New 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 FultonHistory.com website.
Photo of National Gazette Newspaper from 1791 provided.