Within two years, the Digital Library of Georgia will digitize 100,000 more pages of Georgia historic newspapers, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
The DLG will receive $255,590 of the $39.3 million in grants being given for 245 humanities projects across the country. The newspapers selected for digitization will have been published prior to 1963 and will be part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program. The NDNP supports the creation of a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1690 and 1963, from all states and U.S. territories. An advisory committee consisting of journalists, historians, librarians, and archivists will guide the selection of Georgia titles to be scanned.
Historic newspapers are, by far, the DLG’s most popular resources, according to Sheila McAlister, director of the Digital Library of Georgia. To date, the DLG has digitized over 900,000 pages of historic newspapers.
“Historic newspapers provide a unique look at our state over time. They are invaluable to scholars and the general public alike as they provide in-depth coverage of Georgia counties and cities, report on the activities of state and local government, and reflect the social and cultural values of the time that they were created,” McAlister said. “We’re grateful to the NEH for its support as we continue to add new content and are excited to participate in this nation-wide effort by incorporating Georgia’s historic newspapers into Chronicling America.”
The DLG is among several projects receiving grants to help preserve fragile historical and cultural collections and make them more accessible to the broader public, such as grants to safeguard a collection of Native American and Medieval and Renaissance art at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; for the preservation of Civil War artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor warship in Newport News, Virginia; and new initiatives in Arkansas and Georgia to digitize historic local newspapers for inclusion in the Chronicling America database at the Library of Congress.
“NEH grants ensure that Americans around the country have the opportunity to engage with our shared cultural heritage,” said NEH Acting Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “From traveling exhibitions and teacher workshops to efforts to preserve local history, these projects demonstrate the power of the humanities to build connections, stimulate discovery, and contribute to vibrant communities.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities was created in 1965 as an independent federal agency; the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov. Learn more about the grants awarded in this year’s funding cycle at https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-08-02.
Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia's Libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America. The Digital Library of Georgia also provides digital library, photographic, and micrographic services, and supports the instruction, research, and service missions of GALILEO and the University System of Georgia through collaboration with university faculty, students, and staff, and through participation on local and national levels in the development of digital library standards, practice, and technology. The Digital Library facilitates cooperative ventures with other organizations and provides leadership for cooperative digital initiatives throughout the state.