Newspaper Digitization

Libraries are frequently the repository for historical documents and newspapers. We receive many calls from libraries that are concerned about preserving local history. One such library was Ed and Hazel Richmond Public Library in Aransas Pass. They were worried about the storage conditions of several local newspapers dating back to 1891 in a community that is just barely above sea level.

The librarian wrote, “If our area should ever experience the devastation of a major hurricane . . . then the history of our community would be lost forever.” Through a digitization grant, the folks from the Portal drove to Aransas Pass and filled six vans with those documents in late summer 2016. At the time, the publisher pointed to the sea and said “We know we’re one natural disaster away from losing everything.”

That facility flooded the following year. If not for the foresight and partnership of the library and the local publisher, it would have all been lost.

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To preserve this history and make it available to all via the Portal to Texas History, we have partnered with the University of North Texas’ Digital Newspaper Program.

Because of the tremendous success of this partnership, we now accept applications year-round. No more waiting for the next grant application deadline.

To date, Tocker grants have digitized over two million pages of newspaper.
The Portal to Texas History is a gateway to rare, historical, and primary source materials from or about Texas.