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US Caribbean & Ethnic Florida Digital Newspaper Project: Media

Expanding Access to Historical Newspapers

In the News

January 15, 2020

New Year, New Us!

In August 2019, the Florida & Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project came to an end.

During the last six years (Sept2013-Aug2019), we have digitized more than 500 microfilm reels with over 300,000 pages of newspapers equating to approximately 13 terabytes worth of data. All the digitized content comes from 43 newspaper titles published in Florida and four newspaper titles from Puerto Rico.

Lucky for us (and you!) when this door closed another one opened.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded the UF Libraries a new grant to continue its digitization efforts alongside our partners at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras (UPR-RP). Our digitization efforts will continue under our new project- the US Caribbean & Ethnic Florida Newspaper Project!

Over the next two years (Sept2019-Aug2021) we’ll work on expanding the efforts of our previous project by continuing to digitize content from Puerto Rico and Florida, with the focus for Florida on ethnic publications. We’ll also introduce content from a new territory, the US Virgin Islands, with the help of our new partners at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI).

We’re very excited to continue participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program, digitizing and providing access to historic newspapers. We encourage you to follow along and stay tuned for information regarding title selections and other project updates!


January 9, 2019

Check out the new blog, The Case of Isabel Gonzalez https://ufndnp.wordpress.com/2019/01/


August 2, 2017

We have some exciting news for fans of digitization, preservation, and history. The Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project has been awarded funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities for a third digitization cycle! We’ll let you know as soon as newspaper titles are selected, but for now you can read more in our press release:

University of Florida Libraries Receive Additional $310,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Digitization project provides free online access to historic newspapers from Florida and Puerto Rico

August 2, 2017

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries was recently awarded supplemental funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize in excess of 100,000 pages of historic newspapers. The $310,000 NEH grant will provide additional funding support for the “Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, which is part of the state’s and territory’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The award supplements earlier grants of $288,000 in 2015 and $325,000 in 2013, making the total award $923,000, the single largest direct award ever received by the Libraries.

Led by project director Patrick Reakes and project manager Melissa Jerome, the project is a collaboration between the University of Florida (UF) Libraries and the library at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras (UPR-RP). It will provide a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1690 and 1963 from Florida and Puerto Rico.

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 (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, the University of Florida Libraries Florida Digital Newspaper Library (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/newspapers), and the Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña at the University of Puerto Rico (http://bibliotecadigital.uprrp.edu/cdm/).

“This additional funding is extremely important and provides the opportunity to substantially expand access to historically important newspapers in both Florida and Puerto Rico” said Reakes. “The Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project has always focused on two primary goals; to provide access to a large corpus of newspapers that previously had limited availability and also to provide a long term, sustainable option for archiving them in a format other than microfilm. By the end of this portion of the project we’ll have in excess of 300,000 pages digitized and they are all freely available to anyone who wants to use them.”

Provided by George A. Smathers Libraries 


January 10, 2017

We're happy to announce that we have been collaborating with The Matheson Museum and UF Religion and Museum Studies Departments on a new exhibit, River of Dreams: The St. Johns And Its Springs. The exhibit will feature an array of archival materials, including some of our very own newspaper content! It will run from January 21-June 24, 2017 and is free to the public. Learn more about the exhibit and other related events on the Matheson Museum's website http://www.mathesonmuseum.org/events-1.html

 


July 7, 2016

Great news, everyone! The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced that they and Library of Congress will be expanding the chronological scope of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)! The program will be expanding its scope (1836-1922) to allow the inclusion of newspapers published from 1690-1963. 

Full news release is available at http://www.neh.gov/news/expanding-our-current-scope-ndnp


News article printed in Entre Paréntesis, an online digital newspaper printed by the Asociación Puertorriqueña de Estudiantes de Periodismo (APEP).

Proyecto de digitalización de periódicos entre la UPR y la Universidad de Florida

February 27, 2016 by Desireé Molina-Ortega

En un esfuerzo para proporcionar el acceso libre y permanente de periódicos históricos, surgió el Proyecto de Periódicos de la Florida y Puerto Rico. Este provee una amplia variedad de periódicos de gran relevancia, publicados entre el 1836 y el 1922. La colaboración entre la Biblioteca George A. Smathers de la Universidad de Florida en Gainesville y el Sistema de Bibliotecas del Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, tiene como propósito brindar acceso gratuito a periódicos que registraron las historias más importantes de esta época.

