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Historical NJ Newspapers Approved for Inclusion in Library of Congress Chronicling America

May 30, 2019
Digitized newspaper on tablet

Seven new New Jersey newspapers will be digitized and made available online.

The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is pleased to announce that seven new titles and one continuation title will be digitized and made publically available through the Library of Congress Chronicling America website. The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project (NJDNP) is a collaboration between Rutgers University Libraries, the New Jersey State Archives, and the New Jersey State Library. It is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, a long-term effort by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to develop a searchable online database of U.S. newspapers from all 50 states.

The New Jersey Newspaper Project is in its second round of funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities National Digital Newspaper Program. The project’s advisory board—which is comprised of archivists, librarians, museum directors, historians, journalists, and educators from across the state—recommended a shortlist of titles, which were recently reviewed and approved by the Library of Congress. These titles include:  The Evening Star and Newark Advertiser (1907-1916); the Gloucester County Democrat (1878-1912); the Penns Grove Record (1882-1923); The Mount Holly News (1881-1919); the Morris County Chronicle (1877-1914); the Pleasantville Weekly Press (1877-1924); the Five Mile Beach Journal (1890-1923); and the Perth Amboy Evening News (1923 and 1924), which is the continuation of a newspaper that was digitized in the first round of the grant. In addition to this selection, the Library of Congress itself will digitize The Sentinel (Trenton, 1880-1882) as part of an effort to make African-American historical newspapers more accessible.

Since the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project began in 2016, over 112,000 pages of historical newspapers have been scanned and digitized from microfilm originally held by the New Jersey State Archives. This additional round of funding in the amount of $219,609 will add another approximately 100,000 pages.

“From rural communities, to urban areas, to the Jersey shore, this selection of newspapers greatly expands the geographical and content reach of New Jersey’s newspapers within Chronicling America,” says project director Caryn Radick, a digital archivist for Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.

“Having many regional and politically diverse viewpoints available will really enhance student research,” says Deborah Mercer, New Jersey Collections Librarian at the New Jersey State Library. “When creating a recent research guide on Votes For Women in preparation for the upcoming anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, I noticed a wide range of attitudes within the newspapers depending upon their political persuasion. Some were neutral, others were supportive, and unfortunately some were expressions of belligerent hostility. I think delving into this collection will be of interest to students and teachers.”

A short video on the project created by project technician Jacob Paul is available at the NJNDP blog and a list of New Jersey historic newspapers digitized as part of this project and by other libraries and commercial vendors is available from the New Jersey State Library.