The Digital Public Library of America has been awarded $150,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to research the potential integration of newspaper content into the DPLA platform.
Over the course of the next year, DPLA will investigate the current state of newspaper digitization in the US. Thanks in large part to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress’s joint National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) showcased online as Chronicling America, many states in the US have digitized their historic newspapers and made them available online. A number of states, however, have made newspapers available outside of or in addition to this important program, and DPLA plans to investigate what resources it would take to potentially provide seamless discovery of the newspapers of all states and US territories, including the over 10 million pages already currently available in Chronicling America.
“We are grateful to the Knight Foundation for providing funding to DPLA that enables us to devote time and resources to investigate the potential integration of newspapers into the DPLA,” said Emily Gore, DPLA Director of Content. “We look forward to working with our current hubs, NDNP participants and other significant newspaper projects over the next year.”
Other national digital libraries including Trove in Australia and Europeana have undertaken efforts to make full-text newspaper discovery a priority. Europeana recently launched Europeana Newspapers by aggregating 18 million historic newspaper pages. The intent of the DPLA staff is to engage the state newspaper projects, as well as Trove and Europeana Newspapers, over the next year as we consider the viability of a US-based newspaper aggregation. DPLA will also engage with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) community to discuss how IIIF may play a role in centralized newspaper discovery.
At the conclusion of the yearlong planning process, DPLA will hold a summit to report out on our findings and to discuss next steps with the cultural heritage newspaper community.
Image credit: Detail from “Students reading newspapers together,” 1961. University of North Texas Libraries Special Collections via The Portal to Texas History.