Monday, November 22, 2004

30 million newspaper pages to go online

The National Endowment for the Arts, in conjunction with the Library of Congress - has announced that it is working to put millions of newspaper pages online in a digital / searchable format. The first of what's expected to be 30 million digitized pages from American newspapers published between 1836 and 1922 will be available beginning in 2006.
The chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities announced the project in a speech at the National Press Club on November 16th. "Anyone who's interested - teachers, students, historians, lawyers, politicians, even newspaper reporters - will be able to go to their computer at home or at work and at a click of a mouse get immediate, unfiltered access to the greatest source of our history."
The time span of the digitization project is limited because type faces used before 1836 are too difficult for optical scanners to read, while copyright restrictions prevent newspapers published after 1922 from being scanned and published without permission.
As Louise Brooks' film career didn't start till 1925, the amount of material on the actress which might come to light from this project is severly limited. Nevertheless, depending on which Kansas newspapers are scanned, perhaps some tidbit related to Brooks' early life might surface. There is also hope that some articles or reviews related to Brooks' first season with the Denishawn dance company - which started in 1922 - might also be found.

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