National Endowment for the Humanities grant highlights diversity, representation in digitized newspapers

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and the University of Arizona Libraries have been awarded a $290,988 National Digital Newspaper Program grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 100,000 pages of historical Arizona newspapers. 

This is the fifth NEH grant awarded to LAPR, and the third grant awarded in partnership with UArizona Libraries.

One highlight of the project involves digitizing additional Arizona newspapers published from the 1890s to the 1960s by diverse and historically underrepresented communities.

Spanish-language newspapers from the Arizona-Mexico borderlands, newspapers published by and for the African American community in Tucson, and newspapers from mining and agricultural communities throughout the state will be included.

“Historical newspapers are a valuable tool for researchers to learn about the cultural, economic, and political concerns of Arizona communities,” said State Librarian Holly Henley. “We are grateful to partner with University of Arizona Libraries once again to make these resources accessible to all who share our interest in Arizona history.”

Local newspaper coverage and perspectives of major U.S. and world events that shaped early-to-mid-twentieth century history–from the Great Depression and the construction of the Hoover Dam to World War II and the Bracero Program–will be freely available online. 

Mary Feeney
Mary Feeney

The newspapers will be added to 500,000 pages that have been digitized by LAPR and the University Libraries and are accessible through Chronicling America, a website hosted by the Library of Congress that provides information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and the Arizona Memory Project, an LAPR-hosted website that provides access to primary sources in Arizona archives, museums, libraries, and other cultural institutions.    

“Newspapers give us all an opportunity to see how our communities have grown and changed,” said Mary Feeney, UArizona librarian and the grant project’s co-principal investigator.

“I’m excited that by digitizing historical newspapers, including early 1920s issues of Tucson’s El Fronterizo, the Brewery Gulch Gazette published in Bisbee, and many others, we’re playing an important role in exploring the story of Arizona.”


About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

About the Arizona State Library
A division of the Secretary of State, the State Library of Arizona provides trustworthy, reliable, and authoritative information and offers research assistance, online access, training, and meeting spaces. To learn more, visit

About the University of Arizona Libraries
Established in 1891, the University of Arizona Libraries are enterprising partners in advancing the University of Arizona’s priorities. We cultivate an environment that promotes inquiry, creative endeavor, scholarly communication, and lifelong learning. Our resources, services and expertise enrich the lives of Arizonans, and contribute to an expanding global academic community. For more information, visit

National Endowment for the Humanities logo, Arizona State Library logo, UA Libraries logo