultural history. That’s where we put it all.”
Chronicling America (//chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/?loclr=blogsig ) provides free and open access to more than 10 million pages of historic American newspapers selected by memory institutions in 38 states and territories so far. These states participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program, a joint program of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Read more about it at //www.loc.gov/ndnp/?loclr=blogsig and follow us on Twitter @librarycongress #ChronAm #10million!
Read other Library of Congress blog posts recognizing this milestone: