Value of American Press

Posted by & filed under Featured, General, Milestones, Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

This week, the TDNP collection hit 9 million pages of newspapers preserved.  Keep reading to get a sense of what this milestone means in newspaper issues and collection highlights.

The Numbers

The image below displays the newspaper issues uploaded each year. Since this tracks newspaper issues, rather than page count, a lower bar in a year does not necessarily indicate fewer pages uploaded.  

Bar graph showing issue uploads per year

Why do we talk about pages?  When the National Digital Newspaper Program was established, newspaper digitization was measured according to pages per microfilm reel.  As such, NDNP led the country in determining page measurement versus issue measurement as being a guiding figure for project costs and completion. As a result and given the inconsistencies in issue size, the Texas Digital Newspaper Program also tracks pages as the key component for measuring project completion and collection size. This way, the TDNP staff will complete a project consistently by page count, rather than having to aim at a moving target of issue or year count–because a year of a daily newspaper contains 6x more issues than a year of a weekly newspaper! 

How many issues are in the TDNP collection?  Every collection on the Portal (as well as on the Gateway to Oklahoma History and the UNT Digital Library) has a statistics page, linked in the left-hand column next to the collection description. These statistics pages show “items,” and each item equals a newspaper issue, while a “file” is an actual newspaper page. This is a dynamic page that changes as we add more content. Thus, at the time of this writing, the TDNP collection hosts:




Total Items (Newspapers)       



Total Files (Newspaper pages)

In addition, the statistics page tracks collection “usage.” For the Portal, the “usage” refers to actual interactions with a newspaper issue, versus page hits.  Thus far, TDNP has a usage count of just over 40.5 million, since 2009.

Staff Picks

As we work on the newspaper collection, my staff and I regularly come across interesting, unique, or strange titles, mastheads, or articles.  To celebrate the 9 millionth page this year, the four of us chose favorite newspapers we uploaded in this past million-page set.

From Sarah Lynn Fisher, our project coordinator for the National Digital Newspaper Program for Texas and for the Gateway to Oklahoma History, we have her favorite masthead, from the Brownsville Herald. This masthead displays all the cities where the Herald circulated, mostly in Cameron and Hidalgo Counties.

Brownsville Herald masthead


Silsbee Bee "Red Ears?"

From Brooke Edsall, our large-format imaging manager, we have the Silsbee Bee, which is her favorite thanks to the very cute content she regularly encountered as she scanned it.  The article to the left is just one example of sweet snippets Brooke and her team found as they worked with the Silsbee Bee.



The pick of Tim Gieringer, our metadata coordinator for TDNP, is the NT Daily collection, which we digitized in partnership with our Special Collections Department.  Tim said he has loved reading through these newspaper pages to learn more about UNT’s history.

NT Daily New Additions  

My own favorite from this million page set is a Spanish-language newspaper from San Diego, Texas, and it was donated to us by a huge Portal to Texas History fan.  He and his family were going through his father’s garage and found this issue of El Democrata from January 1940.  We never know what treasures people may find in their attics and garages, and we’re always excited to take them in!El Democrata

Our favorites change almost daily, so if your favorite newspaper wasn’t mentioned above, have no fear: We really do love all the newspapers we upload! 

Special Thanks to Everyone

The team of people who make this work so special includes the full-timers mentioned above, as well as a group of talented student assistants, without whose work none of these 9 million pages would have been possible. In addition, we are grateful to the support we have received from the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Texas State Library & Archives Commission’s TexTreasures support through Institute of Museum & Library Services LSTA funding; the Tocker Foundation; and the Hancher Foundation. Finally, we thank our publishers and partners for their generosity and trust in sharing their collections with us to preserve their community newspapers and make them available to the world. We are proud to support our patrons in their quest for knowledge as they research the newspaper collections, and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us build TDNP into such a terrific resource.  


Posted by & filed under General.

Texas Digital Newspaper Program

Did you know you can browse the Texas Digital Newspaper Program collection by Location? To do this, you can visit the TDNP Collection Page and click on “Locations” in the left-hand navigation column. 

Image showing TDNP Locations Link

When you visit the “Locations” link, you’ll see a map of Texas counties, with a list of the county names on the right.  Using this feature is a great way to narrow the number of newspapers you’re browsing to one specific geographic location.  Also useful: If you know you’re looking for information from one specific city and we don’t have the newspaper title from that city, but we DO have other newspapers from the same county, you can narrow your result set to that county to see if there’s information about your topic in neighboring area titles that we do have available on the Portal! 

TDNP Locations Map

One last hint: Since all the newspapers in TDNP are fully text-searchable, even if you can’t find your search term in other papers from the same county, you can try all newspapers throughout the state because you never know when a different title from another county republished something about your great-great-aunt!

UNT Scholarly Works

UNT Scholarly Works is actually one among a family of collections in the UNT Digital Library. In addition to UNT Scholarly Works, we maintain UNT Theses and Dissertations, which is one of our largest and most popular collections; UNT Graduate Student Works, which houses things that fall outside of traditional theses and dissertations that have been accepted by a professional organization or approved by a faculty member; UNT Undergraduate Student Works, which is for our undergrads to highlight their work that has been accepted by a professional organization or approved by a faculty member; the UNT Data Repository, which houses research data and is usually linked to work in UNT Scholarly Works; and UNT Funded Research Projects, which hosts data management plans for grants awarded to researchers that require public access to research/data outputs of the grant.

You can search these collections individually or search the whole UNT Digital Library.


