Brian Geiger

UCR California Digital Newspaper Collection receives grant to archive regional newspapers serving Black communities

August 30, 2023
Author: J.D. Warren
August 30, 2023

UC Riverside’s California Digital Newspaper Collection, or CDNC, has received a $321,282 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, or NEH, to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program, or NDNP, which is managed by the Library of Congress. The CDNC is one of several digital humanities projects within UCR’s Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, or CBSR.  

The grant will be used to digitize a collection of newspapers serving Black communities in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas between World War II and 1963. UCR’s project is part of the NEH initiative American Tapestry: Weaving Together Past, Present, and Future, emphasizing the role of the humanities in tackling contemporary social challenges. 

“The NEH awards provides the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research with funds to ensure that students, scholars, and the broad American public have high-quality, free-of-charge, and open access to the press archives of Black California,” said Daryle Williams, the dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. “Within the digitization of various newspapers, we have on our screens the voice, vibrancy, and turmoil of African American communities in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, from the interwar period through the Civil Rights era.” 

Brian Geiger, director of the CBSR, said this will be the first NDNP project to focus on the Black experience after World War II and “the Second Great Migration.” 

 “These papers will be invaluable resources for anyone studying 20th Century American history,” Geiger said.  

The award is among $41.3 million in grants announced in August by NEH to support 280 humanities projects nationwide. UCR’s award is one of 12 NDNP grants that will aid in digitization of local newspapers. 

The NDNP started in 2005, with UCR one of the initial participants. Past UCR digitization projects have included for pre-1923 papers such as the San Francisco Chronicle and the LA Herald; Gold-Rush Era papers; Borderland papers from Imperial County; and the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión. 

The portal for the NEH-funded digitized newspapers is Chronicling America: The CDNC, which includes millions of pages not in Chronicling America, can be searched and browsed at

Header image: Brian Geiger, director of the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, goes through boxes of old newspapers in his office on Thursday, July 14, 2022. (UCR/Stan Lim)