What’s true of most conferences was true of ours last week in Washington: An opportunity to share a common language with people of the same mission in the same space. The space was provided by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the co-administrators and grant source for our Project and others across the country. The mission, no longer young, now entering its thirteenth year, seeks to rescue from an unstable environment to a manageable digital home as many historical newspapers as possible.The circled total of pages on the screen shot above from the Chronicling America homepage is a number to which we’ve made a significant contribution already. It’s always increasing and at least two hundred thousand of that increase a year from now will come from the Virginia Newspaper Project (VNP). One half of that contribution will be additional Virginia newspapers prepared by VNP and the other from an ongoing partnership with West Virginia University in which we split responsibility-research and selection on their side, digitizing on ours.
The annual NDNP conference is proper reminder to its participants of the considerable effort the IT staff of the Library of Congress devotes to not merely the website’s current standard of performance but its continued improvement. In fact, we were told, an upgrade of Chronicling America is in the works and will be revealed sometime early next year. “Fit To Print” will keep you advised.