Tomando ventaja de las nuevas tecnologías, los recursos de información estarán disponibles a través de las páginas del Sistema de Bibliotecas de la Universidad  de Florida, la Biblioteca del Congreso y la Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña. La plataforma virtual incluye las publicaciones entre el 1837 y 1902 del primer periódico puertorriqueño, Gaceta de Puerto Rico, fundado en 1807. La meta próxima es añadir La Correspondencia (1890-1910),  fundado por el empresario Ramón B. López, y La Democracia (Ponce: 1891-1900; Caguas: 1900-1904), establecido por Luis Muñoz Rivera, el cual se convirtió en uno de los periódicos más influyentes del Puerto Rico de estos años.

La recuperación digital de periódicos históricos forma parte de un esfuerzo mundial dirigido a democratizar los bienes de la cultura al nivel más popular posible. “Son varios los beneficios del proyecto”, sostuvo en entrevista Melissa Espino, coordinadora del proyecto en la Universidad de Florida.

“Recordemos”, añadió Espino, “que estos periódicos en un tiempo estuvieron disponibles exclusivamente como microfilmes, así que las personas tenían que ir a un lugar en específico si querían verlos. Ahora desde la comodidad de tu hogar o si te vas de viaje, tienes acceso. La búsqueda por temas y años en específico es más amigable que con el microfilme. Esto es un proyecto nacional y es importante que la gente sepa lo que estaba pasando en ese tiempo. Pienso que nos ayuda a ampliar nuestras perspectivas y conocimientos”.

Myra Torres, Coordinadora de la Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña, se desempeña también como coordinadora de este proyecto por parte de Puerto Rico. [Para más información pueden comunicarse al  787-764-0000, ext. 7552, 5089 / e-mail: myra.torres@upr.edu]

Para continuar expandiendo el acceso a este valioso contenido histórico, se exhorta a la comunidad universitaria a hacer uso de esta herramienta tan esencial para proyectos de investigación y enriquecimiento cultural.  La búsqueda de información se encuentra disponible en español, inglés y francés. Le invitamos también visitar la página de Facebook y el blog que forman parte de la divulgación virtual del proyecto.

 

Desireé Molina es estudiante del Programa Graduado de la Escuela de Comunicación, asistente del profesor Luis Fernando Coss, asesor de comunicación del Proyecto de Digitalización en Puerto Rico.

 


Dispatches from the National Digital Newspaper Program Annual Meeting

October 8, 2015 by Leah Weinryb Grohsgal

Since 2005, the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between NEH, the Library of Congress (LC), and state institutions, has sought to bring open access to historic American newspapers to the general public.  The product of that partnership, the Chronicling America website, now holds 10 million digitized newspaper pages from 40 state and territorial partners.  NDNP is a deeply collaborative project, and every fall representatives from state partners across the country meet to discuss their work bringing digitized newspapers to scholars, researchers, genealogists, K-12 students, and more. Representatives of the libraries, state archives, and research centers currently participating in the program convened in Washington, DC, on September 16-17, 2015, for presentations and discussions at NEH and the Library of Congress.

The meeting kicked off at NEH headquarters with a morning “boot camp” session for new awardees, which included interesting presentations from Cory Lampert (NV) on “Tales of a New Awardee” and Kimberly Smith (SD) on working with an advisory panels to select content.

In “NDNP & Chronicling America: What’s New,” the Library of Congress’s Deborah Thomas revealed the exciting news that Chronicling America will now accept submissions in virtually any language.  Current collections in German, Spanish, French, and Italian have been a boon to researchers, and NEH and LC are pleased to expand the scope of foreign-language newspaper content.  Stay tuned for more details when the updated NDNP guidelines are posted later this month.

Later in the afternoon, a panel on “Chronicling America’s Ethnic and Foreign-Language Press,” reported on some of the non-English newspaper content already included in Chronicling America.  State partners Chandler Lighty (IN), Melissa Espino (FL/PR), and Jane Wong (MN) discussed their projects’ efforts to digitize and advertise newspapers in German, Spanish, and other languages. 

