The Library of Virginia is partnering with ProQuest Information and Learning on the digitization of historically significant newspapers. The Library is one of six pilot sites to receive funds from the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP -- http://www.neh.gov/projects/ndnp.html and http://www.loc.gov/ndnp ), a long- term effort by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to develop an internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers. ProQuest is working with the Library of Virginia to digitize key titles covering the time period 1900-1910, including The Richmond Times-Dispatch. In addition, the Library of Congress has chosen ProQuest as a partner to digitally convert 10 years of the New York Tribune to NDNP specifications for inclusion in the NDNP repository.Notice that the newspapers being digitized are in the public domain. The "ProQuest Historical Newspapers(TM), encompassing the full runs of America's most notable newspapers totaling more than 14 million pages of news, dating back to 1764." K. Matthew Dames, when he talks about materials being digitized, will mention that public domain materials can become the property of someone through digitization.
Addendum (3:15 p.m.): Richard Hess e-mailed and noted that these newspapers should be available for free, since their conversion is being funded by NEH. In fact, the NEH web site says:
NEH recently solicited proposals from institutions to participate in the development of a test bed for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). Ultimately, over a period of approximately 20 years, NDNP will create a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers from all the states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922. This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and be freely accessible via the Internet.The press release I read (and have linked to in the title here) was written by ProQuest, so it doesn't highlight fully the efforts of NEH or the Library of Congress. Richard is correct -- these newspapers, digitized by ProQuest for NEH and the Library of Congress -- should be freely available. Let's hope that ProQuest didn't take a page out of the Google play-book.
Technorati tag: Digitization