Story on 1912 typhoon goes viral

Image of article with headline "15,000 DIE IN PHILIPPINE STORM" from the November 30, 1912, issue of the Washington Herald.In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda’s destruction in the Philippines earlier this month, a 1912 newspaper hosted by Chronicling America has gone viral.

The November 30, 1912, issue of the Washington Herald contains a front page story about a typhoon estimated to have killed 15,000 people and “practically destroyed” Tacloban, the same city hardest hit by Yolanda. Additional details were sparse because the storm had destroyed all telegraphic communications infrastructure.

Although I usually don’t buy into the pessimistic idiom that “history repeats itself,” that’s exactly what seems to have happened with the devastating typhoons of 1912 and 2013.

See the entire issue of the Washington Herald here.

Inaugural post of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Have you ever had to do research that involved looking at newspapers on microfilm? If so, then you know that it can be a tedious process. After hours of scrolling through reels of microfilm, patiently scanning each page to find the information you need, at long last you’ll find the one sentence of an article that proves your thesis correct—or at least hopefully you will! I’m sure at several times throughout the course of your research you thought to yourself, “This would be so much easier if I could just do a keyword search of this whole newspaper. And it would be great if I could do it from home. In my pajamas.” Luckily, some folks at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Library of Congress agree!

Through August 2014 the NEH will fund the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project at the University of Maryland Libraries through a National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant. Our project will digitize 100,000 pages of newspaper content from the state of Maryland and make it free and searchable via the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America digital newspaper collection. Chronicling America allows users to search over 6.6 million newspaper pages by title, date or location of publication, and keyword.*

The first title to be digitized by the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project is Der Deutsche Correspondent. This German-language newspaper was published in Baltimore from 1841 to 1918.

Image of the offices of Der Deutsche Correspondent in Baltimore, MD from the June 5, 1878 issue of the newspaper.

Image of the offices of Der Deutsche Correspondent in Baltimore, MD from the June 5, 1878 issue of the newspaper.

We hope you’ll join us for a series of posts about Maryland’s newspapers, including a preview of some of the fascinating content we’ve stumbled upon so far in Der Deutsche Correspondent! More to come soon!

*Since Chronicling America is hosted by the Library of Congress, you’ll have to wait until the government reopens to try it out. 😦

[UPDATE: As of 10/4/13 at 10am, Chronicling America appears to be up and working!]