DES MOINES – The State Historical Library of Iowa has received a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 100,000 pages of Iowa newspaper content published prior to 1923.
The State Historical Library’s digitization effort is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and has been designated an NEH “We the People” project, an initiative that encourages teaching, studying and understanding American history and culture through the exploration of significant events and themes.
“We are honored and grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for this grant,” said Mary Cownie, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. “Preserving and increasing access to the newspaper collection is one of the most important foundational resources for researching and learning Iowa history.”
While the 100,000 pages of content to be digitized represent a small fraction of the State Historical Library’s collection of Iowa newspapers, the grant will help genealogists, historians, academics, students, and cultural and historical organizations gain a new level of access to the State Historical Library’s newspaper collection.
At the conclusion of the two-year project in August 2014, the digital content will be freely and widely accessible on the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America website (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). The digital files will also be available for the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to host on its website.
The State Historical Library is part of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.