January 28, 2022

Milestones: University of North Texas Libraries Will Soon Pass 1 Million Historic Newspaper Pages Digitized Mark

Congrats and Kudos to UNT Libraries.

From the University of North Texas Library:

Beginning in 2007, the UNT Libraries received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize pages of Texas newspapers  for the National Digital Newspaper Program“Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.” UNT was one of eight U.S. universities, and the only one from Texas, to receive the funding.

The National Digital Newspaper Program, or NDNP, is a long-term effort from NEH and the Library of Congress to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with select digitization of historic papers. During the next 15 years, NDNP will create a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Since receiving the initial two-year, $397,552 grant, the UNT Libraries have received more than $2.4 million in funding for the newspapers and have digitized 118,783 Texas issues. More than 960,000 newspaper pages have been digitized, and the UNT Libraries staff expects to reach one million pages by the end of February.

The oldest newspaper on the portal is a Sept. 25, 1829, issue of the Texas Gazette, which is the earliest Texas newspaper for which more than one issue exists. Writings of Stephen F. Austin were published in the paper.

Other historic newspapers on the portal include late 19th- and early 20th-century issues of the Jefferson Jimplecute; 19th-century issues of the Neu-Braunfelser Zeitung, the German language predecessor to the current New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung; early 20th-century issues of the Brownsville Daily Herald, Snyder Daily Signal and several newspapers published in Galveston; and the defunct Dallas Daily Herald, which was the first newspaper in Dallas and later became the Dallas Times-Herald.

Dreanna Belden, assistant dean for external relations for the UNT Libraries, said the newspapers provide eyewitness accounts from those who lived through major events in Texas history, including the Texas fight for independence against Mexico and the forming of the Republic of Texas; the state’s involvement in the Civil War, World War I and World War II; and the 1900 Galveston hurricane.

“A large part of the reason we started the portal was for education. We developed Newspaper Narrative lessons as resources for teachers who want to use the historic newspapers to bring history to life for their students, and we even created posters on different events as captured by the newspapers that teachers can hang in their classrooms,” she said.

The Newspaper Narrative lessons cover topics such as cotton farming, the Texas oil boom and the Suffrage Movement. Each lesson includes a PowerPoint lecture, links to corresponding articles in newspapers and engaging activities for students.

The digitized newspaper pages and many more digital collections can be found and accessed via The Portal to Texas History 

Read the Complete Announcement
It includes details about a special event to celebrate the 1 million pages milestone.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.