The University Library has just announced it has completed Phase II in its project to digitize Charlottesville’s Daily Progress newspaper and make all issues through 1964 viewable online in Virgo, the Library’s catalog.
Phase I came about when Bradley Daigle—at the time the Library’s director of digital curation services—found an enthusiastic ally in Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) director John Halliday. Both were interested digitizing microfilm copies of the heavily used resource. JMRL provided most of the funding for the project, and UVA provided the microfilm and staff, sending 60,000 images to a vendor for digitizing. Daily Progress Issues from 1892–1923 went online in January of 2013.
Phase II began when Daigle discovered through research at the Library of Congress that the Progress’ output from 1924 through 1964 was in the public domain, and therefore free of copyright restrictions. He brought Emerging Technologies librarian Jenn Huck into the project, and she had the material prepped and sent to be digitized by the Crowley digital production company. When the images came back, UVA’s Digital Collections Librarian Jocelyn Triplett and her team took on the task of mounting them and making them viewable online. Mike Durbin and Lou Foster made a final push, and researchers may now access a valuable source of Charlottesville history without endlessly scrolling through reels of microfilm.
Researchers can now navigate the database from the main screen in Virgo, clicking individual years, months and issues. You click the issue’s thumbnail to show all the pages, which you can then enlarge to read; set a “Default Zoom” and use keyboard arrows to go to the next or previous page. You may also navigate the site using the “Browse Collection” box on the left side of the screen.
According to Bradley Daigle, “it’s been a living project, which is the fun part about it.” Over the years, many library personnel—some now retired, or who have moved on to other opportunities—worked to bring the project to a successful conclusion. In addition to Daigle, Huck, and Triplett, significant contributions came from Ivey Glendon, Elizabeth Margutti, Anne Benham, Irene Norvelle, Barbie Selby, Andrew Curley, Mike Durbin, Lou Foster, and Rob Cordaro.