History of the Vermont Newspaper Project
The goal of the planning phase was to prepare a strategic plan for the implementation of bibliographic control of Vermont's domestic newspapers. The principal activities of the planning period were to survey newspaper repositories throughout the state, identify an agency and mechanism to maintain the resulting union list, increase awareness of the scope and significance of the project within the state, and produce an implementation proposal.
Funds were awarded in the spring of 1994. In June 1994 a survey was mailed to all potential newspaper repositories within the state, including public libraries, historical societies, archives, and academic librarians. Institutions that had up-to-date holdings lists were encouraged to submit them to the project; other repositories were asked to fill out a survey form listing their titles and holdings. Initial response was 73 percent, follow-up phone calls were made to repositories that did not respond and were thought to have major newspaper collections. The project was advertised to attract private collectors. Newspaper publishers were also sampled as possible resources.
Implementation Grant:The cataloging phase of the Vermont Newspaper Project began in May of 1997 with the collections of the Vermont State Library and the Vermont Historical Society. It is estimated that these collections comprise seventy-five percent (75%) of known newspaper titles. Additional unique titles have been cataloged at various repositories around the state. Only those repositories identified as holding unique non-cataloged titles were visited. The remaining repositories were the recipients of an inventory kit designed to aid the project in obtaining complete holdings information for their respective collections. The cataloging phase was completed at the end of June of 2000. Cataloging statistics from July 1998-June 2000 are available at http://library.uvm.edu/vtnp/vtnp-stats.html
An additional goal of the implementation grant was to create a comprehensive union list of all Vermont newspaper titles. The project provides access to the list in both electronic and print formats. To facilitate the dissemination of union list holdings information, the project developed a database. The database includes nearly 1,000 bibliographic records for Vermont newspapers that date from the 18th century to the present. Holdings information for approximately 100 repositories throughout Vermont is also included. A searchable version of the project database is available at http://vtnp.uvm.edu/. A print version of the union list was also produced and distributed to all of the Vermont newspaper repositories who participated in the Project.