September 23, 2013 8:39:20 AM
JACKSON -- The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has received a $274,000 grant to digitize 100,000 pages of state newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.
Julia Marks Young, director of the MDAH Archives and Records Services Division, says MDAH will partner with Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections on the project.
"LSU has extensive experience with digital content and technology projects as an established NDNP (National Digital Newspaper Program) grant recipient," said Young.
With newspaper holdings from 1801 to the present comprising more than 13,000 rolls, the microfilmed newspapers are some of the most frequently used holdings at MDAH, Young said.
She said genealogists, local officials, journalists, documentary producers, attorneys, students, and other researchers rely on Mississippi's newspapers for information on local and national events; birth, death, and marriage notices; and city and county information.
MDAH has about 2,700 rolls of microfilmed newspapers containing 782 newspaper titles that span the 1836-1922 project dates. Twenty-five are antebellum newspapers from 11 counties, including ones from the older counties in the southwest such as Adams, Amite, and Wilkinson, and the newer counties that were being settled in the north, such as Panola, Tippah, and Yalobusha. Civil War newspapers from southwest, central, and northern counties are also included.
Eleven newspapers are in the MDAH's collections dating 1866-1922 -- Natchez, Liberty, Jackson, Raymond, Lexington, Macon, Sardis, Vicksburg, and Woodville appear to be complete.
MDAH also has scattered issues of African American publications (Jackson's Messenger, 1894; Vicksburg's Light, 1900, and Golden Rule, 1900; and Brandon's Free State, 1900) as well as runs of the agrarian press (Corinth's Sub-soiler and Democrat, 1882-1892; Kosciusko's Mississippi Farmer, 1896-1900; and Columbus's Patron of Husbandry, 1875-1882).
The NDNP is a joint project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.