Chronicling America Reaches 50 States
New Hampshire Joins the National Digital Newspaper Program, Expanding Online Access to America’s Historic Newspapers
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Chronicling America, the searchable online database of historical American newspapers, will soon include digitized newspapers from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and housed and maintained online at the Library of Congress, Chronicling America offers free online access to 19.9 million pages of newspapers published in the United States between 1777 to 1963.
NEH recently awarded its first grant award to a National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) partner for the state of New Hampshire, ensuring access to significant newspapers from the entire United States. Dartmouth College will serve as the New Hampshire state hub, partnering with the New Hampshire State Library, the New Hampshire Historical Society, and the University of New Hampshire Library to identify historical newspapers that reflect the state’s political, economic, and cultural history for inclusion in Chronicling America. Among the first newspapers to be digitized and added to the online repository are the New Hampshire Gazette, the first newspaper known to be printed by an enslaved person; The Dartmouth, founded in 1799 as the Dartmouth Gazette, the nation’s oldest school newspaper; and Among the Clouds, a newspaper printed on top of Mount Washington between 1889 and 1917.
“Building on 40 years of collaboration between NEH and the Library of Congress, Chronicling America is a uniquely rich national resource that documents the histories of the events, ideas, and individuals that make up the American story,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “The addition of the 50th state partner to the National Digital Newspaper Program is a milestone achievement that will expand coverage of this unparalleled resource to encompass all U.S. states, giving the public access to the ‘first draft of history’ from the perspective of communities across the country.”
Established in 2005, Chronicling America gives users on a computer, tablet, or phone direct access to American history as it was recorded locally in more than 3,700 newspaper titles in 22 languages. Users can browse the pages of the 1789 Gazette of the United States, a partisan paper friendly to George Washington’s administration and the emerging Federalist party; search for headlines related to the sinking of the Titanic or the United States’s entry into World War I; or read contemporaneous newspaper coverage of the 1963 March on Washington. NEH grants to state newspaper projects allow program partners across the country to select historically important newspapers published in their respective states and oversee digitization of those titles for inclusion in the Chronicling America database.
“The Chronicling America collection is a treasure-trove of newspapers of record, community voices and local history unlike any other openly available primary source material,” said Deborah Thomas, Chief of the Serial and Government Publications Division at the Library of Congress, and the Library’s program manager for the National Digital Newspaper Program. “Adding New Hampshire regional and local news to the Chronicling America collection will expand our understanding of American history and society.”
Join a Virtual Lecture on the Role of the Black Press in WWII
Members of the public are invited to learn more about Chronicling America and the National Digital Newspaper Program by tuning in to:
by historian Matthew Delmont
on September 29 at 4 p.m. EDT
In his plenary address as part of an annual conference of all state and jurisdictional NDNP partners, Delmont will explore how Black newspapers led the Double Victory campaign during WWII to secure victory over fascism abroad and victory over racism at home. First championed in 1942 by The Pittsburgh Courier, the largest Black newspaper in the United States at the time, the “Double V” campaign was embraced by prominent Black newspapers across the country, which highlighted the vital role Black troops played on the frontlines; brought the triumphs and tragedies of the war home to Black readers; and helped lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement by promoting patriotism while raising questions regarding race, democracy, and citizenship.
Sponsored by NEH and the Library of Congress, this talk is free and open to the public. To register, visit: https://www.loc.gov/item/event-405634/
Matthew Delmont, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth, is an expert on African American history and the history of civil rights. He is the author of the forthcoming Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad, which received research support from an NEH Public Scholars award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. (Read an excerpt from Half American at Smithsonian Magazine.) His previous books include: Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African American Newspapers (Stanford University Press, 2019); Making Roots: A Nation Captivated (University of California Press, 2016); Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (University of California Press, 2016); and The Nicest Kids in Town: American Bandstand, Rock 'n' Roll, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in 1950s Philadelphia (University of California Press, 2012).
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.
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