A second panel, “Family History Research Using Chronicling America” welcomed Frank Boles and Kim Hagerty (MI), Erenst Anip and Karyn Norwood (VT), and Louisa Trott (TN) to discuss the genealogical research audience—one of Chronicling America’s largest and most enthusiastic user groups!

Finally, NEH Chairman William “Bro” Adams gave rousing remarks to close the first day of the meeting.  He congratulated project staff on reaching 40 state and territorial partners, and spoke about the NDNP’s important role in his “Common Good” initiative to bring the humanities into the public square. In particular, the Chairman praised the growing number of ethnic and immigrant press titles in Chronicling America, which help represent the diversity of the American experience.  Attendees then adjourned for a reception hosted by NEH.

The second day of the conference, held at the Library of Congress, featured presentations on managing these complex projects, including issues of collection management, access, data storage and integration, collaborative partnerships between states, and sustainability.  Presenters included Jo Miles-Seely (MS), Henry Morse and Errol Somay (VA), Sarah Lynn Fisher (TX), Natasha Hollenbach (MT), Karen Estlund (OR/PA), Barbara Ilie and John Blythe (NC), Brian Geiger (CA), and Ana Krahmer (TX).

A session chaired by NEH’s EDSITEment brought two experienced teachers to Washington: Amanda Hilliard Smith, a Social Studies Teacher at Beaufort County Early College High School in Washington, North Carolina; and Jami Forrester, Associate Professor at Northwest Arkansas Community College and the National History Day Arkansas Region 10 Coordinator.  They discussed how news stories inChronicling America have enabled them to teach about both well-known and forgotten events in America’s past such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, as well as helping students explore the biases that can be present in historic news stories.

Finally, in a series of lightning talks, project directors including Jane Cullinane (CT), Liz Caringola (MD), Patrick Reakes (FL), Stewart Plein (WV), Brian Geiger (CA), Karen Estlund (OR/PA), and Sheila Rabun (OR) presented their state and collaborative efforts at outreach, promotion, preservation, data use, and software adaptation.  Attendees then attended a reception hosted by the Library of Congress in celebration of reaching 10 million pages.

All in all, the 2015 National Digital Newspaper Program annual meeting was a success!  Project directors exchanged ideas about many aspects of newspaper digitization and participation in the nationwide effort to digitize America’s historic newspapers.  The fruits of their labors are available to all in Chronicling America.


October 7, 2015

UF Libraries’ Florida and Puerto Rico Newspaper Project Celebrates Contributions to

Chronicling America’s 10 Million Pages

Free, searchable database of historic newspapers reflects Florida & Puerto Rico history

The University of Florida and the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras today join the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in celebrating a major milestone for Chronicling America, a free, searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers. The Library announced today that more than 10 million pages have been posted to the site, which includes news from Florida related to the development of the citrus industry, natural disasters, wartime development and other historic events. News from Puerto Rico related to commerce, industry, agriculture, the Spanish America War and more can also be found in Chronicling America.

Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2007, Chronicling America provides enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. It is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint effort between the two agencies and partners in 40 states and territories.

The NDNP awards grants to entities in each state and territory to identify and digitize historic newspaper content. Awardees receive NEH funding to select and digitize 100,000 pages of historic newspapers published in their states between 1836 and 1922. Uniform technical specifications are provided to ensure consistency of all content, and digital files are transferred to the Library of Congress for long-term management and access. The first awards were made in 2005. Since then, NEH has awarded more than $30 million in support of the project.

The UF George A. Smathers Libraries was awarded an NEH grant in 2013 to collaborate with the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras to digitize historic newspapers from Florida and Puerto Rico that are currently on aging microfilm. In August 2015, the Smathers Libraries received a supplemental award from the NEH to digitize additional content. The total award of $613,000 provides funding support for the "Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project", which is part of the state and territory's involvement in the NDNP. 

 “Because these pages are not just on microfilm anymore, it completely changes the access. Anybody with an Internet connection can see them,” said project director Patrick Reakes, the UF libraries’ Associate Dean of Scholarly Resources and Services. “It’s also a more sustainable way to preserve them. Microfilm gets old and brittle and hard to read. Once these pages are digitized, they’re safe. They’ll still be readable in the future.”

