Historic American Newspapers Move Online

    March 21, 2007

If you are an American History buff you will be interested to know that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress has announced that "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers" is available online.

The site has more than 226,000 pages of public domain newspapers from California, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, Virginia and Washington DC published between 1900 and 1910. The text of the newspapers is searchable, and search terms can focus on a single state, newspaper, year and months.

"Chronicling America will allow students, teachers, historians — in fact, all Americans — access to some of our most important historical documents. It is one thing to read about historical events from the perspective of historians, narrated with the value of hindsight. It is entirely different to read the story as it was happening," said NEH Chairman Bruce Cole.

The project is being produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) and is a partnership with the NEH and the Library of Congress. Their goal is to develop an online searchable database of U.S. newspapers with digitization of historic pages and information about newspapers from 1690 to the present.

Over the next 20 years or so the NDNP plans to create a national, digital resource of historically important newspapers from all the states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922.

Doing a quick scan of the site I found it to be interesting. I found a newspaper from Kentucky, The Bourbon Times out of Paris from December 27, 1904. The advertisements alone give a good indication of what life was like over a century ago. One was for a stationary portable gasoline engine, while another was from someone who wanted 10,000 turkeys and they were willing to pay the highest market price.

Mr. Cole added, "Chronicling America will be available to the American public for free, forever; and I hope Americans will visit the site and try to imagine the emotions and actions of their forebears as those stories went to print."