Grants are making it possible for history to be saved – digitally. Not only will it be saved from disintegrating into the past it will also be available for public access.
The grants are provided by the National Endowments for the Humanities and the Library of Congress and have been distributed for three years. Recently, more grants have been approved and Kansas will be getting more money to continue the process – but they only pick the most important publications.
“With the help of an advisory board – made up of teachers, scholars, archivists and people from the newspaper industry – we’ll select a number of titles published in Kansas prior to 1923, because those are in the public domain,” said Michael Church, digital projects coordinator for the Kansas Historical Society. “We’ll digitize those up to NHS’ and the Library Of Congress’ standards and then those will be made available through the Library Of Congress’ website.”
The website that you can go to to view these documents is Chronicling America.
“It’s a publicly supported program, free access to anyone in the world with internet access,” said Church. “The nice thing of course is that the text is digitized so it’s searchable so anyone can get on there and search either for genealogical purposes of historical purposes. The site has been up since 2005.”
32 states – including Kansas – have been involved in the program thus far.