The U.S. Newspaper Directory is derived from the library catalog records created by state institutions during the NEH-sponsored United States Newspaper Program, 1980-2011. This program funded state-level projects to locate, describe (catalog), and selectively preserve (via treatment and microfilm) historic newspaper collections in that state, published from 1690 to the present. Under this program, each institution created machine-readable cataloging (MARC) records via the Cooperative ONline SERials Program (CONSER) for its state collections, contributing bibliographic descriptions and library holdings information to the Newspaper Union List, now included in WorldCat and hosted by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). This data, approximately 150,000 bibliographic title entries and hundreds of thousands of library holdings records, was acquired and converted to MARCXML format for use in the Chronicling America U.S. Newspaper Directory.
Chronicling America is sponsored by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanties (NEH), awards money to public newspaper archives in each state to digitize and deliver historic newspaper content to the Library of Congress for inclusion in Chronicling America. Cultural heritage institutions within the states apply for the NEH grants. For information on what states are contributing digitized newspapers to the program, see the NDNP Award Recipients*. Eventually, the NEH will fund awards in every state and territory.
** The Library of Congress contributes digitized content from Washington, DC and other significant material.
Note: Awardees may select papers to digitize within the time period eligibility of their award. All periods may not be selected or available at this time, but content representing these states and time periods may be scheduled to be added in future updates.
Chronicling America is updated regularly with additional content received from awardees. NEH hosts an NDNP annual award competition, gradually increasing the content time period and the geographic representation through additional awards.
The View Text option in Chronicling America displays machine-generated text that is produced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. OCR is a fully automated process that converts the visual image of numbers and letters into computer-readable numbers and letters. Computer software can then search the OCR-generated text for words, phrases, numbers, or other characters. However, OCR is not 100 percent accurate, and, particularly if the original item has extraneous markings on the page, unusual text styles, or very small fonts, the searchable text OCR generates will contain errors that cannot be corrected by automated means. Digitization of microfilmed newspapers inherently includes a wide range of image quality in the content (quality derived from the original newspaper, the original newspaper when it was microfilmed and associated deterioration, or the film itself.)
Although errors in the process are unavoidable, OCR is still a powerful tool for making text-based items accessible to searching. For example, important concept words often appear more than once within an article. Therefore, if OCR misreads one instance of a key word in a passage, but correctly reads the second instance, the passage will still be found in a full-text search.
The Newspaper Directory data is loaded dynamically from the Chronicling America directory records. Misspellings in place names are the result of typographical errors in the CONSER records and can only be corrected in the original CONSER records hosted by OCLC WorldCat. Please contact a CONSER member (http://www.loc.gov/acq/conser/conmembs.html) with library holdings of that title to request cataloging improvements to these records.
The Newspaper Directory provides access to newspaper title records cataloged according to standard bibliographic rules. Until recently, most non-English language characters were difficult to represent in library records and so Romanization - or standard rules for transliterating other alphabets to the Roman alphabet - was used to convey phonetic pronunciations of non-English words.
Newspaper title information included in Chronicling America is downloaded at regular intervals from the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Cataloging) database, made available through OCLC WorldCat. In order to update or edit these records in Chronicling America, please contact a CONSER member (http://www.loc.gov/acq/conser/conmembs.html) with library holdings of that title to request cataloging improvements to the original CONSER/WorldCat records.
Chronicling America supports persistent links to newspaper Directory records and pages by providing a predictable URL, displayed in the descriptive information for that object. Using the proposed URI Template syntax the links will use the pattern:
When describing Chronicling America as the source of content, please use the URL and a Web site citation, such as "from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site".
Images of historic newspaper pages, as well as uncorrected page text, are displayed through your web browser. However, Chronicling America also contains high-resolution images (JPEG2000) and enhanced text (PDF) that may require special viewers. Most viewers can be downloaded free from vendor sites. The links below explain the various formats used and how to access them.
(Portable Document Format, .pdf)
|Used for page images|| Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe text-only download page
|- Sample PDF|
- About this sample
- Wavelet compression technology
- Tiling supports decompression of only that portion of the image requested by the user
- Compression ratio is approximately 20:1, depending on image content and color depth
- ERDAS ER Viewer
- IrfanView with JPEG2000 plug-in
OS X:Preview supports baseline JP2 only; commercial software may be needed to view tiled JP2 files, such as those in Chronicling America.
- Sample JPEG2000 page
- About this sample
Some Web browsers incorrectly assume that Quicktime (automatically included with the browser software) can display a JPEG2000 image (JPEG2000, or .jp2, is not a "native" Web format.) To counteract this effect, download the JPEG2000 (JP2) image by "right-click*quot;-ing with the mouse on the image link --e.g., "JP2 (4.0 Mb)". In the dialog box that appears, you will see "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." (depending on the Web browser used). Selecting this option will result in downloading the image to your desktop for further review.
To view the JPEG2000 (.jp2) file you will need a JPEG2000-friendly software, such as those listed above.
