Chronicling America (Library of Congress), 1690-current

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Produced by: National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)
Publisher: Library of Congress (LC)
Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Coverage Range: 1690 – current
Number of Records: 155,856

Types of Source Material Included:
Newspaper


A project of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP)—a joint venture of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—Chronicling America is an ever-growing index of American newspapers dating back to 1690, with full scans where available.

Find records of over 150,000 American newspapers dating from as far back as the seventeenth century in the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America collection in Eight Centuries.


 

Chronicling America (CA) is the website and online repository of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), an ongoing initiative to capture searchable bibliographic data and full-text scans of historic American newspapers. Formally created in 2005, the NDNP is funded and run by the Library of Congress (LC) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEH funds specific NDNP initiatives, while the LC develops and maintains the CA website.1

 

Chronicling America and the NDNP build off the efforts of an earlier NEH program called the United States Newspaper Program (USNP). Running from 1980 until 2011, the USNP sought to catalog and preserve historical newspapers in microfilm format. Much of the cataloging data used in CA comes from this earlier project.2

 

The newspaper source material stored in CA comes mainly from universities and other institutions on a state level. Through funding provided by the NEH, the NDNP farms out digitizing and cataloging projects to a wide variety of institutions.3 The program website gives a selection of the types of institutions that participate:

Since 2005, the NEH has awarded grants to state libraries, historical societies, and universities representing states in the national program, with many more states and territories to be included in the coming years.4

The current scope of CA is vast and the project continues to grow. As of October 2019, the total number of newspaper records in CA amounted to 155,856, pointing to a total of 15,655,260 individual full text pages.5 CA incorporates newspaper data from forty-nine U.S. States and one territory.6 Coverage extends back as far as 1690.7

 

Note: to learn more about the Library of Congress as an institution and to gain a better understanding of its rich history, see the resource description for the Library of Congress Multimedia Collection.

 


 

Sample research topics addressed by Chronicling America,searchable via Eight Centuries:

 

What news was available to Union troops during the American Civil War? How did army newspapers differ from those available to civilians at the time?

(The American union. [online resource] (Martinsburg, Virginia [W. Va.]) 1861-1861, 1861, ISBN/ISSN: 2471-2124)

 

How did the German working class react to the end of World War I?

(The Butte daily bulletin. [online resource] (Butte, Montana) 1918-1921, 1919, ISBN/ISSN: 2372-2924)

 

How did abolitionist newspapers break down the institution of slavery rhetorically prior to the Civil War?

(Anti-slavery bugle. [volume] (New-Lisbon, Ohio) 1845-1861, 1845, ISBN/ISSN: 2166-1863)

 

How common were woman newspaper editors in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century?

(The champion. (Arcadia, Fla.) 1895-1911, 1895, ISBN/ISSN: 1940-9745)

 

What was important enough to print as “news” in mid-seventeenth century London? What can this tell us about society at the time?

(Mercurius elencticus. [microfilm reel] (London) 1651-1651, 1651)

 

What were the penalties of harboring—or even employing—runaway enslaved people in the United States during the early nineteenth century?

(“One Hundred Dollars Reward,” in Alexandria daily gazette, commercial & political. [volume] (Alexandria [Va.]) 1808-1812, July, 13, 1811)

 

[1] “About the NDNP,” National Digital Newspaper Program, Library of Congress website, accessed October 24, 2019, https://www.loc.gov/ndnp/; “About the Program,” National Digital Newspaper Program, Library of Congress website, last modified March 14, 2019, accessed October 24, 2019, https://www.loc.gov/ndnp/about.html.

[2] “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs),” Chronicling America, Library of Congress website, accessed October 24, 2019, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/help/.

[3] “About the Program.”

[4] “About the Program.”

[5] “About Chronicling America,” Chronicling America, Library of Congress website, accessed October 24, 2019, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/about/.

[6] “Award Recipients,” National Digital Newspaper Program, Library of Congress website, last modified September 9, 2019, accessed October 24, 2019, https://www.loc.gov/ndnp/awards/index.html.

[7] “About Chronicling America.”