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Arts & Culture

More Historic Connecticut Newspapers To Be Made Available Online Thanks To Grant

Library of Congress
The front page of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer from April, 1912. The page is part of the "Chronicling America" website from the Library of Congress

The Connecticut State Library has been awarded a grant of over $263,000 from the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. The grant will be used to digitize Connecticut newspapers, and make them available online.

Gail Hurley is the director of the State Library's Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project. She said thanks to previous grants from the NEH, her office has already digitized over 300,000 historic Connecticut newspapers from the 1870s up to the 1940s.

“So we have digitized some large daily newspapers, and some weeklies,” said Hurley. “From different points of view, different locations around the state. And we also have done some specialty papers, such as a family of African-American papers, some Italian language newspapers, and some labor titles.”

The grant covers the digitization of newspapers from microfilm.

“So we need to pull the particular microfilm, we may need to do copyright research, and then it would go out to our scanning vendor,” said Hurley. “We need to check the quality of the scans when they come back, and then it is sent to the Library of Congress, and they take a look at the quality as well before it can even go online.”

The digital newspapers are then made available to the public to be able to search online, along with hundreds of other newspapers across the country.

Hurley said with the grant money in place, the project's advisory board will meet in the fall to determine which newspapers will be next in line to be digitized.

The digitized, historic newspapers are available to the public at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov.

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