Washington State Library awarded $280,000 to digitize historic newspapers

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

With a new $280,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant, the Office of Secretary of State Kim Wyman will break fresh ground in its nationally-recognized project of digitizing historic newspapers.

The grant, announced last week, will enable the Washington State Library’s Washington Digital Newspaper Project to add 100,000 pages of culturally and historically significant newspapers from Asian-American, African-American, and World War II-era publications to its free public archives.

“It is a special privilege to be able to continue our work to preserve Washington’s history and make these invaluable accounts available, accessible, and searchable,” said Secretary of State Kim Wyman, whose office oversees the Washington State Library. “I’m very proud of the work our Library staff has done, and I’m looking forward to seeing more thanks to these funds.”

The grant is the fourth National Endowment for the Humanities award for the Digital Newspaper Project. Under the State Library’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program, more than 300,000 pages of historic Washington newspapers have been added to the 13 million newspaper pages publicly accessible at the Chronicling America website of the Library of Congress.

The Washington Digital Newspaper Project is one of only four Washington projects selected for the first awards of the new Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grant program, which announced $43.1 million in awards for 218 projects nationwide.

“I’m truly grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities, both for their recognition of our achievements in digitizing historic newspapers and for their decision to fund our latest project,” said State Librarian Cindy Aden. 
“We’ll be able to bring the firsthand accounts of bygone eras of Washington’s African-American and Asian-American experiences into the consciousness of new generations, and add local perspectives to their understanding of what it was like living in our state throughout World War II.”

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.


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