Whitney Johnson-Freeman, the UNT Libraries’ Repository Librarian for Scholarly Works, is the author of the Scholarly Works Quick Tips. If you ever have questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to her via email: .

The Labor Dispatch, from Galveston, Texas

Posted by & filed under Featured, General, Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

In 2021, the Rosenberg Library of Galveston partnered with UNT Libraries to digitize historic labor newspapers from their holdings, which will serve to seed the Texas Labor Newspaper Collection. Titles in this collection, currently focused in Galveston, chronicle international labor reform and organization efforts to improve labor conditions and pay. When the US entered the First World War, national concerns about the war effort affected how labor organizers balanced the importance of worker rights against threats to national security. This is directly reflected in titles such as The Labor Dispatch, which emphasizes the importance of serving national, war interests before worker interests. This focus on serving national interests first not only highlights the threat of the war to the American public, but also the importance of economic production to sustaining a war. Labor activists who subscribed to the ideals of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), such as founder and then President Samuel Gompers, put their reform work on pause in order to serve the war effort, even if this meant grueling, dangerous conditions.


Labor Dispatch, February 2, 1918

While this is the major perspective currently represented in this collection, it was not the only reaction to the stresses of war. More militant and radical organizations, such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) continued their labor reform efforts and strikes despite the war, though any action that was considered a threat to the war effort was made illegal with the Espionage Act of 1917, including strikes and invasive labor demonstrations. Despite these complexities and differences between major labor organizations, the legacy of WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution on new and continuing labor reform helped to reinforce the AFL’s anti-socialism stance and tempered radicalism in a major sect of the movement. Though we hope to soon expand this collection to include more labor newspaper titles, our current holdings from the city of Galveston reflect some of the important steps toward securing fair wages and safe work environments through collective bargaining. This work was made possible through a partnership between the Rosenberg Library of Galveston and UNT’s Digital Newspaper Unit.

Union Review, April 16, 1920

Brooke Edsall is the Imaging Lead at the Digital Newspaper Unit and oversees the digitization of physical newspaper pages for The Portal to Texas History. She is also a masters student with the University of North Texas History Department. 

Posted by & filed under General, Quick Tips.

We are starting this quick tip series to help you with quick-navigation questions you may have about the UNT Digital Collections. We will talk about two collections in these tips: The Texas Digital Newspaper Program and the UNT Scholarly Works Collection. However, all of the tips we give you will work with any other collection on The Portal to Texas History, the UNT Digital Library, or the Gateway to Oklahoma History.

Texas Digital Newspaper Program

Collection filters menuDid you know you can browse the Texas Digital Newspaper Collection (and any collection on The Portal to Texas History, The Gateway to Oklahoma History, or the UNT Digital Library!) by year?

In the left-hand navigation column, different links let you choose different ways to sort collection information, and one is “Dates.”

Challenge: Can you guess why we’d have the 1813 issues of a newspaper published in Washington, D.C., in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program? (Search TDNP for “St. Antonio” to learn more!)

Scholarly Works

For the Scholarly Works quick tips, we welcome Whitney Johnson-Freeman, the UNT Libraries’ Repository Librarian for Scholarly Works. Since graduating with her MLS in 2018, she has found her passion in Open Access and digital preservation. If you ever have questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to her via email: .

Once you’ve contributed to UNT Scholarly Works, you should share your work! You can link to it in your resume/CV or even in a grant application, or you can embed it in your personal website or ePortfolio. There are no restrictions on sharing our records, so you could also add them to course materials or LibGuides. Our links are also permanent which means you won’t have to worry about errors or dead links in the future.

An easily shareable link and code for embedding an interactive version of the item can be found in the Linking & Embedding option of the Citations, Rights, Re-Use menu on the left side of each record’s page.


And as an added bonus, this all applies to all items in The Portal to Texas History and The Gateway to Oklahoma History too. Our URLs have 2 key components: the base URL, which notes which website you’re in, and the Archival Resource Key (ARK) which is the record’s unique identifier in our system.

If you have any questions about sharing Digital Library records, feel free to email us at



Featured Image NDNP

Posted by & filed under Featured, Grants, National Digital Newspaper Program, Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

UNT Libraries are pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Humanities has selected us for a sixth, two-year cycle of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), to digitize Texas newspapers on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website.

For Texas, participation in NDNP has offered an unprecedented opportunity to represent the state on a national level, through its newspaper publishing history. 

This award is for $208,888 and will build access to an additional 100,000 pages of Texas newspapers on Chronicling America, to spotlight community identity in Texas.  For this round, we are looking to digitize further years of El Paso and San Antonio titles, with the goal of expanding their availability up to and beyond 1925, depending on the choices of the Texas advisory board. Both El Paso and San Antonio saw significant changes in the civil rights conversation, even while the U.S. underwent recovery from WWI, experienced the Great Depression, and fought in WWII. These cities were significant population centers where voices of diverse groups amplified to navigate an increasingly globalized world. 

In addition to adding the newspapers to Chronicling America, where Texas identity can be preserved in the context of other state newspapers, we will also add these newspapers to  the Texas Digital Newspaper Program (TDNP), on The Portal to Texas History. All of the newspapers available in Chronicling America and TDNP are freely accessible and can be used broadly for activities including research and education. As a result, we try continually to inform teachers and students about the importance of newspapers as windows into history.

Chronicling America is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress in an effort to build a nationwide, open-access repository of digitized historic newspapers.

To learn more about Chronicling America, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, visit their social media sites!