Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers is the subject of today’s Follow Friday post. The project is a partnership between the Library of Congress and NEH with two objectives:
• to provide access to a Newspaper Directory covering U.S. papers published between 1690 – present, and
• to make selected U.S. newspapers from 1860-1922 available in full-text, searchable digital surrogates.
Chronicling America features free access to newspapers from 1860 to 1922 from the following states: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
I can’t imagine the level of professional know-how and just plain hard work it takes to digitize 2.3 million newspaper pages and create intellectual access to them either by browsing or searching. And for free! I’ve worked on some digitizing projects in archives, but nothing on this epic scale.
See all available digitized newspapers here.
Search the Newspaper Directory for all known titles, span dates, and repositories here.
The search interfaces are flexible and well designed. (Footnote.com should take some lessons here.) In fact, the whole project is really well done.
And for software developers or researchers who want to create new ways of accessing the digital files, LC also provides API (application programming interface) capability here. For more information about the technical underpinnings of the Chronicling America program, see www.loc.gov/ndnp/.
I was searching last night, looking to see if Gottfried Hann had an obituary in a Chicago paper (a very long shot and the answer was no) when I found this:
Chicago Eagle. (Chicago, Ill.) October 17, 1896, Image 2
If you have Chicago ancestors who made their “fortune from pork sausage,” you’d better check some of those family heirlooms!