Newspaper Repositories: NEH Announces Chronicling America Data Challenge Competition
The Chronicling America Data Challenge was recently launched by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) [recently] launched a nationwide contest, challenging 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 ten million pages of historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922.
[Note: One month ago LC announced that Chronicling America has posted its 10 millionth newspaper page.]
In a competition posted at Challenge.gov, NEH encourages contestants to develop data visualizations, web-based tools, or other innovative web-based projects using the open data found at Chronicling America.
“Chronicling America is an invaluable resource that preserves and makes available to all the first draft of America’s history,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We at NEH would like to invite hackers of all ages to put their talents toward uncovering and presenting the many treasures to be found in this remarkable collection.”
Entries should uncover trends, display insights, explore a theme, or tell a story. For example, entries using the Chronicling America newspaper data could:
- Show how local news covered the baseball World Series
- Trace the development of the motion picture industry in the United States
- Follow the enactment of amendments to the Constitution
- Analyze coverage of historic political campaigns
- Map the travels of a president across the country using local news coverage
- Show changes in advertising logos or newspaper mastheads over time
- Track the price or adoption of consumer goods through history
- Explore tourism in different locations in the United States
- Examine how Thanksgiving was celebrated in various regions of the country
The Library of Congress has developed a user-friendly Application Program Interface (API) to explore the data contained in Chronicling America data. Entrants must use this API to access the data, but are welcome to use existing software or tools to create their projects, or combine Chronicling America data with other datasets.
NEH will award winning entries $5,000 for First Prize, $3,000 for Second Prize, and $2,000 for Third Prize. NEH may award up to three separate K-12 Student Prizes of $1,000 each. In addition to cash prizes, winners of the contest will be invited to Washington, DC in September 2016 to present their work at an annual National Digital Newspaper Program meeting at NEH headquarters.
The contest closes on June 15, 2016. NEH staff will review entries, and will send the top submissions to a panel of expert judges. NEH will select a judging panel consisting of three outside experts, chosen for their achievements in the humanities and digital humanities. Contest winners will be announced in July 2016.
All contest details, including eligibility and submission requirements, are available at Challenge.gov.
See Also: NEH Releases Guidelines For 2016 National Digital Newspaper Program Grants (October 30, 2015)
See Also: Milestones: Online Resource of Historic Newspapers Posts 10 Millionth Page (October 10, 2015)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.