The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress, is a long-term effort to provide permanent, free access to historic newspapers selected and digitized by NEH-funded awardees in the United States. This program was created to build upon the United States Newspaper Program (USNP), another NEH & Library of Congress sponsored program geared toward locating, cataloging, and preserving microfilm newspapers published in the U.S. from the 18th Century to present. The NDNP extends the usefulness of the USNP digitized assets by incorporating newspapers published from 1690-1963 into a national digital newspaper resource, Chronicling America, where the digitized pages are made available. Through this resource, over 14 million newspaper pages have been made available thus far.
The University of Florida was one of the original NDNP awardees in 2005 when the program started. Approximately 100,000 pages of newspapers published between 1900-1910 were digitized and incorporated into Chronicling America. The George A. Smathers Libraries was awarded another NEH grant in 2013 to collaborate with the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. The grant provided funding support for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, as part of the state and territory's involvement in the NDNP. The project came to an end in August 2019, providing access to more than 300,000 pages of newspapers from 14 newspaper titles published in Florida and four newspaper titles from Puerto Rico.
In August 2019, the NEH awarded the UF Libraries $309,000 (bringing the project total to over $1.2million) to continue its digitization efforts alongside UPR-RP under the US Caribbean & Ethnic Florida Digital Newspaper Project (USCEFDNP). This new collaborative project builds on the efforts of the FPRDNP to continue digitizing historic newspapers from the territory and state, with a focus on digitizing ethnic newspapers from Florida. The USCEFDNP also expands the scope of the FPRDNP to include digitization of historic newspapers published in the Virgin Islands with the help from new partner, the University of the Virgin Islands. The USCEFDNP will run from September 2019 to August 2021.
The project provides free, internet-based access to newspapers that are currently available only on aging microfilm. The digitized papers will be available through the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America, the University of Florida Libraries' Florida Digital Newspaper Library, the Digital Library of the Caribbean, and the Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña at the University of Puerto Rico.