In August 2016 HPNL and Preservation Services received a fourth round of grant funding for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress. The grant supports the funding for the digitization of 100,000 pages of newspapers. For this cycle UIUC focused on immigrant Chicagoland-based newspapers from the late 19th century and early 20th century. As part of this project, I was tasked with producing short essays summarizing the history of two related Czech-American newspapers: Denní hlasatel (Daily Herald) and its weekly counterpart, Týdenní hlasatel (Weekly Herald). The essays were to appear in the Library of Congress powered site, Chronicling America, as well as UIUC’s newspaper portal, the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections (IDNC).
January is National Tea Month, but there is a tea for every season. Too hot? Iced tea. Feeling chilly? Warm up with a chai! What comes to mind when you hear the word tea? A warm, calming brew sipped at the end of a long day? A strongly steeped morning pick-me-up? A well-traveled, world-renowned part of your pantry? England? China? India? Nepal?
Halloween 2016 netted retail industries approximately $8.6 billion (CNN). Millions more may be factored into the season when cafes and grocers market many items labeled as “pumpkin spice.” It’s impossible to mention Halloween without invoking images of costumes, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, pumpkin smashing, witches, black cats, etc. Halloween is such a symbolic and long-standing holiday in American culture that it is worth serious consideration by historians, anthropologists, and students of folk-lore. It is the product of the migration of Western Europeans and a fusion of their traditional practices on this continent. Although it is such a historically rich festival, how is it that one of the longest-standing crafts affiliated with All Hallows Eve is that of pumpkin carving? When all is said and done, it seems a tad silly to carve a scary face into a vegetable. Patterns range from happy to scary, from eccentric to mainstream, the patterns reflecting both the skill and the whims of the carver. Why and how did this tradition of pumpkin carving emerge? That annual pilgrimage to a country-side pumpkin patch in order to select the perfect squash canvas? The answer lies with the development of Halloween as an American holiday.
As we head toward the end of summer and the hot weather garden crops arrive, roll up your sleeves and get canning! Canning is a process recommended to preserve the longevity of your garden vegetables and fruits, so they may be used during the cold winter months. It also fosters a sense of americana self-sufficiency, and acts as an industrious hobby with an end-product you may eat for months to come.
May your 4th of July celebrations have been filled with great food, people, and festivities. Independence Day is an annual event that recognizes the landmark act of rebellion which led to the establishment of the United States of America. Festivities usually include parades, fairs, cookouts, and local fireworks displays.
Newspaper digitization at the University of Illinois began in 2005, in the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library.
The idea to begin a newspaper digitization program at the University of Illinois Library originated in 2004, while Professor Mary Stuart was developing a plan to merge the History & Philosophy Library with the Newspaper Library, to form a single unit: the History, Philosophy, & Newspaper Library (HPNL). As part of the proposed merger, the Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) would be brought under the umbrella of the new unit, with Stuart becoming the project’s Principal Investigator. While developing the proposal for the new unit, Stuart imagined that newspaper digitization would be a logical outgrowth of the INP. To lay the groundwork for this future program, Stuart created the position of Research Information Specialist for the new unit. One of the responsibilities of the Research Information Specialist would be to provide technical support for the unit’s newspaper digitization program.