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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

The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)

An NEH/LC Collaborative Program

Enhancing access to historical newspapers

Release: September 2006

ndnp mission
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
why newspapers
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
why a national effort
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)
lc s historical newspaper activities
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
what will ndnp produce
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
  • 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
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

ndnp september 2006
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
newspaper title directory
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
full text with page level access
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
digital asset specifications
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
historical context
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
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

For more information, contact

Georgia Higley

Head, Newspaper Section

Serials and Government Publications Division

Library of Congress