Digital Newspaper Program Adds 18th-Century Publications

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National Gazette Newspaper from 1791New digital content has been added to Chronicling America, the open access database of historic U.S. newspapers that is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

The newly available digital content is from 18th-century newspapers from the three early capitals of the United States: New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The addition of these newspapers is an expansion of the chronological scope of NDNP, which has come under criticism for the slow pace of its digitization program. The program is expanding its current time window of the years 1836-1922, to include digitized newspapers from the years 1690-1963.

Two of the early newspapers were established as national political publications. The Gazette of the United States (1789-1800) advocated a strong monarchical presidency and loyalty to the federal government. In opposition, the National Gazette (1791-1793), as the voice for the Republicans or Anti-Federalists, promoted a populist form of government.  The National Intelligencer (1800-1809) was the first newspaper published in the City of Washington and the first to document the activities of Congress.

NDNP is a partnership among the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress and participating states. NEH awards grants to state libraries, historical institutions and other cultural organizations that allow them to select historic local newspapers to be preserved in digital form. The states contribute information on each newspaper title and its historical and cultural context.

To date, just 11 million pages of historic newspapers have been made available on Chronicling America.  In contrast, Tom Tryniski of Fulton, NY, has single-handedly digitized nearly 36 million pages and made them available on his website.

Photo of National Gazette Newspaper from 1791 provided.

One thought on “Digital Newspaper Program Adds 18th-Century Publications

  1. Gordon Russ

    Great program have used it for Oregon Histoical research both family and other. Operated by the University of Oregon Library. Avaliable online under “Oregon Historical Newspapers”.

    I presently work on the program for Washington State available through the “Washington State Library” as part of the Chronicling America Program.

    Washington State also has a separate Digital program for Washington State Historic newspaper 1850 to 1899. It was a program set up fifteen years ago by the Washington Secretary of State at the time. It is also avaliable online as well through the Washington State library. I was fortunate enough to work on that program for ten years.

    These programs are very important as primary sources material.


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