Request for Proposals--Cooperative Agreements: National Digital Newspaper Program

Laura Gottesman lgot at
Tue Jul 20 11:30:49 EDT 2004

Please excuse any cross postings:

The National Endowment for the Humanities: Division of Preservation and Access

Request for Proposals--Cooperative Agreements for Phase One of the National Digital Newspaper Program (A Partnership between NEH and the Library of Congress)


Program Overview 

·Award amount: up to $500,000 
·Deadline for submission: September 1, 2004 for letter of intent; October 1, 2004 for  receipt of applications 
·Award announcement: April 2005
·Grant period: 2 years beginning May 2005

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is soliciting proposals from institutions to participate in the development of a test bed for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). Ultimately, over a period of approximately 20 years, NDNP will create a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers from all the states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922.  This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and be freely accessible via the Internet. An accompanying national newspaper directory of bibliographic and holdings information on the website will direct users to newspaper titles available in all types of formats. LC will also digitize and contribute to the NDNP database a significant number of newspaper pages drawn from its own collections during the course of this partnership between NEH and the Library. 

NDNP will be implemented in several phases. After the completion of the test bed, the Endowment intends to support additional projects in all states and U.S. territories, provided that sufficient funds allocated for this purpose are available. One organization within each U.S. state or territory will receive an award to collaborate with relevant state partners in this effort. Previously funded projects will be eligible for continued support to digitize pages from new decades, as the program increases its chronological span. 

Successful applicants for the initial developmental phase of NDNP will select newspapers published in English within their state from 1900 through 1910 and convert, primarily from microfilm, over a period of two years, a minimum of 100,000 pages into digital files, according to the technical guidelines outlined by the Library of Congress.  Up to 20,000 of these pages may be drawn from previously digitized titles, provided that the content meets the selection criteria for the program. Awardees will also be expected to contribute to the evaluation by NEH and LC of the program's future selection criteria, the technical specifications and requirements of the program, and the effectiveness of NDNP's initial interface for browsing and searching newspaper pages. 

NDNP builds on the foundation established by an earlier NEH initiative: the United States Newspaper Program (USNP). Since 1982, the Endowment has supported a cooperative, national effort to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm American newspapers published from the 18th century to the present. NEH has funded newspaper projects in all the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. When completed in 2007, USNP will have provided bibliographic control to widely scattered newspapers and have preserved on microfilm (to consistent national standards) selected titles from this vulnerable corpus. LC has provided technical assistance for the USNP since its inception.

NEH expects to award up to ten, two-year cooperative agreements (of up to $500,000 each), depending on the availability of funds. The Guidelines for the Request for Proposals are located at: LC's technical guidelines are found at: .


	*  September 1, 2004: By this date, applicants must submit a letter indicating their intent to apply.  The letter should list the institutions that would be partners in the project as well as any consultants from other institutions or organizations that will be involved in the project's activities. 

	* October 1, 2004: Applications must be received by NEH.

For information about the application process, contact the Division of Preservation and Access at 202-606-8570 or e-mail at preservation at The postal address is: 

National Digital Newspaper Program
Division of Preservation and Access
Room 411
National Endowment for the Humanities
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
Washington, DC 20506

Hearing-impaired applicants can contact NEH via TDD at 1-866-372-2930.

All questions relating to the technical guidelines should be directed to LC staff at ndnptech at 

To obtain a print-version of the guidelines, call 202-606-8446, send an e-mail to info at, or write NEH, Office of Public Affairs, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506. 

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