Digital Collections

It's all about newspapers

"Hostilities Commenced!"
Greensboro Patriot
extra edition, 12 April 1861 .
If you'd told me a year ago that we'd be working on putting the complete runs of two newspapers online in 2011, I might have thought you were a bit crazy. But here we are, thanks to some one-time funding opportunities and the Lyrasis Mass Digitization Program.

We started out last year with the 1919-1930 issues of The Carolinian, UNCG's student newspaper, which provided a wealth of information about the early years of the University. The next project to go online will include the remaining issues through 2008; these issues should be online by the end of the year and they include coverage of activities surrounding World War II, the civil rights movement and desegregation of the University, the transformation of Woman's College into the coeducational University of North Carolina at Greesnboro, and more. The newspapers will be digitized from clean new copies of the microfilm masters held by the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. The Carolinian project is part of a larger ongoing initiative to digitize thousands of photos, documents, and other items related to the history of UNCG. We hope to continue past 2008 and into the future using born-digital PDF files obtained directly from The Carolinian.

Also in progress is the digitization of issues of The Greensboro Patriot dating from 1822 to 1922. The Patriot was the weekly newspaper of record in Greensboro for most of the nineteenth century and it continued publishing through 1941. The issues currently being digitized cover the early years of Greensboro, the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, and Greensboro's rapid growth as a railroad and textile center in the early 1900s. The papers contain news, editorials, announcements, and advertisements that will be of interest to historians, genealogists, and anyone who has a passion for local history and culture. Like The Carolinian, the Patriot is being digitized using brand new microfilm copies obtained from the North Carolina State Archives, which should give us the best possible quality. This project, along with the Greensboro City Directories and Civil Rights Greensboro, are some of the first elements in what we hope will eventually be a larger local history portal. We hope to include the final two decades of the Patriot if copyright issues and funding can be worked out.

Next week: Thoughts on metadata and indexing for these and other mass digitization projects involving periodicals.

1 comments :: It's all about newspapers

  1. And historians and genealogists the world over thank you! In our experience, newspaper projects often become the most used of all a library's digital collections. Are you finding the same thing at UNCG?

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