UF Libraries receive NEH grant to digitize newspapers: Project will provide access to ethnic and Caribbean newspapers

The George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to expand their newspaper digitization efforts and continue participating in the National Digital Newspaper Program. The funds provided by NEH will support the U.S. Caribbean and Florida Ethnic Newspaper Project to digitize 100,000 pages of historic newspapers published between 1690 and 1963.

The US Caribbean and Florida Ethnic Newspaper Project (USCFENP) will build on work completed for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project (FPRDNP), a $923,000 NEH-funded project focused on digitizing newspapers from Florida and Puerto Rico, bringing the combined project total to over $1 million. The FPRDNP is approaching the end of its third phase, with over 300,000 pages digitized of historic newspapers provided by UF and partners at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. The USCFENP expands the scope of the FPRDNP, bringing on the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) as a new partner to include digitization of newspapers published on the islands.

“This funding is extremely important since it allows us to not only continue our previous collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico, it also provides the opportunity to work with the UVI to preserve and make accessible newspapers from the Virgin Islands that otherwise may have never been digitized. In addition, the project focus on ethnic newspapers from Florida will guarantee that many of those titles, which are such an important part of documenting the history of the state, will be preserved as well,” said Patrick Reakes, Senior Associate Dean, Scholarly Resources & Services.

The project will run from September 2019 to August 2021. All digitized content will be text-searchable and freely accessible in the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) (www.ufdc.ufl.edu/ufndnp) and Chronicling America (www.chroniclingamerica.loc.gov), a site created and maintained by the Library of Congress for the National Digital Newspaper Program.  

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