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University of Maryland Libraries Awarded $250,000 Grant to Digitize Historic Newspapers
10/03/2016

Frostburg State University has received grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as a part of a $250,000 award to the University of Maryland Libraries to continue digitizing historic newspapers, including those preserved at FSU’s Lewis J. Ort Library.

“In terms of digitizing, the Western Maryland region has been underrepresented,” said Annamarie Klose Hrubes, Digital Projects librarian at FSU. “By digitizing and making the Frostburg Mining Journal, Frostburg Spirit and other local newspapers available online, we allow people anywhere in the world to learn about this region and its unique heritage.”

Digitizing the Frostburg Mining Journal and other Frostburg newspapers will provide an “important historical source for researchers and genealogists,” said Dr. Lea Messman-Mandicott, Ort Library director. The Frostburg Mining Journal is currently on microfilm, which is “not the easiest format to use” and requires researchers to physically visit the library for access. Although the issues are also digitized, “the quality of the digital images is not the best and not available to the public.” The new digitization project will make Western Maryland historic newspapers more easily accessible and referenced.

“The final result is that these newspapers will be available through the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, for anyone to see them anytime, anywhere,” said Hrubes. “We love it when people come to the library to see our collections; however, this will make our newspapers more accessible and visible.” Another perk is that fragile, deteriorating newspapers are being preserved with “state-of-the-art equipment” to provide information for future generations.

Since receiving its first grant from NEH in 2012, the University of Maryland Libraries have digitized more than 200,000 pages from Baltimore, Hagerstown and Cumberland newspapers, with efforts to represent every region of Maryland. A grand total of $865,000 has been provided to the project from NEH.

For more information on FSU’s digitizing efforts, email Hrubes at acklose@frostburg.edu.

-end-

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu