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Barbara Jordan holding an award

In May of 2022, The Portal to Texas History announced the call for submissions for its most recent round of the Rescuing Texas History program. Rescuing Texas History 2022, is the fourteenth year of the program, which has brought to light over 75,700 items from 383 projects. Since the beginning of the program there have been over 16 million uses of materials hosted on The Portal to Texas History that were received in response to past call for submissions.

Each selected project is provided with up to $1,000 of digitization services and the materials come from libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other groups (including individuals) that house historical materials.

We are thrilled to announce this year’s awardees! Congratulations to:

Private Collection of the Ritchie Family Fannin County Museum of History Fort Davis Historical Society Botanical Research Institute of Texas
First Baptist Church of Rockwall Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society Texas Lutheran University Hondo Public Library
Private Collection of TB Willis Fort Worth Jewish Archives Fannin County Historical Commission Lunar Planetary Institute Library
Interurban Railway Museum City of Galveston Historic Upshur Museum Moody Medical Library
Private Collection of the Gellner Family Midland Historical Society Kerr County Historical Commission Botanical Research Institute of Texas

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University of North Texas Libraries is the contributing institution for the State of Texas to the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program, in partnership with the Library of Congress, supporting development of Chronicling America, a nationwide newspaper database, spanning 1777-1963.

As part of this work, NDNP has formed a Race & Ethnicity in Title Essays working group, which has undertaken to develop a keyword thesaurus to facilitate searching with historical terms rather than current terms to describe people and groups. The Race and Ethnicity Keyword Thesaurus tries to address keyword searching across time, providing contextualized examples from newspaper collections to help users more easily delve into historical content.  This thesaurus is intended for all levels of researchers, and it includes a how-to guide, as well as as information about how Optical Character Recognition (OCR) in newspapers can affect the search experience.

In this thesaurus, you can find terms explained through “Related Terms,” “Definitions,” “Contextual Considerations,” and “Examples.”  Shown below is the entry for “Israelite,” a word commonly used in U.S. newspapers during the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

Keyword thesaurus example term, “Israelite.”

The thesaurus also includes a harmful language statement, which pops up before researchers look at the actual thesaurus, warning that these are historic terms, and that while these are not words we use today, the words in this thesaurus are included “to support research into the lives and experiences of various communities, rather than to propagate the use of derogatory or harmful language.”

In addition to this thesaurus being helpful for engaging with Chronicling America newspaper content, this thesaurus can also help research with newspapers on The Portal to Texas History.

Researchers may find this especially helpful when they work with Proximity Search, and a visit to the Proximity Search Quick Tip might help you locate that one person or event you’ve been trying to find for the past few years!



Posted by & filed under General, Quick Tips.

Special thanks to Maci Coates for her helpful instructions about Proximity Search.

Proximity Search

The UNT Digital Collections interfaces, including The Portal to Texas History, The Gateway to Oklahoma History, and UNT Scholarly works, incorporate multiple different methods for conducting research.  One of the key methods for finding information about people and events within newspapers is Proximity Search.

Proximity Search is best for when you know words that could be in sentence form in a newspaper or other article, for instance if you know that a certain event happened to a certain person. For example, you can input “Smith accident” within 10 words of each other and the search will pull up articles that have a sentence along the lines of “Smith was in a [insert] accident today.” Below are instructions for how to use Proximity Search ).

  1. After you open Proximity Search in another tab, insert your search terms (ex. Smith accident”) in the first box.
  2. Select how many words you want to limit the search in. In this example, I chose to see the results of instances where Smith and accident were within 10 words of each other.

    3. For the “Limited to” prompt, you can leave it at “Full Text of Item”, or if you know it will be in the Title, Description, etc. this is where you would limit that search.


Self-Archiving Tips for Scholarly Works Authors

UNT Scholarly Works is our open access institutional repository. It provides long-term preservation and access to all forms of scholarship created by faculty, staff, and students here at UNT.

