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Alaska's Digital Newspaper Program

The Alaska State Library recently was awarded a third National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the 2020-2022 cycle of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The purpose of the program is to digitally preserve and provide free access to historical newspapers in a searchable online database, Chronicling America. The database allows users to search subjects across thousands of U.S. historic newspapers from as early as 1777 through 1963, and is hosted by Library of Congress. Currently, Alaska has added over 250,000 pages to Chronicling America. Some of the Alaska titles are linked below. You can see an updated list of Alaska titles uploaded to Chronicling America by choosing Alaska and Digitized Newspapers on Chronicling America. To learn more about how to use Chronicling America, including for teaching and research purposes, visit https://www.loc.gov/ndnp/extras/.

For more information & project updates, follow us on our WordPress blog or Instagram @alaskahistoricalnewspapers. Learn more about the history of the Alaska Newspaper project. Or contact us: Christopher Russell, Project Coordinator: christopher.russell2@alaska.gov or Anastasia Tarmann, Project Director: anastasia.tarmann@alaska.gov.

 

Digitized Alaskan Newspapers

Q & A

How are newspapers selected for this project?

The Alaska State Library has over 800 different newspaper titles preserved on microfilm, so when deciding which titles to include in the National Digital Newspaper Program it is no easy matter. The library works with an advisory committee, composed of people from different backgrounds and different parts of the state, to select the titles to be digitized for each 2-year cycle. We consider factors like geographical and political representation, as well as if the newspaper has unique or underrepresented cultural voices or languages, when deciding what newspapers to digitize. Additional considerations include how much of the newspaper is preserved on microfilm, the quality of that microfilm, and the copyright status of the newspaper.

Why aren't more recent newspaper issues online?

Due to copyright law, we limit the newspaper issues we upload to those that fall within the public domain - which is currently 1925 and earlier. The exception to this is when a newspaper fell into public domain early because its copyright was not renewed, in which case we can digitize a paper up through the year 1963.

How can I use the newspapers for research?

There are several great guides on ways you can use newspapers to support research. One guide, written by Chris Allan, is from the Alaska Historical Society and located at http://alaskahistoricalsociety.org/for-researchers/newspaper-research-guide/.

Are the newspapers online free to use?

All items uploaded to Chronicling America are in the public domain and are completely free to use!

What other newspapers are you planning to make available online?

We have several newspapers that we are currently working to put online soon, and many others planned for later. We hope in the coming months to add to the content online for a number of papers including the Kodiak Mirror, Cook Inlet Pioneer, Nome Nugget, Daily Alaska Empire, Daily Morning Alaskan, Alaska Sentinel, and Wrangell Sentinel.

 

Newspapers we are looking for

As extensive as the Alaska State Library's collection of newspapers is, there are still some titles that we don't have copies of. Without copies of these newspapers we can't preserve them and make them accessible to future generations of Alaskans. Please let us know if you have or know of any copies of the following newspapers.

Nome Weekly Nugget: This paper ran from around 1901 to 1919 but we only have 3 issues preserved here (6/19/1909, 7/24/1909, 8/16/1913)

Alaska Spotlight: This weekly Anchorage paper began in 1952 and ended sometime in the 1960s. The Alaska State Library holds several issues in 1964 and 1966 on microfilm. We would particularly love to digitize any issues from 1952 through 1963 and add them to Chronicling America, if anyone has any copies

Midnight Sun Reporter: This weekly Anchorage newspaper started in 1962 and ended sometime in the 1960s. The Alaska State Library holds several issues from 1964 through 1966 on microfilm. We would particularly love to digitize any issues from 1962 through 1963 and add them to Chronicling America, if anyone has any copies

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Christopher Russell
Contact:
907-465-2940

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Related Resources

Advisory Committee Members

  • Jo Antonson
    Former Alaska State Historian, retired Office of History and Archeology, Anchorage
  • Steve Rollins
    Dean of the Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage, since 1998
    Degrees from Providence College and University of Rhode Island. 
  • Rebecca Moorman
    Head of Technical Services Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage
    Alaska Pacific University, with a degree in history
  • David Noon
    Associate Professor of History, specializing in American History
    University of Alaska Southeast
  • Barbara Cadiente-Nelson
    Grant Administrator (Native Student Success), Teaching & Learning Dept.
    Indian Studies Program Director
  • Kevin Bumgarner
    Publisher at the Daily Mirror, Kodiak
  • Micah Muer
    Information Literacy and Instructional Technology Librarian
    Mat-Su College, University of Alaska
  • Genova Brookes Boyd
    Collection Development Manager/ Engagement Librarian
    Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
  • Gerrit Veerbeek
    Gerrit Verbeek is involved in historical research through the Mountaineering Club of Alaska and the Choss Lore project on geographic names

Past Advisory Committee Members

  • Chris Allan
    Historian
    Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
    National Park Service, Fairbanks
  • Michael Blackwell
    Consulting Geological Engineer
    Historical Researcher, Gastineau Historical Society
  • Michael Carey
    Editorial columnist
    Formerly editorial page editor for the Alaska Dispatch News (formerly called the Anchorage Daily News)
  • James Brooks
    State Reporter
    Juneau Empire
  • Esther Ilutsik
    Director of Yup'ik Studies with the Southwest Region Schools
    Dillingham
  • Barbara Thompson
    Second Vice Chair
    Alaska State Board of Education
  • Marjorie Thompson
    Manager
    Digital Photographic Services
    Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Jennifer Ward, MLIS
    Associate Professor of Library and Information Science, Outreach Services Librarian
    Egan Library
  • Jason Russell
    Archivist/Technical Services Librarian
    Tuzzy Consortium Library
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