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The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) is:

“. . . a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories” ( 

University of North Texas Libraries has participated in NDNP as the lead institution in Texas to digitize historic Texas newspaper titles, and as the technical partner with the Oklahoma Historical Society and University of New Mexico to digitize early newspapers from these states.  The NEH has announced recipients for the 2013-2015 award cycle, and the Oklahoma Historical Society has received the award for a third cycle.  After the third cycle for Oklahoma has been completed, the NEH will have supported over 300,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers to be digitized and made accessible via both Chronicling America ( and The Gateway to Oklahoma History (  This third grant to the Oklahoma Historical Society represents another successful collaboration between the rich archive stored at OHS and the high technological standards practiced at UNT Libraries.  Sarah Lynn Fisher, the technical coordinator for the Oklahoma-NDNP project, has been working at UNT Libraries since March 2008, when she first began work on a massive yearbook digitization project to digitize yearbooks from the Abilene Library Consortium for inclusion on The Portal to Texas History. 

Congratulations to Oklahoma Historical Society and Sarah Lynn Fisher on a job well done!



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 The Digital Newspaper Team welcomed its newest member this week when the A0 planetary scanner went online.  Last week, the newspaper team attended a one-day training workshop to learn how to scan newspapers on the scanner.  This week, we are scheduling the first projects to be scanned on it.  The planetary scanner can digitize newspapers in full color, which provides us with the opportunity to showcase the beautiful color artwork and comic pages in Texas newspapers.  As a result of adding this new scanner to our production line, we can now create a parallel paper-scanning workflow, which allows us to manage two analog newspaper-digitization processes for increased efficiency.  While we are very proud of our microfilm scanner, we are very excited about the color potential for the A0 scanner, and we are also excited to be able to do twice the work in the same amount of time!


A0 Planetary Scanner

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Minutes from Oklahoma, in the corner of the Texas Panhandle, lies the unassuming Lipscomb County, Texas, housing around 3300 people spread across 932 square miles.  The Higgins Public Library in Lipscomb County collaborated with the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum in Lipscomb and UNT Libraries in Denton to apply for a Tocker grant in January of 2013.  They were awarded the Tocker Foundation grant in March 2013 to digitize and preserve over 21,000 pages of their county newspapers, including The Kiowa Valley Independent, The Circle Register, The Follet Times, and The Lipscomb Times, all of which are also represented in the museum’s physical collections.

The town of Lipscomb, unincorporated and with a population of 42 people, hosts the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum, whose mission it is to preserve the heritage of Lipscomb County.  This museum contains extensive exhibits about cattle ranching, fallen Lipscomb County soldiers lost in battle, as well as histories of the individual communities that make up Lipscomb County.  Although Lipscomb County is not largely populated, its history spans almost 140 years, much of which has been documented in the various newspaper titles that will be digitized through the Tocker Foundation grant.  The Wolf Creek Heritage Museum is run entirely by volunteers, but the number of exhibits and the amount of history that it documents clearly represent how much passion these volunteers have for their county.   Dorothy Schoenhals, the museum’s director, said that their goal is to only house historical artifacts that originated in, or tell the story of, Lipscomb County because this county has such a rich history of which to be proud.  

By March 2014, the Lipscomb County Newspaper Collection will be accessible and fully text-searchable via The Portal to Texas History.  Congratulations to both the Higgins Public Library and to the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum on their Tocker grant award!


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Good news from the Digital Newspaper Team! The Tocker Foundation has announced their Spring 2012 newspaper digitization grant recipients, and five Texas libraries were awarded. Through the Tocker Foundation awards, communities from across Texas can build new collections–or add more issues to existing collections–on The Portal to Texas History.

By digitizing on the Portal, these communities will be digitally preserving and creating newspaper access for future generations to enjoy.

  • Baylor County Library in Seymour, Texas, received $32,278 to digitize 56 years of its newspaper, The Baylor County Banner.
  • The Gaines County Library in Seminole, Texas, received $19,083 in funding for its Seminole Sentinel issues, from 1917-1961.
  • The Higgins Public Library in Lipscomb, Texas, was awarded $23,667 to digitize 21,400 pages from multiple newspaper titles representing Lipscomb County.
  • Meridian Public Library in Bosque County received $17,780 to digitize its county newspapers up to 1962, including The People’s Tribune, The Meridian Tribune, and The Clifton Record.
  • The Schulenburg Public Library in Fayette County was awarded $15,270 to add more of its Schulenburg Sticker content, from 1921-1965, to the Portal.

    Congratulations to new Tocker Foundation newspaper digitizaton award recipients for this Spring!

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I am pleased to announce that we will soon be adding more historic issues of the El Paso Herald, from 1898-1901. 

Very soon, you will be able to read the dramatic account of the  joint execution of Antonio Flores and Geronimo Parra, on January 5, 1900.  Each man concealed sharpened daggars within their jail cells, and one was brave enough to try to fight off his guards.  El Paso Herald

As you’re paging through these newly digitized issues, pay close attention to the “Link & Pen” sections, where you can stay abreast of local events from the editor’s perspective.  You can do anything from keeping up on the Texas & Pacific icehouse building progress in Sante Fe to following the complications from coal shortages and smallpox. 

To learn how everything will turn out, keep your eyes peeled for the new issues of the El Paso Herald!  

Digitization of these issues was generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, through the National Digital Newspaper Program.