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More than 200 MT cities’ old newspapers will be digitalized through two new programs



Montana – Two new digitization projects have been started by the Montana Historical Society (MTHS) to increase accessibility to old Montana newspapers. The projects will enable the public to easily access their collection of historical newspapers online for no cost.

Among the historical Montana newspapers that will be accessible are the three 1920 issues of the Haxville Democrate and some of the state’s oldest publications, like 150 years’ worth of digital editions of The Madisonian from Virginia City.

The initial initiative will make more than 100,000 pages of newspapers available to the public and is funded by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). These pages feature content from all throughout the state, including Montanan municipalities that are on or close to reservations.

This will be MTHS’s seventh time receiving a grant from NDNP to take part in their program. It is a component of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress collaboration to conserve and make publicly available historical American newspapers.

The project was led by Library Manager Dan Karalus. “We just finished it, and it includes newspapers from Browning, Harlem, Hot Springs, and Poplar, marking the first time that papers from these towns are accessible and searchable online.”

On its “Chronicling America” website, the Library of Congress has almost 400,000 pages of old Montana newspapers.

The second initiative, which is a collaboration between and MTHS, aims to digitize more than 5,000 microfilm reels including newspapers from more than 200 towns and communities in Montana.

The MTHS offers a free Public Access Portal that lets people browse approximately 2.5 million pages of old Montana newspaper articles. The majority of the content on the website comes from Chronicling America, freshly digitized newspapers in the public domain, and content imported from the MTHS Montana Newspapers website.

When the Montana Newspapers website is eventually replaced by the MTHS portal, which is scheduled to go down in early 2024, significant cost savings will result.

With the help of these projects, the MTHS Library & Archives’ Onsite Portal will provide users with access to over 650 titles and over 12 million newspaper pages. When the MTHS Reference Room reopens in 2025, the Onsite Portal will be accessible in person.

To see the Chronicling America documents online and gain access to the Public Access Portal, click this link right now.

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