Chronicling America provides access to historic newspaper pages digitized under the NEH/LC National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). For more information on the scope and content of the program, click here (http://www.neh.gov/projects/ndnp.html).
Search Chronicling America to find
Users of Chronicling America have the option of performing basic or advanced searches. The basic search box is designated as the blue Search Pages tab and is found on many of the pages of the site. Basic search options are limited to state, time period, and key words located near each other. The basic search returns all supported languages.
For basic searches, results listed first are most likely to be relevant to your search. Results will appear higher in the list when they contain
Your searches will yield better results if you keep the following points in mind:
Chronicling America's search engine utilizes language-specific dictionaries toinclude word variants for your search terms. This is often called stemming. For example, the search term house, when stemmed in English, would also return words like houses and housing.
For more search options, see Advanced Searching in Chronicling America below. For information about language support in Chronicling America, see Searching by Language in Chronicling America.
To make the most of searching this text, take advantage of the search options provided on the Search page.
Too Many Results - If a search generates too many results, try using more specific terms and/or limiting to a specific State of publication or a particular newspaper title. Use the search box options in combination to narrow your results. For example, use "President Roosevelt" as phrase and "Roosevelt conservation" within 10 words to narrow results to text about only President Roosevelt's conservation policies.
Too Few Results - If a search generates too few results, try alternate terms or broader subjects and relax any limiting criteria (date ranges, state limitations, etc.).
Because language changes, be sure to use search terms used at the time the materials were created, even if those terms are now obsolete. For example, the following historic terms will produce more results than their modern-day counterparts:
|Modern Usage vs. Historic Usage comparison table|
|Modern Usage||Historic Usage|
|gas, service station||filling station|
|African American||Afro American, Negro|
Use the names of towns, landmarks, bridges, buildings, and other geographic features that were current when the materials you are searching were created. For instance, the state of Oklahoma was referred to as both "Indian Territory" and "Oklahoma Territory" prior to its admission as a state, so searching for "Indian Territory" may produce more search results if searching on topics related to Oklahoma.
Matching a phrase can be useful for searching place names or when common words have a particular sense used in combination.
For example, the term "normal school" was used in the early twentieth century to describe schools for training teachers. Searching for the phrase may eliminate results containing the words "normal" and "school" in unrelated ways.
Note: Some very common words, such as and, of, the, a, and to, are ignored even when matching exact phrases.
A good and historically significant example of missing issues is in the San Francisco Call, where the April 19th and April 20th issues from 1906 are missing due to the devastating San Francisco earthquake that prevented the newspaper from publishing on those days. In this example, the "not digitized, not published" indicator displays as such: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1906-04-19/ed-1/.
Chronicling America supports language-specific searching and analysis (stemming, stop words, etc.) whenever supported by the indexing tools in use at the Library of Congress. By default, in both Basic and Advanced Search, all content is searched together regardless of language. To limit searches to a specific language, select Advanced Search and choose the appropriate language from the Language drop-down menu. (Note: not all languages that appear in the newspapers have language-specific analysis tools (stemming, stop words, etc.) implemented. For additional technical information on how languages are encoded and identified for search, see current NDNP Technical Guidelines at http://www.loc.gov/ndnp/guidelines/.
Chronicling America's search engine utilizes language-specific dictionaries to include word variants for your search terms. This is often called "stemming". For example, the search term house, when stemmed, would also return words like houses and housing. In Spanish, words like hermano would include stems such as hermanos. By default, the exact match (unstemmed) results will be ranked higher than the stemmed results.
Other reasons for language-specific search may be more content related. For example, reporting in Spanish about the building of the Panama Canal may convey a different perspective than reporting in the mainstream English-speaking press.
First, review the Basic and Advanced Searching information above. The Chronicling America Newspaper Directory contains more than 150,000 serial title records for historic newspapers published in the United States from 1690 to the present. Also included are hundreds of thousands of Local Data Records indicating which libraries hold which copies and in what format. These records are created and edited by members of the Cooperative Online Serials (CONSER) cataloging program and currently hosted in the OCLC WorldCat bibliographic catalog. A copy of these records has been included in Chronicling America. Updated CONSER records will be added to Chronicling America at regular intervals utilizing the OCLC WorldCat Search API.
Users can search the Newspaper Directory in a variety of ways, utilizing the data encoded by CONSER catalogers. Search results rely on the unedited CONSER data as it was created in the MARC format.
Keyword searching will match words that appear in most narrative fields, including newspaper history essays associated with each digitized title. For example, matching an exact phrase, using quotes around the words in the Keyword field, can also be useful if you know a standard Library of Congress subject heading, such as "Anarchism--Newspapers" or "penny papers".
For the Keyword search box, entering multiple terms will automatically search for matches with all terms (operator = AND).
You can limit your search for Newspapers in the Directory by a variety of search options. For some users, knowing the origin of these options will help in precise searching. These options rely on specific MARC fields in the title and local data records, as follows: