Wednesday, February 3, 2010

North Carolina Newspapers Digitization Project

The North Carolina State Archives has recently completed the North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project, which now makes available papers that were previously only available on microfilm. The online collection can be browsed or searched by keyword, year, or newspaper title; an advanced search is also available. Several lesson plans for teachers have been provided through a collaboration with Learn NC. The newspapers in the collection range from the earliest paper published in North Carolina, the North Carolina Gazette in 1751, to the 1890s, and includes titles from the following cities: Edenton (1787-1801), Fayetteville (1798-1795), Hillsboro (1786), New Bern (1751-1804), Salisbury (1799-1898), and Wilmington (1765-1816).

Newspapers document a wide range of social, political, and cultural events, and the North Carolina collection is no exception. Among the 23,483 images currently digitized can be found many topics related to medicine and the history of health. For example, a search on malaria yields 438 items; cancer, 295 items; consumption, 1283 items; syphilis, 119 items; mesmerism, 15 items; and headache, 943 items.

The project was funded by an LSTA grant provided by the State Library of North Carolina, and provides a valuable historical resource for the state.

Note: The newspaper pictured above is the Wilmington Gazette, from November 6, 1800.

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