National Digital Newspaper Program

Division of Preservation and Access

Grant Snapshot

Maximum award amount


Open to


Expected output

Web Resources;
Digitized Newspapers

Period of performance

Two years

Application available

Optional Draft due

Application due

Expected notification date

Project start date

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) is a partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress to create a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1690 and 1963, from all the states and U.S. territories. This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and will be freely accessible via the Internet. (See the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers website.) An accompanying national newspaper directory of bibliographic and holdings information on the website directs users to newspaper titles available in all types of formats. During the course of its partnership with NEH, LC will also digitize and contribute to the NDNP database a significant number of newspaper pages drawn from its own collections.

Forty-six states and one territory have joined the NDNP so far. Previous award recipients include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

NEH intends to support projects in all states and U.S. territories. Awards are made to an organization within each U.S. state or territory, which typically collaborates with relevant state partners in this effort. After their initial NDNP awards, state partners are encouraged to seek second and third awards, to produce a total of approximately 300,000 pages of digitized newspapers per state. Awardees may receive support for continued work beyond the third award, but the program gives priority to applications from those states and territories that have not received NDNP funding—as well as applications from states and territories that have received fewer than three awards.

Applications that involve collaboration between previously funded and new projects are also welcome. Such collaborations might involve, for example, arranging with current awardees to manage the creation and delivery of digital files; offering regular and ongoing consultation on managing aspects of the project; or providing formal training for project staff at an onsite institute or workshop. NDNP has supported such collaborations between the following partners: Arkansas and Mississippi; Florida and Puerto Rico; Louisiana and Mississippi; Minnesota and Iowa; Minnesota and North Dakota; Minnesota and South Dakota; Montana and Idaho; Texas and New Mexico; Texas and Oklahoma; and Virginia and West Virginia.

Over a period of two years, successful applicants will select newspapers—published in their state or territory between 1690 and 1963—and convert approximately 100,000 pages into digital files (preferably from microfilm), according to the technical guidelines (PDF) outlined by the Library of Congress. Applicants may select only those titles that are confirmed to be in the public domain.  For newspapers published after 1922, only those published without copyright or for which the copyright was not registered or renewed by 1963—in other words, only those considered to be in the public domain—are eligible for selection. Please note that awardees wishing to select titles for digitization that were published after 1922 must adhere to a condition of award according to which the recipient will indemnify the Library of Congress and NEH.

Review your application package

As soon as you know you're ready to apply for this grant, make sure you register for a SAM number/DUNS number, and for a account as this is vital to the grants process. If you already have registered for these items, make sure they are up to date.

Begin by reading the full grant guidelines and studying the application. The files are linked below. You want to ensure you understand all the expectations and restrictions for projects delivered under this grant and are prepared to write the most effective application. 

Download Application Materials

National Digital Newspaper Program Guidelines (PDF)

National Digital Newspaper Program Guidelines (DOC)

National Digital Newspaper Program Application Package

Budget Resources

Budget Instructions, October 2018 (PDF)

Sample Budget, October 2018 (PDF)

Budget Form, September 2018 (MS Excel)

Program Resources

National Digital Newspaper Program Frequently Asked Questions, 2018 (PDF)

NDNP Web Site (hosted by Library of Congress)

Technical Guidelines (hosted by Library of Congress) (PDF)

List of National Digital Newspaper Program awards, 2016-2018

DUNS Number Requirement

Sample Application Narratives

Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi Digital Newspaper Project

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Digital Newspaper Project

University of Nevada, Nevada Digital Newspaper Project

University of North Carolina, North Carolina Digital Newspaper Project

University of Tennessee, Tennessee Digital Newspaper Project

West Virginia University, West Virginia Digital Newspaper Project

    Complete your application package

    Be sure to follow the instructions outlined in the guidelines and in the instructions. 

    Submit your application package on

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    Program Statistics

    In the last five competitions this program received an average of
    per year
    This grant has a
    Funding Ratio
    NEH made an average of
    per year

    Examples of Projects Funded by this Grant Program