UF Receives Grant To Digitize Historic Newspapers
GAINESVILLE - Preserving a little piece of history. The University of Florida library is receiving more than $300,000 to digitize newspapers. They're also partnering with the University of Puerto Rico to make it all come together.
I talked to a UF expert who tells us more about the art of archiving these newspapers before they deteriorate.
The past plays an important role in our future. At least that’s what a UF history major thinks. "It's kind of cool to know how things were in the past so that we can know how to handle our future better," Sofi Cala a UF student majoring in history said.
"I always tell people that the problems you are having, somebody else has had them before and they've solved it somehow or someway... So you can avoid a lot of wars, a lot of catastrophes just by reading up on what's happened in the past," Cala said.
With a grant UF recently received-- Historians, students and those who are just simply curious will have an easier time searching through historical newspapers.
The national endowment for the humanities is providing UF libraries with $325,000 to digitize newspapers dating back from 1836 to 1923.
"It's one of those things we think has real clear value to not just the citizens of the state of Florida and the folks in the University of Florida but anybody with an internet connection that wants to go in and search those newspapers," Patrick Reakes Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library at UF.
In about two years you won’t have to roll microfilm through a reader, you will be able to see these newspapers from the comfort of your own home.
"It's like a little roll and it doesn't have what's in it... So it's a lot of guess work with it. You can't control F, you can't find things easily... So it's very tedious and it takes a long time," Cala said. The digital version of the newspapers will have optical character recognition, eliminating that problem.
UF is also partnering with the University of Puerto Rico, Rio de Piedras, to digitize 100,000 newspaper pages. 50,000 will be from Puerto Rico and the other 50,000 will be from the state of Florida.
"There's an archival piece to this too. Because as you get film that deteriorates or film that something can happen to it at some point and there's no other way to access this stuff," Reakes said.
UF is the only institution in Florida to receive this grant. The newspapers will be available through the library of congress website.
UF is also hoping to receive additional grants in the future that will help them digitize all of their newspapers.
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