World Newspaper Archive Update

The World Newspaper Archive is a collaborative effort of the Center for Research Libraries and its partner institutions to preserve and provide persistent electronic access to historical newspapers from around the globe. The program was launched in 2008 with the financial and in-kind support of CRL's member institutions.


Through a century of major, sustained investment in acquisition, documentation, and preservation, North American research libraries have amassed a large and valuable corpus of newspapers from all regions of the world. Those libraries' aggregate holdings of newspapers in paper and micro-formats constitute a body of historical and cultural evidence spanning four centuries, which is not, and could not be, replicated elsewhere. While preservation of global newspapers on microform has enjoyed sustained support in the United States and elsewhere, there is comparably little being done to capture or convert these resources into electronic format. The National Digital Newspaper Program, the flagship effort in the United States, addresses only U.S. newspaper content and is still early in its implementation. Institutions in Europe and other developed countries have begun to launch efforts to convert their own historical contents, but the scale of these efforts is daunting. The Center for Research Libraries has traditionally focused its cooperative preservation efforts on areas with less robust infrastructure in terms of preservation and digitization capacity. CRL has microfilmed news titles from Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia since 1956. Under the World Newspaper Archive effort, the Center and its affiliated member institutions intend to undertake the systematic, large scale digitization of this corpus of world newspapers and news-related materials. The World Newspaper Archive is envisioned as an ongoing, multi-year and multi-stage endeavor wherein CRL and affiliates will combine expertise and resources to digitize and make available for scholarly use their holdings of newspapers from several world regions. The first phase of the effort involves content from Latin America, starting initially with material in the public domain and extending the effort over a number of phases. Details of the effort are currently found on the CRL Web site



With the World Newspaper Archive, we hope to accomplish three things:

  1. Community Access