Perth Amboy Evening News, from 1903 to 1922, selected as the first of three NJ newspapers to be digitized and made available online
The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is pleased to announce that the Perth Amboy Evening News, from 1903 to 1922, will be the first New Jersey newspaper to be digitized and made publicly available through the Library of Congress Chronicling America website. Part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, the New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project is a collaboration between Rutgers University Libraries, the New Jersey State Archives, and the New Jersey State Library. The project is supported by a $186,204 grant that was awarded in August 2016 from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers from all 50 states.
Prior to this digitization project, historical newspapers held by the New Jersey State Archives were only searchable through an onsite microfilm reader. The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project has taken microfilm of the newspapers, scanned and digitized select pages, and made them publicly available online, ensuring that researchers can more easily uncover historical New Jersey information. The Chronicling America website provides access to these digitized historic materials, offering dynamic interactivity, magnification and navigation. Upon the project’s completion, 100,000 pages of New Jersey newspapers will be available through the site.
According to project director and Rutgers University digital archivist Caryn Radick, “learning the processes for producing high quality digital images from microfilm was a steep learning curve but the results are gratifying, making New Jersey’s historical newspapers available to people anywhere in the world.”
“Caryn Radick and her team are to be commended for the excellent and timely work they have done on this project,” says Joseph Klett, the New Jersey State Archivist and member of the advisory board. “Full-text searching will be much more accurate because of their attention to detail and insistence on producing the best scanned images possible.”
“These papers will be tremendously beneficial to genealogists and local historians as well as scholars doing textual analysis,” notes Mary Chute, New Jersey State Librarian and member of the advisory board.
The New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project advisory board includes archivists, librarians, museum directors, historians, journalists, and educators from across the state. The Perth Amboy Evening News, which covered Middlesex County and ran daily from 1903 to 1959, except for Sundays and holidays, is the first digital release of the three historical newspapers chosen by the board. The Jersey City Evening News (1889 to 1906) will be the next paper to be scanned, followed by the West-Jersey Pioneer (later the Bridgeton Pioneer) from 1851 to 1917, which are expected to be completed by the Fall of 2018.
“On January 10th we will hold a small celebration to mark this launch, which will include comments from Congressman Pallone, and Eleni Glykis, director of the Perth Amboy Library, will attend. We’re busy preparing round two of the grant application so that we can continue to provide access to New Jersey’s history,” says Radick.