This tip isn’t related to interacting with the repository as a visitor but how to interact with the repository as a creator. We accept a variety of items to the repository, including already published material. A common question or area of concern we encounter with submitting published material to the repository is copyright. We try to ensure we are staying within the bounds of copyright law when we make material available in the repository, so how are we able to host copyrighted work? Self-archiving.

File:Open Access PLoS.svg” by art designer at PLoS. I converted a pdf into svg is marked with CC BY-SA 3.0.


Many large publishers (like Elsevier, Springer, Routledge, etc.) allow authors to share and archive their work through pre-approved locations, which usually include institutional repositories. Each publisher is different, so we always confirm self-archiving policies with the publisher or editor before we accept the work into the repository. Usually publishers don’t allow the published version to be shared with institutional repositories, but earlier versions of the article, book chapter, conference proceeding, etc. can be hosted in the institutional repository of the authors. Earlier versions are commonly referred to as manuscripts. Again, the rules and definitions for self-archiving manuscripts varies by publisher, but it gives authors a way to distribute their work on their own terms.

When you look to publish your work check out their rules for self-archiving. If you’re passionate about open access or your institution or funder requires openly accessible publications, then this might influence your choice in publisher. Not every publisher allows for self-archiving, or they might have unique requirements which make the process overly complicated. This information is most commonly found using the term self-archiving, but the terms green open access and author rights are sometimes used in relation to these policies.

And when in doubt, reach out to your library! Here at UNT, you can email the repository directly ( or contact the Repository Librarian (

TexTreasures Grant

Posted by & filed under Featured, General, Grants, TexTreasures.

On September 1, 2022, the Texas State Library & Archives Commission awarded its FY23 TexTreasures Grants.  The TexTreasures Competitive Grant Program is awarded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services through funds received from the Library Services and Technology Act.  Multiple libraries received awards in support of adding their local titles to the Texas Digital Newspaper Program on The Portal to Texas History. 

These awardees include: 

  • Allen Public Library: Allen American
  • Cleburne Public Library: The Cleburne Times Review
  • Cooke County Public Library: The Gainesville Daily Register
  • Fort Worth Public LIbrary: The Fort Worth Press
  • Patrick Heath Public Library: The Boerne Star

In addition, Drs. Ana Krahmer and Mark Phillips have received an FY23 $25,000 TexTreasures Grant to digitize issues of the Jewish Herald-Voice, a Houston-based newspaper covering the Jewish community in Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast as well as national and international events involving and affecting Jewish peoples. 

Each award will result in the addition of 24,000 pages per title to the Texas Digital Newspaper Program collection on The Portal to Texas History. For further information about this award and recipients, see – 

Texas Digital Newspaper Program

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Basic Search Box on The Portal to Texas History


Using Basic Search in the Portal

The Basic Search tips below were prepared by Maci Coates.

Unless you specify otherwise, Basic Search is going to be the default search tool. It serves as a ‘path of least resistance’ to searching without many details. To best use this resource, here are some tricks to get the best results possible. (

  1. Input terms using quotation marks to tell the system to search for a specific word or phrase. (ex. “Johnnie Coleman” searches for someone with the name Johnnie Coleman but searching Johnnie Coleman without quotation marks looks for both instances of “Johnnie” and “Coleman”).
  2. If you know the general time period or location, you can filter results based on decades or years. To do that, go to the left panel and select the appropriate term from the list. A window will then pop up asking for the specification information. After clicking on your desired limitation the search will automatically adjust. You can view the criteria at the top left below “Currently Limited to”.

Navigating Records in Scholarly Works

This quick tip was prepared by Megan Scott, a graduate student assistant for UNT Digital Libraries. Megan is currently studying Library Science and working toward a certificate in Digital Content Management.

Did you know that there are links within records that will complete a secondary search for you? All of the text that appears in green is available to browse by. This includes the information found under the Authors, Publisher, Degree Information (academic departments), Subjects, Language, and Item Type sections. Clicking on it will automatically complete an advanced search and bring you to a results page consisting of all records that meet the search parameters as specified by the linked text.



Example of linked information (seen in green text) in the ‘Who’ section of an item in the digital library. Clicking on the name Akl, Robert G. will complete a search for items available by this creator.