“Chronicling America is one of the great online treasures, a remarkable window into our history and a testament to the power of collaborative efforts among cultural institutions nationwide,” said Mark Sweeney, the Library of Congress Associate Librarian for Library Services. “The Library of Congress is proud to work alongside NEH and all our partner institutions to make this vision a growing reality. In the coming years, we look forward to adding newspapers from the remaining states and territories, as new partners join the program.”

“We at the National Endowment for the Humanities are proud to support the Chronicling America historic newspaper project,” said NEH Chairman William Adams. “This invaluable resource preserves and makes available to all the first draft of America’s history so that we can see the ideas and events that shaped our republic unfold in the headlines of their times.”

While newspapers are frequently available for general use through microfilm and can be shared among users by interlibrary loan or purchasing copies, digitizing pages and providing full-text keyword access to the content is transformative for research of all kinds. In addition to saving researchers hours of scrolling through reels of microfilm, full-text access allows users to discover connections between research topics and uncover little-known stories in American history. The Chronicling America site includes a broad, curated set of newspapers selected for their historical value that users can browse or search. Through a few clicks they can narrow their focus to newspapers published all on the same day, in the same region, or the entire country. In addition, the content in Chronicling America is available for bulk download and API use, fostering new research approaches through computational and linguistic analysis.

 

Chronicling America Facts:

  • Between January and December 2014, the site logged 3.8 million visits and 41.7 million page views;
  • The resource includes more than 285,000 pages in almost 100 non-English newspapers (French, German, Italian and Spanish);
  • More than 250 Recommended Topics pages have been created, offering a gateway to exploration for users at any level. Topics include presidential assassinations, historic events such as the sinking of the Titanic, inventions and famous individuals such as the Wright Brothers, and cultural or offbeat subjects such as fashion trends, ping-pong and world’s fairs;
  • NEH has awarded a total of more than $30 million in grants to 40 partner institutions to contribute to Chronicling America, listed at http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/awards/;

 

About the Library of Congress: Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at loc.gov.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating its 50th anniversary as an independent federal agency in 2015, National Endowment for the Humanities brings the best in humanities research, public programs, education, and preservation projects to the American people. To date, NEH has awarded $5 billion in grants to build the nation’s cultural capital - at museums, libraries, colleges and universities, archives, and historical societies - and advance our understanding and appreciation of history, literature, philosophy, and language. Learn more at neh.gov.


As of October 2015

All titles selected for digitization during the 2013-2015 period have been digitized and are available for viewing in Chronicling America

1.the Ocala Evening Star- 22,800pgs

2.the Ocaleean Ensign- 24pgs

3.the Punta Gorda Herald- 3,200pgs

4.the Palatka News- 400pgs

5.the Palatka News and Advertiser- 3,600pgss

6.the Palatka Daily News- 3,600pgs

7.Palatka Daily News- 2,800pgs

8. the Pensacola Journal- 15,400pgs

9.la Gaceta de Puerto-Rico- 51,500pgs


August 2015

University of Florida Libraries Receive Additional $288,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Digitization project provides free online access to historic newspapers from Florida and Puerto Rico

The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries was recently awarded supplemental funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize over 100,000 pages of historic newspapers. The $288,000 NEH grant will provide additional funding support for the “Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, which is part of the state's and territory's participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The award supplements a $325,000 grant the UF Libraries received in 2013, making the total award $613,000, the single largest direct award ever received by the Libraries.  

Led by project director Patrick Reakes and project manager Melissa Espino, the project is a collaboration between the University of Florida (UF) Libraries and the library at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras (UPR-RP). It will provide a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 from Florida and Puerto Rico.

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 (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, the University of Florida Libraries Florida Digital Newspaper Library (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/fdnl1), and the Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña at the University of Puerto Rico (http://bibliotecadigital.uprrp.edu/cdm/).   

“This is really exciting for the grant teams at UF and UPR” said Reakes. “It supplies funding to substantially expand access to these important historical newspapers and provides a long term, sustainable option for archiving them as well. By the end of this portion of the project we’ll have in excess of 200,000 pages digitized and they are all freely available to anyone who wants to use them.”

