Chronicling America


Chronicling America is an open access, open source newspaper database and companion website.[1][2][3] It 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.[4][5][6] The NDNP was founded in 2005.[7] The Chronicling America website was publicly launched in March 2007.[8][9][10] It is hosted by the Library of Congress.[11][12] Much of the content hosted on Chronicling America is in the public domain.[13]

Chronicling America
ProducerNational Digital Newspaper Program (United States)
History2007 to present
LanguagesEnglish, Spanish, German, Polish, Czech, Lithuanian, Russian, Bulgarian (non-exhaustive list)
Format coverageNewspapers
Temporal coverage1690–1963
Geospatial coverageThe United States and its territories
Title list(s)

The database is searchable by key terms, state, language, time period, or newspaper.[7][14][12] The Chronicling America website contains digitized newspaper pages and information about historic newspapers to place the primary sources in context and support future research.[14][15][16] It hosts newspapers written in a variety of languages.[17][13] In selecting newspapers to digitize, the site relies on the discretion of contributing institutions.[6]

The project describes itself as a "long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages."[15] Local participants in the project receive two-year grants to scan approximately 100,000 newspaper pages, primarily from microfilm.[15][18] For newspapers that are not digitized, the website directs users to library locations that are known to have the desired records available.[3][16]


The first series of newspaper digitization was completed with input from universities in 2007, and included public domain entries from six states and the District of Columbia.[16] The site was launched for public use In March 2007.[8][9][10]

In June 2009, the site added support for Web crawlers and API. In May 2011, the site added tools to share its digitized content on social media.[18] As of 2012, Chronicling America had over 5.2 million individual newspaper pages available for viewing and/or downloading, representing 801 titles from 32 states; though the project initially targeted newspapers from the 1900-1910 period, it had gradually expanded so that papers scanned currently span the years 1836-1922. Papers from 4 additional states (Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, and North Carolina) were then slated to be added to the collection, and grant-funded projects to scan papers from these states were then underway so that the material could be added to the site in 2013.[15][19]

By 2014, the website hosted digital newspaper records from thirty-six states.[3] By October 2015, that number had risen to thirty-eight, and it had digitized over 10 million pages.[13][20][21] As of 2016, the database had expanded its coverage to include content ranging from 1690 to 1963.[22][23] Geographically, its coverage had then expanded to 48 states and 2 United States territories.[22] As of 2021, that expanded to support digitization of records from all U.S. states and territories.[23] As of 2020, it had digitized 16.3 million pages.[5]


  1. ^ Varnum, Kenneth J. (3 July 2019). New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide. Library and Information Technology Association. American Library Association. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-8389-1782-4.
  2. ^ "National Endowment for the Humanities Selects UNT Libraries for a Sixth Round of the National Digital Newspaper Program". University of North Texas Libraries. 27 August 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021. Chronicling America is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress in an effort to build a nationwide, open-access repository of digitized historic newspapers.
  3. ^ a b c Gunter, Donna J. (1 October 2014). "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers". The Charleston Advisor. 16 (2): 22–23. doi:10.5260/chara.16.2.22 – via Ingenta Connect.
  4. ^ Manne, Kevin (24 October 2021). "A clearer window into the past". The Niagara Gazette. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  5. ^ a b Lee, Benjamin Charles Germain; Mears, Jaime; Jakeway, Eileen; Ferriter, Meghan; Adams, Chris; Yarasavage, Nathan; Thomas, Deborah; Zwaard, Kate; Weld, Daniel S. (2020-10-19). "The Newspaper Navigator Dataset: Extracting Headlines and Visual Content from 16 Million Historic Newspaper Pages in Chronicling America". Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management. CIKM 2020. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery: 3055–3062. doi:10.1145/3340531.3412767. ISBN 978-1-4503-6859-9.
  6. ^ a b Preston, Katherine K. (December 2016). "Digital Databases for English-Language Newspapers in the United States". Nineteenth-Century Music Review. Cambridge University Press. 13 (2): 405–419. doi:10.1017/S147940981600001X. ISSN 1479-4098.
  7. ^ a b Penn, Tonijala; Butterhof, Robin; Thomas, Deborah (10 August 2015). "Voices and Viewpoints in Chronicling America: Uses of Historical News for Education and Outreach" (PDF). International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-11-30. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  8. ^ a b Culpepper, Jetta (25 September 2007). "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers". Reference Reviews. Emerald Group Publishing. 21 (7): 52–53. doi:10.1108/09504120710821875. ISSN 0950-4125.
  9. ^ a b "First Drafts of History at Your Fingertips". American Historical Association Today. American Historical Association. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Bringing Historic Newspapers to Your Desktop: The National Digital Newspaper Program". National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. Library of Congress. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers" (PDF). Ohio History Connection. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-10-06. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  12. ^ a b Sweeney, Mark (1 September 2007). "The National Digital Newspaper Program: Building on a Firm Foundation". Serials Review. 33 (3): 188–189. doi:10.1016/j.serrev.2007.05.005. ISSN 0098-7913.
  13. ^ a b c Sroka, Marek; Nectoux, Tracy (2017). ""The Dwindling Legacy that Is Food for Mice and Flames": Discovery and Preservation of Illinois Historic Newspapers through the Illinois Digital Newspaper Project, 2009–2015". Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society. Illinois State Historical Society. 110 (1): 87–107. doi:10.5406/jillistathistsoc.110.1.0087. ISSN 1522-1067 – via JSTOR.
  14. ^ a b Fuller-Seeley, K. (1 September 2008). Organization of American Historians. "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers". Journal of American History. Oxford University Press. 95 (2): 624–625. doi:10.2307/25095783. ISSN 0021-8723.
  15. ^ a b c d "About Chronicling America". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2009-05-10. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Reakes, Patrick; Ochoa, Marilyn (2009-12-01). "Non-Commercial Digital Newspaper Libraries: Considering Usability". Internet Reference Services Quarterly. 14 (3–4): 92–113. doi:10.1080/10875300903336357. ISSN 1087-5301.
  17. ^ Sroka, Marek (2017-04-03). "Researching Polish and Polish-American Historical Newspapers and Periodicals in International Digital Collections: Opportunities and Challenges". Slavic & East European Information Resources. 18 (1–2): 33–40. doi:10.1080/15228886.2017.1322377. ISSN 1522-8886.
  18. ^ a b Yarasavage, Nathan; Butterhof, Robin; Ehrman, Christopher (10 June 2012). "National digital newspaper program: a case study in sharing, linking, and using data". Proceedings of the 12th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries. JCDL '12. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery: 399–400. doi:10.1145/2232817.2232910. ISBN 978-1-4503-1154-0.
  19. ^ "Award Recipients". National Digital Newspaper Program. Library of Congress. October 22, 2012. Archived from the original on 2011-03-01. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  20. ^ LaFrance, Adrienne (7 October 2015). "12 Historic Gems From One of the Best Time Capsules Online". The Atlantic. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  21. ^ Rothman, Lily (7 October 2015). "See the Original Newspaper Headlines From 10 Major Moments in American History". Time. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Chronicling America Newspaper Project Reaches 48 States". National Endowment for the Humanities. 29 August 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-01. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Historic Newport newspapers and those from around the state now can be viewed digitally". The Newport Daily News. 16 January 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.

External linksEdit

  • Chronicling America at the Library of Congress website
  • National Endowment for the Humanities webpage on NDNP
  • Library of Congress webpage on NDNP