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Session Recording

It’s Only a Rough Draft, But It’s All We’ve Got! Preserving History Through Newspaper Digitization Recording


News is commonly referred to as “the first rough draft of history” and newspapers are a critical component of the resources used for research across many disciplines, providing an incomparable record of both historic events and unexceptional daily occurrences. Whether it’s local, regional, national or international coverage, newspapers allow readers to travel across space and time and acquire a glimpse of events as they unfolded.

The dwindling creation and use of microfilm and microfilm readers, the deterioration of existing microfilm and the transition to born digital news, along with ongoing news industry struggles and the loss of newspaper “morgues” and archives, all create an urgent need for action. Digitization provides alternatives for not only preserving the important and unique history held in newspapers, it also expands access and searchability.

This session will examine a wide variety of initiatives at a large research university that has successfully identified numerous opportunities for facilitating newspaper preservation and access. The session will focus on ways their experiences can potentially be emulated and adapted by other organizations looking to jump start their own projects, from public libraries to historical societies to colleges and universities.

Topics covered will include:

-Establishing project partnerships and collaborations

-Copyright considerations

-Dealing with the complexity of digitizing multilingual newspapers

-Working with publishers

-The importance of equitable and open access

-Identifying funding

-Dealing with the challenges of born digital news

-From local to international-an overview of some existing projects