The Center for American History has joined in a collaboration with the University of North Texas to digitize 100,000 microfilmed pages of newspapers published in Texas between 1880 and 1910.
Texas Tech University’s Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission are also taking part in the $397,552 “We the People” grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to the University of North Texas.
The digitization project is part of the “Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers” effort under the auspices of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
“The Center’s outstanding record in collecting and making newspapers accessible to our citizens ensures that the newspaper digitization project will create a model for similar efforts carried out in other states,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Center.
“The Center is in the national forefront of this major effort by participating in the second grant cycle of this long term project,” said Brenda Gunn, associate director for research and collections for the Center.
With holdings of more than 3,000 Texas newspaper titles, the Center for American History is the leading repository for the state’s newspapers. Through its Texas Newspaper Project it has preserved and provided access to Texas newspapers by microfilming more than one million pages of newsprint published by 200 Texas newspapers.
For the newspaper digitization project, the Center will draw on its extensive expertise in preserving Texas newspapers to select the titles to be digitized. A seven-member advisory committee of scholars, teachers, librarians and archivists from around the state will assist in the selection process. When completed, the digital newspapers will be available through the Portal to Texas History from the University of North Texas Libraries and through the Chronicling America page of the Library of Congress.
“Eighty-five initial titles to be digitized have been identified and are under consideration,” said Gunn, who heads the project for the Center. “The newspapers to be digitized must meet three criteria developed by the Library of Congress. They must reflect political, economic, and social history, be multi-county and possess a broad chronological span.”
As part of its future plans to better serve the public, the NDNP aims to create an Internet searchable database of newspapers published from 1832 to 1922 in all 50 states and U.S. territories.