A collaboration between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress, the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) awards organizations grants to create state partnerships for newspaper digitization. As a result, state partners contribute digitized newspapers to Chronicling America. As of January 2021, Chronicling America contains over 17 million pages of digitized newspapers that are freely accessible to the public. Newspapers from 48 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico are included in this remarkable collection (check out this map for a visual!). Newspapers in Chronicling America go as far back as 1777, but as seen in this data visualization, most of the digitized newspaper titles were published between 1850 and 1922. For the state of Maryland, the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project at the University of Maryland Libraries partners with other archives, libraries, and historical societies throughout the state to digitize newspapers published in Maryland for Chronicling America.
For the Maryland collection, Chronicling America contains issues from 50 newspaper titles from across the state published between 1840 and 1951. Some highlights from the collection include:
Similar to the Black Lives Matters protests of today, the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s and early-mid 1970s were frequently organized and led by young people. Anti-war demonstrations and boycotts became commonplace on college campuses across the country throughout the Vietnam War. And while protests weren’t necessarily restricted to students from specific backgrounds, black student activists maintained a unique perspective and set of objectives when it came to American involvement in Vietnam.
Following American military escalation in Vietnam in the mid-1960s, prominent civil rights organizations like SNCC and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X vehemently rejected the notion that Black Americans should be required to aid the war efforts. In 1965, SNCC issued a statement that declared: “No Black Mississippian should be fighting in Vietnam for the white man’s freedom until all the Negro people are free in Mississippi.” In other words, many African-Americans across the country contended that they should not be required to fight and support a foreign war for democracy when their own rights were still not fully secured at home.
Despite the growing numbers of black-led protests throughout the 1960s, African-American men continued to bear the brunt of American military hardships during the war. African-American men were much more likely to be drafted into the military compared to white men. In 1967, 64 percent of eligible black men were drafted into war–compared to only 31 percent of eligible white men. The casualty rate of black soldiers was also disproportionately higher. Black soldiers were twice as likely to die in combat compared to whites.
In spite of stern opposition from university leadership and deterrence from police and National Guard troops, African-American students at University of Maryland continued to organize and hold campus protests into the early 1970s. In addition to protesting the military draft and American escalation in southeast Asia, student activists also used the protests as opportunities to advocate for racial equality on campus. Student protestors, including those active with the Students for a Democratic Society, demanded for the university to enroll larger numbers of students of color and hire additional faculty of color. As doctoral student Greg Dunkel later claimed, “the connection between the struggle against racism at UMD and the struggle against the war was very significant.”
The first of these films is “CORE: Freedom Ride,” 1961, Presented by the Social Action Commission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Narrated by James Farmer, National Director of CORE and founder of the Freedom Rides, this film recounts the experiences of Freedom Riders shortly after the rides ended in December 1961. This film includes footage from the Freedom Rides, and testimony from Freedom Riders Jim Peck, Albert Bigelow, and Genevieve Hughes.
Holiday shopping has always been popular. But thanks to the ample opportunities for online shopping, free shipping, early Black Friday deals, and stores opening on Thanksgiving, it’s fairly easy to spot the ways shopping has changed throughout the twenty-first century.
With the COVID-19 pandemic enacting many changes, it’s fair to assume that holiday shopping is going to be a little different this year: Amazon shifted their annual Prime Days from the summer to the fall, Target and Walmart announced store closings on Thanksgiving Day, and many small businesses will continue to rely on curb-side pick-up and online ordering this holiday season.
All Hallow’s Eve, All Hallow Eve, Hallow Eve, Hallow Even, Hallow E’en, Hallowe’en, Halloween, Eve of All Saints’ Day–whatever you want to call it or however you’d like to spell it–is a day with origins dating all the way back to the Celts, and it came to the American East Coast in the 1600s (“Halloween 2020”). More common in Maryland and southern states, Halloween wasn’t celebrated nationally until the Third Wave of Immigration (“Halloween 2020”). Today, many people in the US have come to observe Halloween as a commercial and secular holiday, but the way that people celebrate it may differ by individual or family. We can recognize these differences throughout the years, across the state of Maryland.
This month, Chronicling America reached 17 million newspaper pages! Historic newspaper pages are contributed to the Chronicling America newspaper database by National Digital Newspaper Program partner organizations from all across the country. The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project at University of Maryland Libraries is the Maryland state awardee of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), which is a partnership between National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress.
The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project (HMNP) here at UMD Libraries teamed up with the Maryland State Archives (MSA) and other cultural heritage institutions across the state to carry out a social media campaign on the Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook platforms to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. We at HMNP wanted our posts to showcase elements of women’s suffrage in Maryland and/or aspects from the broader suffrage movement that were featured in the Chronicling America Maryland newspaper titles. MSA wanted their posts to examine specific stories from the movement in Maryland. By utilizing the same hashtags, our content would trend together on each platform, and we invited others to use the same hashtags during a week long campaign to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment in Maryland earlier this month.
While summer may mean the end of the school year, you can still explore library resources from home! If you have some spare time, explore hidden gems in Special Collections and University Archives like the Early Printed and Manuscript Leaf collection. The collection consists of printed and illuminated manuscript leaves from Europe dated from the 12th -16th centuries and includes some of the oldest items in Hornbake Library. There are a total of 70 whole and partial leaves, representing a variety of styles and techniques that serve as a sampling of early print and manuscript book history.