Nebraska Digital Newspaper Program Earns $200,000 Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities has granted the University of Nebraska-Lincoln $200,000 to continue the Nebraska Digital Newspaper Program with an expanded scope. UNL Libraries is the designated contractor with the Library of Congress to submit Nebraska newspaper pages to “Chronicling America” based on the requirements of historical significance and geographic, social, and economic diversity. Chronicling America provides free access to millions of historic newspaper pages from 15 states and the District of Columbia, published between 1880 and 1922. Started in 2005, this database and companion website is produced by the United States National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and maintained by the LOC. You can search newspaper pages available and discover a wealth of information! Recently, the project scope has been widened to include ethnic diversity among newspapers prior to 1923. In this project, UNL has worked very closely with the Nebraska State Historical Society. In this upcoming Phase III, the Nebraska Digital Newspaper Program is emphasizing the foreign language papers of Nebraska and newspapers with special social content. Last fall, NSHS staff Andrea Faling, the late Jim Potter, and Mary Woltemath met with Katherine L. Walter, Co-Director, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, UNL, to identify many possible papers for Phase III. Woltemath then checked the newspapers to see if technical specifications of the microfilm were met.  This eliminated many options.  In the end, the group came up with the following list of possible titles for digitization:

  • Danskeren, 1892-1894 and 1899. Danish paper from Blair, Washington Co., Neb.
  • Pokrok Západu, 1871-1920. Long-lived regional Czech newspaper edited by Edward Rosewater, Omaha, Neb.
  • Stjernan, 1885-1893. Danish language newspaper from Dannebrog, Howard Co., Neb.
  • Nebraska Staats-Anzeiger, 1880-1901. An important German newspaper from Grand Island, Hall Co., Neb.
  • Tägliche Omaha Tribüne, 1912-1922.  German newspaper that survived WWI.
  • Bloomfield Germania, 1908-1914.  German newspaper that did not survive WWI or
  • Cedar County Wächter, 1908-1918. German language paper from northeastern Hartington, Neb.
  • The Lincoln Independent, 1895-96.  Farmers Alliance paper.
  • Wealth Makers of the World, 1894-1896. Farmers Alliance paper.
  • The Nebraska Independent, 1896-1902. Farmers Alliance paper.
  • The Wageworker, 1904-1911.  “A weekly newspaper with a mission and without a muzzle [published] in                the interests of wageworkers everywhere,” edited by Will Maupin.
  • The American, 1891-99.  Nativist newspaper from Omaha, Neb.
  • South Omaha Stockman (June 12, 1886-Nov 23, 1886). The Omaha stockyards at one time were the largest in the world.
  • South Omaha Daily Stockman (Nov 24, 1886-Nov 19, 1898).  Continuing title.
  • Harrison Press-Journal (1899-1905).  A newspaper near the Nebraska-Wyoming border in Sioux County.
  • Loup City Northwestern, (1895-1917).  Traditionally Polish community in Sherman County.

Given the changes in the scope of the project, the group has several new board members.  The board welcomed Allen Beermann (Nebraska Press Association), Priscilla Hayden-Roy (Modern Languages & Literatures professor of German); Mila Saskova-Pierce (emerita professor of Czech language) and John Bender (UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communication).  Continuing on the board are Andrea Faling (NSHS), Mark Ellis (UNK professor and chair of the History Department), Jim McKee (historian and business owner); and Katherine Walter (UNL Libraries). Jim Potter’s recent death came as a shock, and the board deeply regrets his loss.  He had been a stalwart member of the board and his expertise will be missed. Newspapers that have already been digitized in the first two phases of the Nebraska project are:

  • Alliance Herald, 1902-1922
  • Bellevue Gazette, 1856-1858
  • Capital City Courier, 1887-1893
  • Cherry County Independent, 1892-1896
  • Columbus Journal, 1878-1911
  • Custer County Republican, 1899-1910
  • Dakota City Herald, 1859-1860
  • Dakota County Herald, 1891-1922
  • Falls City Tribune, 1904-1908
  • Lincoln County Tribune, 1885-1900
  • McCook Tribune, 1885-1912
  • Nebraska Palladium, 1854-1855
  • Nebraska Advertiser, 1892-1908
  • Nebraska Advertiser, 1856-1882
  • Norfolk Weekly News, 1899-1900
  • Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, 1900-1912
  • Omaha Daily Bee, 1872-1916
  • Red Cloud Chief, 1873-1922
  • Saturday Morning Courier, 1893-1894
  • Sunday Morning Courier, 1893
  • The Commoner, 1901-1922
  • The Courier, 1894-1903
  • The Huntsman’s Echo, 1860-1861
  • Valentine Democrat, 1900-1912
  • Western News-Democrat, 1898-1900

The Nebraska Newspapers site at http://nebnewspapers.unl.edu includes these titles and some historical newspapers that were out of scope for the Library of Congress project.  Among these are The Daily Nebraskan (with publisher permissions for post-1923 content), The Plattsmouth Journal, and three Czech newspapers. Funding for these additional papers were received through the University of Nebraska Foundation (Czech and DN) and the Nebraska State Records Board (Plattsmouth).

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