October 23, 2017
WRITER: Jean Cleveland, email@example.com, 706-542-8079
CONTACT: Sheila McAlister, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-542-5418
Digital Library Hits 1 Million Newspaper Pages
ATHENS, Ga — The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) is celebrating its 1 millionth digitized historic newspaper page. The premier issue of the Georgia Gazette, Georgia’s first newspaper, published from 1763-1776 in Savannah, will become the 1 millionth page of historic newspapers to be made freely available online through the Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN): https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/lccn/sn83016182/1763-04-07/ed-1/seq-1/. James Johnston, the first printer in Georgia, published the state’s first newspaper issue on April 7, 1763.
Public libraries around the state are being provided with printed materials, including bookmarks, rack cards, and temporary tattoos, as well as a freely downloadable digital press kit to encourage local celebrations of the milestone.
The online press kit, available at https://sites.google.com/view/ghn-presskits, will include:
- A curriculum guide for educational/ library programming with GHN;
- A PowerPoint slide deck template for creating presentations on how to use the GHN web site;
- A DLG “Quick Facts” document with information about the DLG, its public library partners, communication channels, and our historic newspaper milestones;
- A selection of prepared GHN-related posts that can be shared on social media; and
- A Millionth Page badge graphic to share within posts on social media
The DLG will promote its millionth page with weekly social media posts that feature items from our digitized newspapers, and will conduct a contest with Facebook users who share our millionth page social media posts and tag us. Two winners will be drawn at random, and awarded a copy of UGA Press’ book For Free Press and Equal Rights by Richard H. Abbott.
Sheila McAlister, director of the DLG, remarks: “Making Georgia’s first newspaper freely available online is the perfect way for us to celebrate this important milestone. Historic newspapers reflect the social and cultural values of the time that they were created and are invaluable to scholars and the general public. With the help of our partners, we will continue add more of this sought-after content.”
Since 2007, the DLG has been providing access to the state’s historic newspapers through multiple online city and regional newspaper archives. With the launch of the GHN in July 2017, the DLG continues that tradition by bringing together new and existing resources into a single, consolidated website.
The GHN includes some of the state’s earliest newspapers; important African-American, Roman Catholic, and Cherokee newspapers; and issues from Atlanta, Augusta, Butler, Columbus, Dublin, Fayetteville, Houston county, Louisville, Sandersville, Thomson, Walker county, Waycross, and Waynesboro. All previously digitized newspapers are scheduled to be incorporated into the new GHN platform. Until that time, users may continue to access the existing regional and city sites (North, South, West Georgia, Athens, Macon, and Savannah). Historic newspaper pages are consistently the most visited of any DLG sites, and the GHN provides newspaper issues that are full-text searchable and able to be browsed by date and title.
Most recently, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Digital Library of Georgia a National Digital Newspaper Program grant to digitize 100,000 additional pages of Georgia historic newspapers over the next two years. Annually, DLG digitizes over 100,000 historic newspaper pages with funding from GALILEO, Georgia Public Library Service, and its partners and microfilms more than 200 current newspapers.
Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ is a GALILEO initiative that collaborates with Georgia’s libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions of education and culture to provide access to key information resources on Georgia history, culture, and life. This primary mission is accomplished through the ongoing development, maintenance, and preservation of digital collections and online digital library resources. DLG also serves as Georgia’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America and as the home of the Georgia Newspaper Project, the state’s historic newspaper microfilming project.