UF Libraries awarded additional funding to digitize and provide access to historic newspapers

NDNP Phase 5 graphicThe George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida received a grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand newspaper digitization efforts and continue participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This is the fifth NDNP award the Libraries have received since 2013, bringing the combined project total to nearly $1.5 million.

The recent NEH award will fund the Ethnic Florida & US Caribbean Region Digital Newspaper Project, which will run until August 2023, building on work from previous project phases. During the eight-year period from 2013 to 2021, more than 400,000 pages of historical newspapers published in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were digitized and made publicly available online.

Over the next two years, the UF project team will continue to collaborate with partners at the University of the Virgin Islands libraries to digitize an additional 100,000 pages from newspapers published between 1800 to 1963. Selected content will include ethnic newspapers published in Florida and the Panama Canal Zone newspapers, and newspapers from the US Virgin Islands.

“This funding is extremely important since it allows us to not only continue our previous collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands, it also provides an opportunity to include very unique newspapers from the Panama Canal Zone. In addition, the project focus on ethnic newspapers from Florida will guarantee that many of those titles are preserved as well. This content documents a really important part of the history of the state and these papers will be extremely valuable for research and teaching,” said Patrick Reakes, senior associate dean, Scholarly Resources & Services and primary investigator on the grant.

The project will run from September 2021 to August 2023. All digitized content will be text-searchable and freely accessible in the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) (www.ufdc.ufl.edu/ufndnp) and Chronicling America (https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/), a site created and maintained by the Library of Congress for the National Digital Newspaper Program.

To view previously digitized content, visit UFDC and Chronicling America. For more information about the project visit www.ufndnp.wordpress.com.