With the end of 2008 comes the beginning of the Ohio Newspaper Digitization Project (ONDP). As part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and run by the Library of Congress, the Ohio Historical Society is charged with digitizing 100,000 pages of microfilmed newspapers from 1880 to 1922. In particular, the project is aimed at working with newspapers microfilmed under the United States Newspaper Program, an NEH program that created 20,000 volumes of Ohio newspaper microfilm.
Over the past five months, OHS staff has been working with outside vendors and an advisory board, with members from all corners of Ohio, in preparation for ONDP. The project is set to swing into high gear, as iArchives, the digitization vendor chosen for the project, has received the first reel of microfilm for an initial sample batch of newspaper pages. The initial batch is the roll of the July 17, 1915 – June 30, 1917 run of the Cincinnati Labor Advocate. Additional runs of newspapers to be included in the project will be decided upon by the advisory board in late January 2009 with full-scale production and digitization beginning in February 2009.
The Cincinnati Labor Advocate, published from 1913 until 1937, provided news and commentary for the local Building Trades Council. The Labor Advocate also frequently tracked legislation and political leaders who were fighting over the newly created Ohio Workmen’s Compensation laws. The front page from this December 18th, 1915 issue features Santa Claus praising Ohio’s Attorney General with the Cincinnati river front in the foreground.
The sample roll of the Cincinnati Labor Advocate and all other newspapers digitized under the Ohio Newspaper Digitization Project will be made available initially on the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America (http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/) and hosted on the Ohio Historical Society’s site later, as well. Look to this blog for further updates on the progress of the Ohio Newspaper Digitization Project!