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Chronicling America: A Guide for Researchers

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about Chronicling America.

If you have questions about Chronicling America not present on this list, please visit to contact staff in the Serial & Government Publications Division who provide assistance with our extensive newspaper collections, current periodicals, comic books, and government publications. They will respond to your question within 5 business days.

Chronicling America is sponsored by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanties (NEH), awards money to public newspaper archives in each state to digitize and deliver historic newspaper content to the Library of Congress for inclusion in Chronicling America. Cultural heritage institutions within the states apply for the NEH grants. For information on what states are contributing digitized newspapers to the program, see the NDNP Award Recipients. Eventually, the NEH will fund awards in every state and territory.

The Library of Congress contributes digitized content from Washington, DC and other significant material.

Note: Awardees may select papers to digitize within the time period eligibility of their award. All periods may not be selected or available at this time, but content representing these states and time periods may be scheduled to be added in future updates.

Chronicling America is updated regularly with additional content received from National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) awardees. NEH hosts an annual NDNP award competition, gradually increasing the content time period and the geographic representation through additional awards. Please visit Recent Additions to Chronicling America to track newly added content.

The View Text option in Chronicling America displays machine-generated text that is produced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. OCR is a fully automated process that converts the visual image of numbers and letters into computer-readable numbers and letters. Computer software can then search the OCR-generated text for words, phrases, numbers, or other characters. However, OCR is not 100 percent accurate, and, particularly if the original item has extraneous markings on the page, unusual text styles, or very small fonts, the searchable text OCR generates will contain errors that cannot be corrected by automated means. Digitization of microfilmed newspapers inherently includes a wide range of image quality in the content (quality derived from the original newspaper, the original newspaper when it was microfilmed and associated deterioration, or the film itself).

Although errors in the process are unavoidable, OCR is still a powerful tool for making text-based items accessible to searching. For example, important concept words often appear more than once within an article. Therefore, if OCR misreads one instance of a key word in a passage, but correctly reads the second instance, the passage will still be found in a full-text search.

The information that describes the newspaper titles comes directory from CONSER records that make up the Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries. Misspellings in place names are the result of typographical errors in the CONSER records and can only be corrected in the original CONSER records hosted by OCLC WorldCat. Please contact a CONSER member ( with library holdings of that title to request cataloging improvements to these records.

The Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries provides access to newspaper title records cataloged according to standard bibliographic rules. Until recently, most non-English language characters were difficult to represent in library records and so Romanization - or standard rules for transliterating other alphabets to the Roman alphabet - was used to convey phonetic pronunciations of non-English words.

Newspaper title information included in Chronicling America is downloaded at regular intervals from the CONSER (Cooperative Online Serials Cataloging) database, made available through OCLC WorldCat. In order to update or edit these records in Chronicling America, please contact a CONSER member ( with library holdings of that title to request cataloging improvements to the original CONSER/WorldCat records. For errors related to page numbers, page order, issue dates, or the digitization process in general, please use our online form to ask a librarian for help.

To recommend a newspaper title to be added to Chronicling America, please contact the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) Awardee institution corresponding to the newspaper's publishing state location. These institutions select and digitize newspapers from their state following the NDNP guidelines. For information on the NDNP guidelines for selection and digitization, see NDNP Technical Guidelines. For information on what Institutions are contributing digitized newspapers to the program, see NDNP Award Recipients.

Absolutely. Please visit to make arrangements with staff from the Serial & Government Publications Division, who provide assistance with our extensive newspaper collections, current periodicals, comic books, and government publications.