VTDNP: Starting a State Newspaper Digitization Program
Part 1 of two presentations on VTDNP. Website: library.uvm.edu/vtnp
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - VTDNP: Starting a State Newspaper Digitization Program
University of Vermont
North American Serials Interest Group 27th Annual Conference Nashville, Tennessee June 8, 2012
University of Vermont
University of Vermont
Nashville, Tennessee June 8, 2012
a partnership between the The National Endowment for the Humanities & The Library of Congress
A long-term, national effort to develop a freely-accessible, Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historical titles chosen and digitized by NEH-funded institutions from all U.S. states and territories.
Build on efforts of the US Newspaper Program (1982-2007) and the Vermont Newspaper Project (1996-2001) to locate, catalog & preserve on microfilm “at risk” newspapers from the 18th century to the present
• NEH offers two-year awards to
states to select and digitize
historically significant titles
published between 1836 and
• Library of Congress provides
technical support & guidelines.
• Newspaper content aggregated
and permanently maintained by
the Library of Congress on
Chronicling America website.
• Vermont awarded funding in June 2010;
the 25th state – 1st in New England - to
join the NDNP.
•Phase I: June 2010 – August 31, 2012 (2 years)
•Statewide collaboration to select, digitize, and make available to the Library of Congress 100,000 pages of Vermont newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 from microfilm collections in Vermont.
•Content hosted on Chronicling America website at the Library of Congress; freely available (see: Vermont list )
4.8 million pages, May 2012.
Ilsley Public Library, Middlebury proposal research & development
Department of Libraries, Montpelier State Library, central newspaper repository, proposal r&d, USNP partner
Vermont Historical Society, Barre, Montpelier – Advisory, USNP partner
University of Vermont, Burlington project home base, proposal r&d, digital infrastructure, state newspaper database, USNP partner
Project Planning Group Core Member Institutions - Diverse state engagement
•Project Planning Group (6 members)
•State-wide Advisory Committee (12 members) - archivists, librarians, journalists, historians, researchers - applies selection criteria for digitization: - Papers “of record” - Research value (representative of history) - Geographical coverage - Extended run - Availability & quality of master microfilm negatives
•Promotion, Outreach, Educational component
•Summer 2009 – Research, Planning - NDNP requirements - Title availability / Microfilm - Infrastructure / Support
•Fall 2009 – Developing partnerships
-Cohesive Planning Group
Lead institution / Host site University of Vermont
Cost-share commitments Department of Libraries Ilsley Public Library
-Advisory Committee (if funded …)
•November 2009 – Proposal submitted
•June 2010 – Funding awarded
Identify master negatives / Collaborative title selection (with Advisory Committee)
Files for each original page or target on microfilm reels, including: TIFF, PDF, JPEG2000, OCR output (ALTO XML schema) and metadata files to conform to NDNP guidelines.
Title essays (500 words)
Technical analysis of microfilm (reduction ratio, skew, density, duplicate pages, targets, sequencing, etc.) & Metadata collation (frame-by-frame or page-by-page inspection of microfilm)
Cataloging record updates in CONSER/OCLC databases and provision of links to digital content. Updates to local libraries records and VT Newspaper Project database.
•July 2010 – Accounting infrastructure established
•August 2010 – National search launched for Project Librarian
•Sept. 2010 – Project communication tool established using Basecamp Project Management software
Basecamp features: - Messaging - File-sharing - Calendar - To-do lists, etc. - New projects, as needed
Fall 2010 … Project Management Group
•Advisory Committee Briefing Book (based on Minnesota model) - Project information / scope - Title selection criteria (NDNP guidelines) - Vermont historical timelines/events - Articulation of outreach/educational goals beyond selection
•Title list analysis - 500+ titles (VTNP/USNP local database) - breakdowns by county - analysis of holdings (completeness of copy) - inquiries for master negatives
• Request for Proposals (RFP) for Digitization Provider
Jan 2011 – Project Librarian, Tom McMurdo, joins VTDNP Feb-Mar 2011 – List of master negatives obtained from VSARA - Vermont State Archives & Record Administration (held by: Department of Libraries) Cross-referenced with titles and holdings from (spreadsheet of titles identified w/in scope of grant proposal) Reel and page count estimates Identification of 59 titles/title families from all of Vermont’s 14 counties); ~a million pages!
preservation microfilm collections
Lead time needed for frame-by- frame microfilm inspection and metadata collation
Jan-Feb 2011 – Advisory Committee corresponds on Basecamp Face-to-face meeting postponed due to snow Project historian / Vermont history librarian shares preliminary title research from master list Ranking form distributed
Production starts… Sample reel sent to vendors to convert for RFP response. two major titles with lengthy runs selected for production queue (available from State Archives)
Feb-Mar 2011 – Project Management Group identifies 1 sample title on a compact reel (USNP film)
Title Ranking Form - Excel sheet/ranking form for Advisory Committee – includes NDNP selection criteria (based on Pennsylvania template)
•Advisory Committee Selections: 12 titles from 10 (of 14) counties
•Positive working relationships Generated state-wide energy & enthusiasm for project Contact with Vermont and New England Press Associations Potential for further outreach (historians, genealogists, schools)
•Digitization vendors evaluated; selection made: iArchives
3 Catalogers/Metadata Professionals engaged to launch production (.3 FTE) Digital Support Specialist hired (half-time)
-Some paper-to-microfilm conversion?
Tom McMurdo inspects master negatives.
Digital Preparation / Metadata Collation
-Microfilm reader (ScanPro 2000)
-1 TB Hard Drives (Western Digital)
-Shipping cases (Pelican –durable)
-Project Back-up storage (6 TB)
12 title families in 10 of Vermont’s 14 counties
Title Selections 19th century bannners
First title / Sample reel …
The day book (Chicago, Ill.), Apr. 2, 1912
Catalog record updates!
(OCLC - CONSER, VTDNP
database, local state catalogs)
“The only historical remains in the United States are the newspapers: If a number be wanting, the chain of time is broken and the present is severed from the past.” -- Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America
Thanks for watching!