Over the last two years, we have brought you information and updates on the South Carolina Digital Newspaper Program. SCDNP is part of the larger National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), along with 27 other states and the District of Columbia, that contributes digitized newspaper content to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Each participating state has developed creative and innovative ways to present and interpret historical newspaper content. Here are some exciting projects that have been developed so far, along with some others created by folks not directly affiliated with NDNP.
Stanford University created an interactive map of the United States, Data Visualization: Journalism’s Voyage West, to demonstrate the growth of newspapers in tandem with the expansion of the American West. This project used data from Chronicling America to plot 140,000 newspapers published from 1690 to the present. Stanford and the Texas Digital Newspaper Program have also partnered on the Mapping Texts project, in which they are “experimenting with new methods for finding and analyzing meaningful patterns embedded in massive collections of digital newspapers.”
One cool project contributed to Flickr titled Old Washington includes 250 images of mid 19th to early 20th century Washington, D.C. many of which are found in digitized newspapers from Chronicling America.
The Ohio Historical Society recently made available a fantastic resource, the Using Chronicling America Podcast Series, to walk researchers through the search process in Chronicling America.
Many NDNP staff have presented some really interesting blog posts hi-lighting articles and historical themes of interest. The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program blog never fails to enlighten and entertain on historical content that they have discovered in their newspapers. Other states that maintain awesome blogs hi-lighting historical newspapers include Fit to Print: Dispatches from the Virginia Newspaper Project, and blogs from Digital Newspaper Projects at Kentucky, Vermont,and Indiana.
The California Digital Newspaper Program has created a crowdsourcing project which invited members of the public to help correct the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) of newspaper articles. The CDNP explains that “newspaper copy is generated into searchable text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software [which] computers often have a hard time reading. The User Text Correction (UTC) feature in the CDNC allows users to correct text that the computer could not properly identify.” This worthwhile endeavor invites registered users to assist in a project too large and expensive for the CDNP to undertake themselves at this time. To get involved, go to CDNP Help Page and scroll down to the Correcting Text section. CDNP reported that many retirees have enjoyed donating their valuable time to this project, and one individual in their “Hall of Fame” has edited and corrected 154,000 lines of newspaper data!
For K-12 teachers, the Texas Digital Newspaper Program created Newspaper Narratives, as part of their Resource 4 Educators: Portals into Texas History resource. The Montana Historical Society composed an extensive guide for K-12 teachers titled Thinking Like a Historian: Using Digital Newspapers in the Classroom and the Digitizing Louisiana Newspaper Project (DLNP) has developed K-12 Curriculum Packets for teachers that meet Louisiana’s Curriculum Standards.
The Library of Congress continues to compose top-notch Topics in Chronicling America. The list continues to grow but there are over 120 topics that showcase the rich history that readers will find in historical newspapers in Chronicling America. Some states like us at SCDNP have created Subject Guides to help users explore historical newspapers and to show the breadth and variety of content researchers might find themselves. Here is a link to our SCDNP LibGuide, as well as Hawaii’s NDNP LibGuide. Marist College has incorporated African-American newspaper titles, made available in Chronicling America, into a LibGuide they created on African American Newspapers Available Online.
NDNP has listed the many projects that have developed out of Chronicling America content and the NDNP. To learn more visit, Extra! Extra! NDNP Extras! And if you have come across any similar resources associated with Chronicling America, we would love to hear about it.