The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project was delighted that the University of Vermont’s Special Collections hosted Robert McCullough, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation, last Wednesday, the 21st, at 5:30 pm, for a special talk entitled, Good Roads & Good Sidepaths: Tracing Bicycle History on the Land. This talk was in conjunction with the newspaper project’s summer/fall exhibit at the Bailey/Howe Library, Cycling Through the News: The Rise of Bicycling in Vermont and the Nation.
McCullough’s talk explored the rise of bicycling in the late 19th century in the United States and how pioneering wheelmen and wheelwomen shaped the landscape. In particular, he addressed the creation of sidepaths and the push for good roads, starting in the late 1880s. Sidepaths were created, particularly in New York state, alongside roads as special paths for bicyclists only. Many of these paths required bicyclists to purchase special bicycle tags in order to ride on them! Unfortunately, few of these original sidepaths remain extant today in the country–and none are known extant (or known ever to have been created) in Vermont.
McCullough’s new book, Old Wheelways: Traces of Bicycle History on the Land, is out now. You can find it on the MIT Press’s website and on Amazon.
If you haven’t seen it, there’s a few more days yet to view the exhibit! We’ll be taking it down on Friday, October 30.
Free, searchable database of historic newspapers reflects Vermont’s history
Vermont Digital Newspaper Project (VTDNP) today joins the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in celebrating a major milestone for Chronicling America, a free, searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers. The Library announced today that more than 10 million pages have been posted to the site, which includes 260,000 pages from 59 Vermont newspaper titles.
Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2007, Chronicling America provides enhanced and permanent access to historically significant newspapers published in the United States between 1836 and 1922. It is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a joint effort between the two agencies and partners in 40 states and territories.
The NDNP awards grants to entities in each state and territory to identify and digitize historic newspaper content. Awardees receive NEH funding to select and digitize 100,000 pages of historic newspapers published in their states between 1836 and 1922. Uniform technical specifications are provided to ensure consistency of all content, and digital files are transferred to the Library of Congress for long-term management and access. The first awards were made in 2005. Since then, NEH has awarded more than $30 million in support of the project.
“Chronicling American unlocks a treasure trove of information that was previously accessible only through tedious scrolling through reels of microfilm,” said VTDNP project director Jeff Marshall. “We are delighted to be part of this nationwide effort to make newspaper content easily available to anyone with access to a computer.”
“Having free and searchable content from Vermont newspapers means a whole lot to Vermonters. I have seen people uncovering gems and facts about their ancestors that were previously unknown. It’s a valuable primary resource for family historians, teachers, students, and researchers,” said VTDNP project librarian Erenst Anip. Continue reading Chronicling America celebrates 10 Millionth Page and More!→
Another year, another National Digital Newspaper Program Conference! Last month, Jeffrey Marshall, project director and principal investigator, Erenst Anip, project librarian, and Karyn Norwood, digital support specialist, traveled to Washington, DC, for the annual conference for the National Digital Newspaper Program between September 16th and 18th. Below, a recap of just a few of the exciting moments of the conference!
There are some exciting developments on the national level for Chronicling America: significantly, on October 7th, the program celebrated the surpassing of 10 million newspaper pages freely available online, which is a huge accomplishment! Vermont alone has contributed around 260,000 pages from 59 newspaper titles to this number.