FROM MDAH NEWS RELEASES–MDAH has received a $274,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 100,000 pages of Mississippi newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The department will partner with Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections on the project.
With newspaper holdings from 1801 to the present comprising more than 13,000 rolls, the microfilmed newspapers are some of the most frequently used holdings at MDAH. Genealogists, local officials, journalists, documentary producers, attorneys, students, and other researchers rely on Mississippi’s newspapers for information on local and national events; birth, death, and marriage notices; and city and county information.
“We are excited about this new level of digital access to the state’s documentary heritage and thrilled about the partnership with LSU,” said Julia Marks Young, director of the MDAH Archives and Records Services Division. “LSU has extensive experience with digital content and technology projects as an established NDNP grant recipient.”
MDAH holds approximately 2,700 rolls of microfilmed newspapers containing 782 newspaper titles that span the 1836–1922 project dates. Twenty-five are antebellum newspapers from eleven counties, including ones from the older counties in the southwest such as Adams, Amite, and Wilkinson, and the newer counties that were being settled in the north, such as Panola, Tippah, and Yalobusha. Civil War newspapers from southwest, central, and northern counties are also included.
Eleven newspaper runs in the department’s collections dating 1866–1922 from Natchez, Liberty, Jackson, Raymond, Lexington, Macon, Sardis, Vicksburg, and Woodville appear to be complete. MDAH also holds scattered issues of African American publications (Jackson’s Messenger, 1894; Vicksburg’s Light, 1900, and Golden Rule, 1900; and Brandon’s Free State, 1900) as well as runs of the agrarian press (Corinth’s Sub-soiler and Democrat, 1882–1892; Kosciusko’s Mississippi Farmer, 1896-1900; and Columbus’s Patron of Husbandry, 1875-1882).
The NDNP is a joint project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to develop an online searchable database of historical U.S. newspapers. Learn more at the Chronicling America website: chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. To learn more about the MDAH newspaper holdings, visit www.mdah.state.ms.us.