Chronicling America, the searchable online database of historic American newspapers, will soon include digitized newspapers from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and housed and maintained online at the Library of Congress, Chronicling America offers free online access to more than 19.5 million pages of newspapers published in the United States between 1777 and 1963.
NEH recently awarded its first grant award to a National Digital Newspaper Program partner for the state of New Hampshire, ensuring access to significant newspapers from the entire United States.
“Building on 40 years of collaboration between NEH and the Library of Congress, Chronicling America is a uniquely rich national resource that documents the histories of the events, ideas, and individuals that make up the American story,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “The addition of the 50th state partner to the National Digital Newspaper Program is a milestone achievement that will expand coverage of this unparalleled resource to encompass all U.S. states, giving the public access to the ‘first draft of history’ from the perspective of communities across the country.”
Established in 2005, Chronicling America gives users on a computer, tablet or phone direct access to American history as it was recorded locally in more than 3,700 newspaper titles in 22 languages. Users can browse the pages of the 1789 Gazette of the United States, a partisan paper friendly to George Washington’s administration and the emerging Federalist party; search for headlines related to the sinking of the Titanic or the United States’ entry into World War I; or read contemporaneous newspaper coverage of the 1963 March on Washington. NEH grants to state newspaper projects allow program partners across the country to select historically important newspapers published in their respective states and oversee the digitization of those titles for inclusion in the Chronicling America database.
“The Chronicling America collection is a treasure-trove of newspapers of record, community voices and local history unlike any other openly available primary source material,” said Deborah Thomas, chief of the Serial and Government Publications Division at the Library of Congress, and the Library’s program manager for the National Digital Newspaper Program. “Adding New Hampshire regional and local news to the Chronicling America collection will expand our understanding of American history and society.”