This post was written by Nathan Yarasavage, a Digital Projects Specialist in the Library’s Serial and Government Publications Division and originally posted to the Headlines and Heroes blog, which highlights amazing stories in the Library’s collections of newspapers and comic books.
Chronicling America* users can now browse the collection’s thousands of digitized historical newspapers using an interactive map and timeline recently launched by the Library of Congress. The new “Exploring Chronicling America Newspapers” application dynamically maps publication locations of over 3,000 digitized newspapers currently available in the Chronicling America online collection. Users can also interact with a timeline of publication dates for digitized newspapers available in Chronicling America, currently covering years between 1777-1963. Powered by the Esri ArcGIS Instant Apps platform, the map and timeline are updated weekly to include the latest additions to the collection. Users can also download the currently updated dataset underlying the new features to create their own custom data visualizations or analyses.
Chronicling America provides access to millions of historic American newspaper pages digitized through the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). Program partners select and contribute digitized newspapers published in their states or territories, creating the national collection. All of the newspapers are in the public domain and have no known copyright restrictions. To facilitate a wide range of potential uses of the newspaper data, in addition to providing the ability to search and browse historic newspaper pages on the web, Chronicling America offers a well-documented application programming interface (API). For over a decade, researchers and scholars have used the API to interface with Chronicling America data leading to a variety of projects based on digitized historical newspapers. In 2019, the NDNP team at the Library of Congress released their first set of interactive data visualizations, designed to better inform researchers of the scope and coverage of the newspapers available in Chronicling America. These included several different types of data visualizations describing the newspapers’ locations, dates, subjects, languages, and quantities. In addition, since 2018, under a program spearheaded by the Geography and Map Division, collection specialists from across the Library of Congress have produced Story Maps about the hidden and not-so-hidden collections of the Library. Also created within the Esri Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform, Story Maps combines text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps featuring Library collections to create immersive online experiences, placing the collections in context around a central theme. The Library is continuing to explore new ArcGIS tools, such as Instant Apps and Dashboards, to publish and visualize its massive collections.
Using the Map and Timeline
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