On October 7th, Chronicling America, the website through which the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) content is hosted, reached a huge milestone in its history. “The site now features more than 10 million pages – 74 terabytes of total data – from more than 1,900 newspapers in 38 states and territories and the District of Columbia,” according to the 10-millionth page press release. Through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is celebrating its 50 year anniversary as an independent federal agency, Chronicling America serves as a free and open hub for newspaper preservation for participating institutions.
The University of North Texas Libraries, in partnership with the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, has added 300,000 pages of Texas newspaper content to Chronicling America, and UNT Libraries and the Texas Digital Newspaper Program are proud to have participated. UNT Libraries also previously partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to complete 300,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers for Chronicling America, and is currently partnering with University of New Mexico Libraries to add 300,000 pages of New Mexico newspapers.
Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2007, Chronicling America provides enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. It is part of the NDNP, a joint effort between the two agencies and partners in 40 states and territories.
The NDNP awards grants to entities in each state and territory to identify and digitize historic newspaper content. Awardees receive NEH funding to select and digitize 100,000 pages of historic newspapers published in their states between 1836 and 1922. Uniform technical specifications are provided to ensure consistency of all content, and digital files are transferred to the Library of Congress for long-term management and access. The first awards were made in 2005. Since then, NEH has awarded more than $30 million in support of the project.
If you’re interested in learning more about the National Endowment for the Humanities, NDNP, or the Library of Congress, visit their social media pages:
- LC Social Media
- NEH Social Media
- Twitter: @NEHgov
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/National-Endowment-for-the-Humanities-131252093552454/
- What People Are Saying About Chronicling America
In Fall 2015 multiple new partner institutions have received digitization grants to preserve their area newspapers by making them available in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program. We are very excited for these libraries, and we look forward to digitizing and uploading their newspapers. Here is a sneak peek so you can keep your eyes peeled for new research vistas in the near future.
- Silsbee Public Library: Received a Tocker Foundation grant to digitize its Silsbee Bee.
- Wharton County Library: Received a Tocker Foundation grant to digitize Wharton County area newspapers, representing the communities of El Campo and Wharton.
- Nellie Pederson Library: Received a Tocker Foundation grant to digitize the Clifton Record and Clifton Enterprise, in collaboration with the Cleng Peerson Research Genealogy Library.
- Jackson County Memorial Library: Received a Tocker Foundation grant to digitize Edna and Jackson County area newspapers.
- Ennis Public Library: Received a Hancher Foundation grant to digitize the Ennis area newspapers, including the Ennis News.
- Burleson Public Library: Received a Hancher Foundation grant to digitize south Tarrant County area newspapers, representing the communities of Burleson, Alvarado, Keene, and Everman.
- Taylor Public Library: Received a Hancher Foundation grant to digitize selected years of its community and county newspapers.
- The Tarrant County Archives: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected newspapers from the early years of Tarrant County.
- Texas Lutheran University: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of its student newspaper, Lone Star Lutheran.
- Crockett County Public Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of its area newspaper collection.
- San Jacinto Community College-South Campus Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of the South Belt/Ellington Leader newspapers.
- The Humble Museum: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of the Humble Echo.
- St. Mary’s University Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of its student newspaper, The Rattler.
- Mesquite Public Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of the Texas Mesquiter.
- Texas State University: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of its student newspaper, The College Star.
- Friench Simpson Memorial Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of The Hallettsville Herald and The New Era.
- Lamar University Mary & John Gray Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize The Pine Needle.
- McKinney Public Library: Received a Rescuing Texas History 2015 Newspaper grant to digitize selected years of the McKinney Courier-Gazette.
The dedication of the groups who have applied for and received these grants shows the importance of newspaper preservation and access to Texas communities. The preservation infrastructure of The Portal to Texas History ensures that partners’ newspapers will be available for research for generations to come. Texas communities are spread across a huge geographical area and are situated in climates that can cause severe deterioration to newspaper pages, making standards-based digital preservation a critical necessity. We congratulate all of our new partner institutions, and we would like to thank the publishers who have worked with these libraries on making their newspapers accessible for researchers worldwide. Finally, we would like to give our special thanks to the Tocker Foundation and the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Foundation, who have made access to these rich newspaper histories possible.
Tim Gieringer just can’t stop himself from historical tourism, and I caught him looking at El Paso, Borger, and Dallas this month. He offered to write the August post, and when I saw what he came up with, I thought everyone would enjoy it. Happy August, everyone!
Part II, continued from May’s “Shopping for Houses in Newspapers”
We look at lots of newspaper pages here at the Texas Digital Newspaper Program. Lots. In the course of our work, we can’t help ourselves from stopping to read some of the articles or to admire the old advertisements and graphics. Often, when reading a story about a particular person or event, I’m driven to investigate further to find out how the story ends. And as someone with an affinity for old buildings (see previous post), I’m often finding myself doing some “Google Tripping” to find out the fate of these buildings I see in the newspapers.
Google Tripping for me is simply the act of looking up a location on Google Maps Street View to see what it looks like today. Newspapers of the past are filled with announcements of new constructions, advertisements for real estate, event listings, etc., that offer a glimpse into the history of our built environment. As you will see in this post, there are some happy endings, some hopeful stories, and inevitably some losses.
First up, we take a trip to El Paso. While working on the metadata for our El Paso Times and El Paso Herald newspaper collections, I quickly realized that there was a goldmine of real estate advertisements in these papers, many of which included photographs and detailed information. I got caught up in one issue in particular, from August 25, 1917, of the El Paso Herald. In fact, I was so enmeshed, I had to stop myself from making this entire post about the buildings found in this issue.
From El Paso, I was finally able to select two buildings for this post. The amount of attention devoted to these homes shows that they were clearly significant structures at the time. First up is a home that is still going strong with beautiful landscaping and even some classy topiary, seen below.
The former residence of H. J. Ponsford on Wheeling Street, seen in the picture above left, was noted in the 1917 issue for its well maintained landscaping. As you can see in the above right picture, almost 100 years later, the house looks virtually the same.
Now for something that has changed roles a bit, we look at the former R. P. Mosson home located at Mesa Avenue and Blacker Street. At first glance, a passerby may not associate the former single-family home on the left with the business location below, but a closer look reveals that the roof-line matches and that it even retains its two original chimneys.
The side porch and the front porch with a conservatory have been altered, but their outline is still recognizable. I’ve quickly learned that a paper with extensive real estate advertising makes it easy to get carried away Google Tripping. But sometimes you come across things serendipitously that need to be looked into.
While looking for a different building (that no longer exists) while Google Tripping in Borger, Texas I stumbled on a huge theater that piqued my interest. A quick search through the Borger Daily Herald resulted in this advertisement for a new fireproof theater opening in Borger. Amazingly, The Morley Theatre (seen left) is still showing movies today! I wonder if they still have the “ladies’ cry room” or “smoker?” While these articles made the Google Tripping easy by providing addresses or cross streets, occasionally some digging is required to find the current location.
Recently, I also learned about The Praetorian Building, the first skyscraper, not just in Dallas, but in the entire Southwestern United States. There are many mentions of this famous building on The Portal to Texas History, including these advertisements. Reading about the history of the building was rather sad and too complicated to dive into here. Unfortunately, the building was razed a few years ago, which is too often the outcome for many buildings I search for, but what replaced The Praetorian Building surprised me, and I’d like to think that the ghost of The Praetorian Building is still keeping an eye on things in Dallas. I would love to keep Google Tripping today, but more newspaper metadata awaits. Now it’s your turn. Armed with the information provided by the Texas Digital Newspaper Program you can now take your own Google Trip!