DENVER – From the first newspaper printed in 1859, the newspapers in History Colorado’s collection tell the stories of Colorado: communities that evolved from rough mining camps to thriving towns, the spread of agriculture and ranching, labor unrest, exploration of the region’s natural beauty, the changing cultural communities, and much more.
History Colorado has actively collected, preserved, and provided access to newspapers since 1897, just two decades after the institution’s founding in 1879.
In order to expand access to that collection, History Colorado has received a grant of $200,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) to digitize at least 100,000 pages of Colorado’s historic newspapers from 1859-1922. The newspaper pages will be scanned from microfilm and made into searchable digital files available through the Library of Congress website Chronicling America. History Colorado joins other first time recipients of the National Endowment for the Humanities NDNP funding - New Jersey, Alaska, and Maine - as well as forty-three other states and territories already contributing content to Chronicling America.
The digital newspaper pages will also be added to one of Colorado’s best online resources, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC). A service of the Colorado State State Library, CHNC provides access to over 850,000 pages of Colorado’s newspapers.
“These newspapers chronicle the everyday life in our communities and the historically important events that helped shape our State and the nation,” says Serials Manager Kerry Baldwin. “And, we are excited to continue to work with the State Library in providing access to that history.”
Starting in October 2016, History Colorado will work with an advisory board to identify newspaper titles to be digitized over a two-year period.
“We’ve been steadily working toward the goal to make our collections accessible,” says Elisa Phelps, Director of Collections. “The NDNP grant gives us the much-needed support to make thousands of pages of historic Colorado newspaper content accessible to anyone anywhere through the web.”