DDNP & HMNP at the 2017 MLA/DLA Conference!

2017 MLA/DLA Joint Annual Conference

Did you make the trip to beautiful Cambridge, MD for the Maryland Library Association & Delaware Library Association Joint Annual Conference this week? Make sure to check out a joint presentation by the DDNP’s Molly Olney-Zide and Historic Maryland Newspapers Project’s Robin C. Pike (University of Maryland — College Park) on Friday, May 12, 2017, 9:45am. Hear updates about each state project, learn tips on searching Chronicling America, and leave with posters, bookmarks, and handouts!

Hope to see you there!


Jinx is off to LC!

Batch #10 (Jinx) makes its trek to LC this week.

This week we sent off our 10th batch of content (fondly known as Jinx) to the Library of Congress. We have only two batches left to finish off our first grant cycle!

For more information about the titles included in the Jinx batch and the MANY titles included in the last two batches, check out our Batch/Title Scheduling page.

DDNP Logo Refresh

As the DDNP nears the end of the first two-year grant cycle, new Delaware newspaper titles and pages are added to Chronicling America on a regular basis (now up to ~60K pages and 11 titles!). To celebrate these additions and better promote this rich resource, the DDNP has a new logo. With a backdrop of mastheads from the first 11 Delaware titles included in the DDNP, this new logo is used for our social media accounts and will be used in upcoming promotional materials.

Let us know what you think about the new logo (mollyoz@udel.edu), and be sure to follow us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook for updates!

We’re crossing our fingers for a second grant cycle from NEH for another two years of bringing historical newspapers into the digital age!

Why These Titles?

A question were are often asked when talking about the Delaware Digital Newspaper Project (DDNP) is, “Why these titles?” Rightfully so, people are curious as to how we decided to include the titles we did in the first 2-year grant cycle…and how we decided what NOT to include. For this first cycle, two very important factors for our team were quality and convenience of microfilm.

In order to maintain high quality standards across the National Digital Newspaper Program, the Library of Congress requires all institutions to provide digital copies created from microfilm master negatives. When a researcher uses microfilm at a library, they are using what we refer to an an “access copy.” While these copies are usually created from master negatives and provide a quality reading copy, these microfilm reels often see a lot of use. Microfilm readers can scratch and bend the film over time, so these access copies are not ideal when creating a preservation quality digital image.

Quite simply, the DDNP team chose the list of roughly 100 titles, because the UD Library owns the microfilm master negatives for all of these titles. While some institutions, such as University of Maryland — College Park, do not own master negatives and have to partner with other state institutions to track down these reels or pay high prices to purchase them from a vendor, we made a duplicate copy of our master microfilm negatives for the Library of Congress and eliminated the need for lengthy discussions and high costs.

As far as the order in which these reels were digitized…we chose newspapers with long runs first and then moved toward reels that included single issues of titles and titles listed only as “miscellaneous.” Due to this technique, we only have 11 distinct titles of about 100 currently available on Chronicling America, but stay tuned for long list coming soon!

We are very excited for the end of our first cycle when we can say that all pre-1923 newspapers the UD Library owns on microfilm master negatives are complete and available on Chronicling America.

New DE Content on ChronAm!

Want to try your luck at the “Guessing Contest” in The Evening Republican from April 15th, 1902? Guess how many dots will fill the blank circle to win cash prizes!

The Evening Republican. (Wilmington, Del.), 15 April 1902. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

And for a more modern guessing game, how many pages has DDNP contributed to Chronicling America?

As of today, just under 50 thousand pages of Delaware newspapers are freely available for researching!

New never-before-seen-in-digital titles include:

Stay tuned for new batches arriving in the next month!

News Journal Coverage for DDNP

David Cardillo, library assistant in the Center for Digital Collections, prepares microfilm for digitization — Photo by Jennifer Corbett (News Journal)

The DDNP Team enjoyed a delightful visit with News Journal journalist Jessica Bies and photographer Jennifer Corbett on Monday, February 13, 2017.

Jessica and Jennifer met with the full DDNP Project Team, interviewed Library Assistant David Cardillo on his role in the project, and interviewed Molly Olney-Zide, project manager, about project specifics.

View the full article by Jessica Bies and images on the News Journal website:


Middletown Transcript – 1868-1922…and beyond

Middletown transcript. (Middletown, Del.), 04 Jan. 1868. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

With the recent additions made to Chronicling America, the long-running Middletown Transcript is now freely-available and full-text searchable from its first issue published on January 4, 1868 through December 30, 1922 (the last issue that falls in the public domain).

Where Chronicling America ends for Middletown Transcript, the Middletown Historical Society, located in Middletown, Delaware, takes over. Before the DDNP digitized early issues of Middletown Transcript, MHS completed a project to digitize this title from its beginning in 1868 to 1992. Due to copyright and other restrictions, these digitized issues are only available on-site on a dedicated computer terminal, but the digital images provide a nice reprieve for anyone who has spent hours skimming through hundreds of rolls of microfilm. You will have to visit in person, but access to more recent issues of the newspaper in digital format can save hours of research time!

Chronicling America provides a first-time ever freely-accessible, online opportunity to view the earliest issues of Middletown Transcript. Rather than simply overlap in effort, the Middletown Historical Society’s efforts and those efforts of DDNP compliment each other very well. If you are interested in post-1922 issues of this title, please make sure to visit the Middletown Historical Society. For a minimal membership fee, many more decades of Delaware history will be available to you!

Middletown Historical Society website: http://www.middletowndehistory.com/

The Middletown Transcript: http://www.middletowndehistory.com/the-middletown-transcript/

Many thanks to the Middletown Historical Society and David Mapsen for their collaboration and information provided during the first round of DDNP!

Support the Continuation of NEH!

Without the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Delaware Digital Newspaper Project and the numerous National Digital Newspaper Program partners would not be able to preserve American history and make it freely-accessible on Chronicling America to everyone with internet access. We do a LOT with a modest amount of money. Please help continue NDNP and the MANY important projects supported by NEH by voicing your support:


More DE titles on ChronAm!

Delaware Republican, and farmers’, manufacturers’ and mechanics’ advocate. (Wilmington, Del.), 08 Oct. 1841. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

At long last, our patience has been rewarded with an additional 8,000 pages ingested into the Chronicling America database during this past week!

Titles that are currently available for full-text searching include:

With this recent addition, the DDNP has now contributed a total of 6 titles, 5,443 issues, and 22,849 pages to the NDNP!

For more information on upcoming titles to be added to the database, please check the Batch/Title Scheduling page of this blog.

Happy researching!

In The Field: National Digital Newspaper Program

The Chronicling America database provides quick and easy access to the finished product of NDNP’s efforts, but have you ever wondered about the nitty gritty details that make access to these historic newspapers possible? NEH has created their first-ever web-based video, In The Field: National Digital Newspaper Program, that introduces viewers to some key players in the Program and shows how the valuable historic newspapers go from the print copies once found on doorsteps to the digital copies accessible for free by anyone with internet access.

You can also view the tweet announcing this video on Twitter, and follow @NEHgov:

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The Delaware Digital Newspaper Project (DDNP) is funded through a major grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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