The United States Newspaper Program (USNP) is a national project whose goal is to locate, catalog, preserve and provide access to the journalistic history of the United States through its newspapers. The program is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities with technical assistance provided by the Library of Congress. The program operates on a state-by-state basis with responsibility for an entire state assigned to one institution. The Delaware Newspaper Project was sponsored by the Council of Historical Libraries of Delaware (CHILD).
In 1983, the University of Delaware Library, acting on behalf of CHILD, submitted a grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) requesting support to develop a plan for a comprehensive survey of newspaper holdings in the state, to prepare an inventory of newspaper locations, and to develop a methodology for entering bibliographic data into an online database. This cooperative newspaper preservation project was supported by NEH, and a plan to catalog Delaware's newspapers was developed.
A second proposal was submitted to NEH in 1985, again by the University of Delaware Library acting on behalf of CHILD, which requested funds to inventory newspaper repositories in the state and to enter bibliographic and holdings data into a national database according to CONSER guidelines. The cataloging work, completed in 1989, resulted in 796 titles cataloged (340 were Delaware newspaper titles) and produced a union list of institutional newspaper holding for the state of Delaware. A bibliographic record for each title, with holdings information, is available online through WorldCat, the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) database, as well as in the following publications: Union List of Newspapers in Delaware (Ref Z6952 .D3 U54 1990) and United States Newspaper Program National Union List (Ref Z6945 .U55x 1993).
In 1992, the University of Delaware Library submitted a third grant proposal to fund the microfilming of significant and historical newspapers identified in earlier phases of the Delaware Newspaper Project. The successful grant began in 1993 and was completed in 1996. More than 150 newspapers (700,000 pages) were microfilmed under this phase of the United States Newspaper Program. A bibliographic record for each title, with holdings information, is available via DELCAT, the University of Delaware's online catalog. The bibliographic records in DELCAT can be found by executing a keyword search on delaware newspaper project.
The result of the Delaware Newspaper Project is that future generations of researchers will have access to these newspapers and will be able to examine the unique historical perspective that newspapers give about their communities. Microfilm allows for long-term preservation long after the original newsprint has disintegrated.
With the aid of the NEH grants, a microfilm master negative, print master, and service copies were made and stored at various institutions in Delaware, thus ensuring access for the future.
Copies of microfilm produced for the Delaware Newspaper Project (DNP) can be obtained in various ways.
Originally created by Teresa Morris, Pauline A. Young Resident, 1998/1999-1999/2000.