Selling Your Digitization Project

Here you will find a number of resources meant to help you in your communications with prospective donors and grant applications. We have provided text that will help explain the mission and work of ONDP in an impassioned voice. Also, you will find possible grants that are relevant for funding newspaper digitization projects.

Selling Your Digitization Project 

These are a few paragraphs on different aspects of the value of ODNP digitization and how it can impact Oregonians. 

Why Newspapers? 

Newspapers are the first draft of history. To understand the history of Oregon and how Oregonians reacted to the events of the state and world, historic newspapers are our main source of documentary evidence of early Oregon life and events. With the great diversity in the number and types of newspapers on the Historic Oregon Newspapers website, the citizens of Oregon and the greater public have access to stories from across Oregon history, most notably at the local level. By having access to digitized newspapers, readers not only have access to the articles in these publications, but photos, illustrations, and advertisements that can further educate the public about the history of Oregon. 

Why Digitization? 

Digitizing historic Oregon newspapers guarantees unparalleled, high-quality access to this resource for the public. Being open access and free to the public, all digitized newspapers can be accessed from any web browser. These resources would be available to researchers, authors, local museums, genealogists, and any interested person, as well as K-12 teachers to bring into the classroom with the ODNP Lesson Plans. The high quality images allow for reading and analysis of all aspects of the newspaper, from the articles, photographs, illustrations, and advertisements. Most importantly, our digitization software allows keyword searches across all digitized newspapers, taking off hours if not days of work of scrolling through the original microfilm. Moreover, the University of Oregon, the sponsor of ODNP, preserves and archives the digitized images and text in perpetuity.  

Why Oregon Digital Newspaper Program? 

The Oregon Digital Newpaper Program is the only established newspaper digitization program in the state. With dedicated University of Oregon staff and a robust digitization unit and program, infrastructure and support for the digitization of newspapers is in place and ongoing. The program charges only for digitization cost recovery and makes no profit off of funds gathered for digitization projects. Like the mission of the University of Oregon Libraries and its other preservation efforts, ODNP strives to provide public resources for the benefit of all Oregonians.  

Why are Funds Needed? 

Although the University of Oregon strives to keep their digitization fees low, some financial assistance is needed for staff, equipment, and storage costs. The University of Oregon Libraries do not have the funding or resources to dedicate staff to continually digitize the backlog of undigitized newspaper titles. Self-funding is essential for incrementally creating greater access to these resources for the public. By funding this digitization project, the collection of Oregon newspapers can best serve as a valuable educational and research tool of Oregon history. 

Example Abstract for Digitization Project* 

The (organization name) seeks $___ to complete our digitization project of the historic (newspaper title). The (organization name) wants to help provide the residents of (locality), Oregon, and the United States access to the rich history in the pages of the (newspaper title) from (date range). The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program offers digitization services for cost only, to make their collection of historic Oregon newspapers open access for the public. These newspapers are an invaluable source of historic information for Oregon that are currently only accessible in microfilm on the University of Oregon campus. By digitizing the (newspaper title), this resource will become free to access from any web browser, offering the public unparalleled access to Oregon and (locality) history and heritage. (Organization name) wants to open up this resource to (why are you passionate about this project?). With funding, (organization name) can pay for the ODNP to add the (newspaper title) to the queue of newspaper digitization and once complete the (newspaper title) will be added to the Historic Oregon Newspaper database for all to access. 

*This may not be the best format for your project’s abstract. Write your abstract after writing your grant so you have the clearest idea of what the project is and how to describe it in a clear and moving way. This is meant to be a starting point if you are unsure what details might be the most important in your grant application. 

The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program Blog 

If you are in need of examples of the kinds of newspapers, stories, and history that can be found in historic Oregon newspapers, look to the ODNP Blog. We have numerous blog posts on the latest digitization projects, highlights of the collection, and examples of lesson plans that utilize our newspaper resources.

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