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The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). An NEH/LC Collaborative Program Enhancing access to historical newspapers Release: September 2006. NDNP Mission . Enhance access to all American newspapers

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The national digital newspaper program ndnp l.jpg

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)

An NEH/LC Collaborative Program

Enhancing access to historical newspapers

Release: September 2006

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NDNP Mission

  • Enhance access to all American newspapers

  • Improve access to products of United States Newspaper Program (USNP) using current technologies

  • Establish standards and “best practices” for newspaper digital reformatting and access

  • Use multi-phased approach for research and scaled development

  • Develop geographically-diverse program that benefits all US communities

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Why Newspapers?

  • Newspapers: a unique resource for understanding the fundamentals of history

    • Democracy, free press, diverse geographic viewpoints at the community level

  • Enormous corpus of newspapers presents an archival challenge

  • Text-intensive layout is labor-intensive to search without reference tools

  • Digitization of microfilmed corpus economically feasible

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Why a National Effort?

  • Voluminous, distributed collections

  • No one institution holds the “master collection”

  • Broad user-base for newspaper material

  • Think nationally, select locally

  • Comprehensive chronological coverage, eventually

  • Need for leadership to build on past national efforts (USNP)

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LC’s Historical Newspaper Activities

  • 20-year NEH/LC collaboration of USNP

    • Existing national network of cooperative programs

    • Standards established for preservation microfilm

    • Standards established for descriptive metadata/ cataloging

  • American Memory’s “Stars and Stripes”


    • Proof-of-concept for historical newspaper format and description

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What will NDNP Produce?

  • Web access to

    • National directory of US newspaper holdings (what, when, where) – based on USNP legacy data

    • More than 30 million page images of historical newspapers digitized primarily from microfilm, with full-text

    • Historical context of newspaper, printing tech, etc

  • Depository of duplicate digitized microfilm at LC

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  • Multi-partner program

    • NEH: Funds the program (“We the People” initiative)

    • LC: Aggregates, preserves and serves

    • Awardees: Selects and converts

  • Phase I – FY04-FY06 (Test bed)

    • NEH awardees (up to 10) with existing digital collections infrastructure and master microfilm negatives

    • 100,000 pages each + 100,000 LC pages by 2007 (from 1900-1910)

    • Microfilm reel analysis for research

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  • Phase I Timeline


    July – NEH cooperative agreement guidelines issued, LC technical architecture under development

    October – Application deadline; 15 applications received


    April – NEH Awards announced

    May – Award conference held at LC


    September – NDNP application publicly available via Web

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NDNP, September 2006

  • Web access - American Chronicle

    • Newspaper Title Directory, 1693-present

    • Full-text of content w/in visual newspaper layout (page-level access)

    • Contextual historical material (Encyclopedia)

  • Converted content from all awardees

    • Initial time period covered: 1900-1910

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Newspaper Title Directory

  • Re-use of CONSER and Newspaper Union List, created under USNP (maintained by OCLC)

  • 147,000 newspaper titles

  • 900,000 holdings records

  • Searchable, Web access to all USNP-collected data, tied to digitized issues when available, as well as external newspaper Web sites

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Full Text with Page-level Access

  • Preserves integrity of primary historical content, text in context

  • Minimal metadata required to achieve reasonable search results

  • Economics of large-scale, large-format digitization

  • Allows creation of substantial content-base for research and development on additional search strategies and technologies

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Digital Asset Specifications

  • Page Image - grayscale, 400 dpi, from microfilm

    • TIFF 6.0; JPEG 2000 (.jp2); PDF with Hidden Text

  • OCR

    • XML – NDNP/ALTO Schema

    • Page-level, uncorrected, column zones with “bounding box” mapping coordinates

  • Metadata

    • XML in METS/MODS for digital objects

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Historical Context

An Encyclopedia of Newspaper History

  • Brief essays for each title digitized

    • Publisher, geography, significant events covered, audience/community, politics

  • History of each participating state and the role of newspapers in its history

  • Presentations for technology developments, significant people, places, etc

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  • Future Phases: 2007-2024

    • Addition of new partners (continuation of Phase I test bed, to represent all 54 states and territories)

    • Increased efficiency in workflows, tools, technology, sustainable resources

    • Additional access capabilities, improved technology

Aggregate ~ Preserve ~ Serve

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For more information, contact [email protected]

Georgia Higley

Head, Newspaper Section

Serials and Government Publications Division

Library of Congress

[email protected]