The George A. Smathers Libraries at UF is the largest academic library system in the state of Florida. The libraries’ collections are located across the Gainesville campus and throughout the state. The libraries house more than five million books and the UF Digital Collections (http://ufdc.ufl.edu) contain over ten million pages of historical documents, newspapers, archival letters, maps, photographs, museum objects, books and more.

 

Provided by the George A. Smathers Libraries 

 


May 2015

Approximately 90,700 pages have been digitized, with 51,900 coming from the Florida papers and 38,800 coming from the Puerto Rico title. Of these 90,700 digitized pages, 70,300 are currently available for viewing in Chronicling America atwww.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov


 

March 2015

A total of ten batches have been digitized totaling approximately 77,800pgs (five from Florida and five from Puerto Rico). Of these batches, nine have been sent to the Library of Congress. They have approved seven batches thus far (four from FL and three from PR) totaling approximately 55,800pgs that have already been uploaded and are accessible through Chronicling America with 31,900pgs from FL and 23,900pgs from PR. The other two batches awaiting approval (one from PR and one from FL) total approximately 14,400pgs (roughly 7,000pgs from FL and 7,400pgs from PR).


January 2015

As January 1, 2015, the first nine batches (approximately 70,000 pages) have been digitized—five batches from UF and four batches from UPR-RP. Of these batches seven have been sent to LC, and four batches thus far - three from UF and one from UPR totaling 30,616 page - have been uploaded and are accessible through Chronicling America, representing 22,895 pages from the Ocala Evening Star and 7,721 pages from La Gaceta de Puerto Rico.  

The other three batches totaling 23,300 pages awaiting LC approval include two batches from UPR totaling approximately 16,200 pages and one batch from UF totaling roughly 7,100 pages. There are currently four of the nine batches available in UFDC - two from Florida and two from Puerto Rico. These batches total approximately 32,200 pages - 16,400 pages from the Ocala Evening Star and 15,800 pages from La Gaceta de Puerto Rico. Material available on UFDC can also be accessed through the “digitized newspaper” tab above.


September 12th, 2014
The Library of Congress has accepted our very first production batch! Approximately 6,900 pages of the Ocala Evening Star (1896-1911) have been added to Chronicling America. Check out the newly accessible content at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84027621/1895-06-24/ed-1/
This material will be accessible on our site (under Digitized Newspapers) and through FDNL within the next few months. 


July 30th, 2014

Both UF and UPR-RP have reviewed and duplicated all necessary microfilm for the project. Approximately 37,000 pages have already been digitized, with roughly 22,000 of those pages coming from the Ocala Evening Star and the remaining 15,000 pages from La Gaceta de Puerto Rico.

Thus far, only 16,000 pages from the Ocala Evening Star (for the years 1911-1922) have been made available online and can be accessed through the Florida Digital Newspaper Library. This content will also become available via Chronicling America within the next few months. 

For more details and updates, visit our website: www.ufdc.ufl.edu/ndnp


 Libraries receive $325,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant award

Barbara Hood- September 3, 2013

The George A. Smathers Libraries were recently awarded funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize approximately 100,000 pages of historic newspapers. The $325,000 NEH grant will provide funding support for the “Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project”, which is part of the state’s and territory’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Led by director Patrick Reakes and co-director Margarita Vargas-Betancourt, the project is a collaboration between the Smathers Libraries and the library at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. It will provide a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 from Florida and Puerto Rico.

The completed project will provide 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 (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/) , the University of Florida Libraries Florida Digital Newspaper Library (http://ufdc.ufl.edu/fdnl1), and the Biblioteca Digital Puertorriqueña at the University of Puerto Rico (http://bibliotecadigital.uprrp.edu/cdm/).

In support of the grant, Dr. James Cusick, curator of the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida, wrote: “This project strengthens and enhances the University of Florida’s exisiting database of online newspapers. It ensures more complete coverage of the 19th century for Florida while laying a strong groundwork for digital versions of expanded newspaper coverage that occurred as Florida entered its first major boom period of development, population growth and expansion in the first two decades of the 20th century.”

Provided by the George A. Smathers Libraries

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