Uncovering newspaper history with Chronicling America

Photo by Walter Lee Olivares de la Cruz on Unsplash

Deborah Thomas, Program Manager for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) at the Library of Congress visited the Digital Library of Georgia and joined our Colloquium series to discuss Chronicling America, an online newspaper collection available through the Library of Congress, and their efforts to digitize and preserve America’s vast newspaper history.

The Digital Library of Georgia has been working on the Georgia Historic Newspaper project which has collected and digitized newspapers from every area of the state with issues dating from 1786 to 1986. This herculean effort is only surpassed in scope by the Library of Congress’ NDNP which holds 15.7 million pages online that were printed between 1789 and 1962.

Deborah Thomas demonstrating search strategies on Chronicling America

Thomas provided methods for sorting through this massive amount of data. This collection provides a glimpse into history including huge events like disasters or elections, and it can let users find a family member, a town, or a specific reference given a user’s patience and determination to find what they’re looking for. All of this information has the potential to shift a perspective or the historical narrative. All of the pages are made available through the hard work of hundreds of partner institutions and the Library of Congress.

UGA has contributed to this effort over the last three years by the work of Public History Interns in D.C. through a connection with Professor Akela Reason in the History Department.

Learn more about this project @Librarycongress #ChronAm on Twitter or read their blog series Headlines and Heroes for their latest newspaper discoveries.

See Deborah Thomas’s full talk.