US Caribbean & Florida Digital Newspaper Project Celebrates 10 Years and Grant Renewal

Diario Las Americas image
Diario las Américas. [volume] (Miami, Fla.), 30 April 1959. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

The George A. Smathers Libraries are the awarded institution in Florida for the National Endowment for the Humanities National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The NDNP provides access to a searchable database of historically significant newspapers from 1690 through 1963. This grant is the longest running grant in the George A. Smathers Libraries system and one of the three largest grants (monetarily). The proposals have been so successful that the Libraries use this model for other grant acquisitions. An inclusive project, the University of Florida strives to reach more than English language users and are committed to providing access to Spanish-language newspapers and newspapers from diverse communities as much as possible. These newspapers are open access—anyone can access these resources for free. As long as you have Internet access, more than 520,000 pages are available for exploration.

This project benefits students and teaching faculty who use newspapers as primary sources for coursework and research, allowing for various perspectives from primary sources. Other applications include genealogists and the general public who are passionate about family history. Digitizing newspapers allows researchers and scholars to examine events from multiple perspectives and lenses. Through sourcing multiple papers, academics are able to analyze the journalist’s perspective, the paper’s audience and reach, all becoming a lesson in not only national events, but local day-to-day experiences.

After 10 years of collaborations, the Smathers Libraries’ team reflects on their experience. Melissa Jerome, co-principal investigator says, “The past 10 years have been filled with many memories, but two things stick out most for me about the project- what I have learned and the impact on the community. Firstly, I learned (and continue to learn) so much history from the newspapers we’ve digitized. To name a few: effects of segregation in Miami (my hometown), issues of statehood for Puerto Rico that date back over 100 years, and the development and climate issues related to the Everglades that remain relevant today. I have truly enjoyed exploring the newspapers, knowing that just about every time I look, I will encounter something I didn’t know before.”

See the full press release, here.

$1.8M awarded

522,000 pages digitized

25.56 TBdigitized

Stay Connected with the Florida NDNP Project

Contact Melissa Jerome and Pat Reakes with questions about this project.