Project Update: December 1, 2016

1920 advertisement for a Chandler automobile

1920 advertisement for a Chandler automobile

The presses keep churning for the New Jersey Digital Newspaper project. Since their September 7 meeting the Advisory Board has further assessed the 29 newspapers titles they initially selected. They completed a survey prioritizing these titles so an in-depth evaluation of the related microfilm could begin. Project team members spent several days at the New Jersey State Archives reviewing microfilm to get a sense of the quality of the images and newspapers, estimate page counts of the highest priority titles (the grant expects approximately 100,000 pages to be digitized), and identify any significant gaps in coverage for those titles. While work still needs to be done, strong contenders from the north, central, and southern sections of the state have emerged. The final titles (and years of coverage) will be announced once they are selected.

1918 World Series update featuring Babe Ruth

1918 World Series update featuring Babe Ruth

In October team members Caryn Radick, Grace Agnew, and Peter Konin visited their Connecticut counterparts at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford to discuss the microfilm assessment and digitization processes, along with lessons learned. (Connecticut was awarded NEH grants in 2013 and 2015.) It was a highly productive day and provided the team with valuable insights into potential delays, inefficiencies, and pitfalls. Thanks to Christine Gauvreau, Jane Cullinane, and Gail Hurley at the CT State Library for their time and expertise!

Progress continues with prepping the physical workspace. This is where a detailed technical assessment of the microfilm and a comprehensive review of digitized images will occur. A densitometer, manual film rewinder, microscope, and lightbox have been purchased. A microfilm reader will be on loan from Rutgers University Libraries for the duration of the project.

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