The LSU Libraries has been awarded a $400,000 grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents for the project, “Louisiana Historical Newspapers: Preservation and Access.” Our partners in this project are the libraries at McNeese State University and Louisiana State University -Shreveport. Faye Phillips and Elaine Smyth are the Project Investigators.
In October 1941 the Louisiana Historical Records Survey of the United States Works Projects Administration (WPA) surveyed extant newspapers in Louisiana’s libraries, newspaper offices, museums, and courthouses and recommended that the newspapers be microfilmed for preservation purposes. This was the impetus for the LSU Library to begin its Louisiana newspaper microfilming program in 1945, when it started producing archival microfilm of all extant Louisiana newspapers. Today the LSU Libraries continues to create archival microfilm of current Louisiana newspapers, which in 2004 included 94 titles and totaled 69,870 feet of microfilm, thus providing a vital information resource for the study of Louisiana and its history. The funds requested in this proposal will provide the equipment necessary to 1) continue the indispensable archival microfilming work of the Louisiana Newspaper Project; 2) develop enhanced Internet access to Louisiana newspapers via the Louisiana Newspaper Access Program (LaNeAP); and 3) enhance significantly the ability of the LSU Libraries and its partners, McNeese and LSU-S, to provide on-demand, user-driven digital and physical access to existing microfilm of newspapers through the use of both digital and standard microfilm reading technology.