Big changes are coming to the North Carolina Newspapers collection on DigitalNC. We are hard at work on migrating the papers to new software that will provide a more reliable and user-friendly way for everyone to search and browse our growing collection of historic North Carolina papers online.
Over the past couple of years we have heard from many users who expressed frustration with our newspaper collection. There have been regular reports of images not appearing, pages loading slowly, and especially inconsistent keyword highlighting in search results. We have explored several alternatives for presenting the papers online and have talked with colleagues at newspaper collections at libraries around the country. We wanted to make sure that we chose an alternative presentation that could handle a lot of content (we have over 200,000 pages online now and that number is rapidly growing) and make the content available in a quick and easy-to-use online interface.
Beginning this summer, we will begin presenting our collection of historic newspapers using the Library of Congress Newspaper Viewer. This software, developed by the Library of Congress, is used for their Chronicling America collection of historic papers and is also being used by the Historic Oregon Newspapers project and a few others around the country.
We will make every effort to make this transition as smooth as possible. The address for the main page for each newspaper title (for example: http://www.digitalnc.org/newspapers/courier-asheboro-nc/) will remain the same, but URLs for specific newspaper issues and pages will change. And for those users who have not used Chronicling America, it will take a little getting used to the new interface. However, we would not go through all this effort unless we were certain that it would result in a better overall experience for our users. Newspapers make up the largest collection on DigitalNC and we are committed to continuing to provide access to these fascinating and important materials. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com at any time with any questions or concerns.