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2016 NDNP Awards Announced - Alaska, Colorado, Maine and New Jersey Join the Program

August 17, 2016

From the NEH Division of Preservation and Access Blog: Alaska, Colorodao, Maine Join the National Digital Newspaper Program (external link)

We are happy to announce the addition of four new partners to the National Digital Newspaper Program! NEH has made awards to digitize historic newspapers to the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums; the Colorado Historical Society; the Maine State Library, and Rutgers University in New Jersey. With forty-three states and one territory now participating in the program, NEH is approaching its goal of representing every state and U.S. territory in Chronicling America, the open access database of historic American newspapers maintained by the Library of Congress.

This year, NEH awards have also been issued to state partners in Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas to continue their contributions to Chronicling America. You can read more about all of the awards issued by NEH in August’s press release (external link).

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) is a partnership between NEH, the Library of Congress, and state partners. NEH awards enable state partners to choose and digitize newspapers representing their historical, cultural, and geographic diversity. To date, over 11 million pages of historic newspapers are currently available on Chronicling America, with more being added all the time. State partners also contribute rich essays about each newspaper title and its historical context. NDNP recently expanded its scope to include newspapers published between 1690 and 1963.

NEH Announces the Winners of the Chronicling America Data Challenge

August 5, 2016

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announces the six prize recipients of the Chronicling America Data Challenge. This nationwide competition garnered high-quality entries that used digital humanities to explore and exhibit untold stories found in the Chronicling America database.

The contest challenged members of the public to produce creative web-based projects using data pulled from Chronicling America, the digital repository of historic U.S. newspapers. The Chronicling America database, created through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, provides free digital access to over eleven million pages of historically significant newspapers published in the United States.

And the winners are . . .


Project Name: America’s Public Bible: Biblical Quotations in U.S. Newspapers

Project Director: Lincoln Mullen, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Art History, George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)

Project Description: America’s Public Bible: Biblical Quotations in U.S. Newspapers tracks Biblical quotations in American newspapers to see how the Bible was used for cultural, religious, social, or political purposes. Users can either enter their own Biblical references or choose from a selection of significant references on a range of topics. The project draws on both recent digital humanities work tracking the reuse of texts and a deep scholarly interest in the Bible as a cultural text in American life. The site shows how the Bible was a contested yet common text, including both printed sermons and Sunday school lessons and use of the Bible on every side of issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage, and wealth and capitalism.


Project Name: American Lynching: Uncovering a Cultural Narrative

Project Director: Andrew Bales, PhD Student in Creative Writing, University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

Project Description: American Lynching: Uncovering a Cultural Narrative explores America’s long and dark history with lynching, in which newspapers acted as both a catalyst for public killings and a platform for advocating for reform. Integrating data sets on lynching created by Tuskegee University, the site sheds light on the gruesome culture of lynching, paying close attention to the victims of violent mobs. The site allows users to use an interactive chronological map of victim reports and see their state-by-state distribution, linking to Chronicling America articles.

Project Name: Historical Agricultural News

Project Director: Amy Giroux, Computer Research Specialist, Center for Humanities and Digital Research, University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

Project Description: Historical Agricultural News, a search tool site for exploring information on the farming organizations, technologies, and practices of America’s past. The site describes farming as the window into communities, social and technological change, and concepts like progress, development, and modernity. Agricultural connections are of significance to those interested in various topics including immigration and assimilation, language use and communication, education and affiliations, and demographic transitions.


Project Name: Chronicling Hoosier

Project Director: Kristi Palmer, Associate Dean of Digital Scholarship, Indiana University-Purdue University (Indianapolis, IN)

Project Description: Chronicling Hoosier tracks the origins of the word “Hoosier.” The website has maps that visually demonstrate the geographic distribution of the term “hoosier” in the Chronicling America data set. This distribution is measured by the number of times the term appears on a newspaper page. Each point on the map shows a place of publication where a newspaper or newspapers contain the term. Another feature on the website is the Word Clouds by Decade visualizations, which are created by looking at the word “hoosier” in context. The text immediately surrounding each appearance of the word is extracted, and from this the most frequently occurring terms are plotted.

Project Name:

Project Director: Claudio Saunt, Professor, Department of History, Co-Director, Center for Virtual History and Associate Director, Institute of Native American Studies, University of Georgia (Athens, GA)

Project Description: discovers patterns, explores regions, investigates how stories and terms spread around the country, and watches information go viral before the era of the internet. This site argues that newspapers better capture the public discourse because of their quick publication schedule. For example, users can track “miscegenation,” a term coined in 1863 by a Democratic Party operative to exploit fears about Lincoln, and “scalawag,” a recently arrived term that quickly gained currency after 1869. Other examples for use are tracking regional differences in language, tracing the path of epidemics, and studying changing political discourse over time and space.

K-12 Student Prize

Project Name: Digital APUSH: Revealing History with Chronicling America

Project Director: A.P. U.S. History Students at Sunapee High School (Sunapee, NH)

Project Description: Digital APUSH: Revealing History with Chronicling America uses word frequency analysis—a kind of distant reading made possible by the API—to discover patterns in news coverage. Some examples of investigations include geographic coverage of Plessy v. Ferguson, temporal trends in use of the words “secede” and “secession,” articles about Uncle Tom’s Cabin by year, state-by-state coverage of the KKK, and geographic trends in coverage of labor unions.

Read the complete announcement at:

NDNP Date Range Expansion

July 8, 2016

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Library of Congress are pleased to announce the expansion of the chronological scope of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)! Expanding on our current scope (1836-1922), the program will now begin to allow state partners to digitize historic newspapers from 1690 to 1963.

NEH and the Library of Congress hope that this expansion will further our goal of representing the political, social, economic, and cultural history of every state and U.S. territory in the open access historic newspaper database Chronicling America. By including the very first American newspapers, we can explore the history of the early days of the republic. In the twentieth century, the number of newspaper publications exploded and papers themselves grew in both length and scope. By extending the coverage of NDNP back to 1690 (when Benjamin Harris and Richard Pierce published the first American newspaper in Boston) and forward to 1963, we hope to capture the richness and diversity of our nation’s history.

Read the complete announcement at:

Last Updated: 08/18/2016