The Alabama Digital Newspaper Project (ALDNP) is now accepting nominations for newspapers from Alabama’s cultural heritage institutions to be digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). All Alabama cultural heritage institutions – primarily libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies – are invited to nominate newspapers on microfilm held in their collections.

The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections (UALSC) has participated in the NDNP, digitizing and providing free access to Alabama newspapers, since 2018. Digitized newspapers are made available via Chronicling America, the NDNP’s digital newspaper database.


Newspapers nominated should contribute to the wealth of Alabama cultural, economic, and political history, and possess research value in areas such as regional, statewide, national, or world history from an Alabama perspective. Please note the distinction between newspapers and newsletters, as we are unable to digitize the latter. Newspapers are publications aggregating a range of timely news. Newsletters promote the mission or agenda of an organization or group.

Eligible newspapers

Newspapers nominated for digitization:

  • Must be available on microfilm
  • Must have been published prior to 1964
  • Must be free of copyright restriction (note: issues published before 1928 are in the public domain)
  • Must not already be freely available online*

*Exceptions will be considered if prior digitization of the nominated title does not meet NDNP technical or open-source criteria.

Technical Considerations

Titles may not meet all of the technical criteria below. However, preference will be given to microfilm that allows us to best meet NDNP standards for digitization:

  • Second-generation “print master” microfilm (as opposed to a service copy)
  • Film with negative polarity (polarity will be inverted during digitization)
  • Film with limited wear, including little-to-no scratching, tearing, warping

Nomination Process

Your institution can nominate your newspaper through a web form or via email.

The nomination form has sections for general information, eligibility, technical information, description of newspaper, and an essay portion. Essays should be 500 words or fewer. Essays should explain the historical importance and research value of the nominated newspaper and why the public would benefit from online access to it.

Nominations will be reviewed by Alabama Digital Newspaper Project staff.

Selected Titles

Nominations must be submitted by March 1, 2024. Winning nominations will be digitized and made freely available to all researchers through Chronicling America and the University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections. An additional preservation microfilm copy will also be created. The additional microfilm reel(s) will be sent to the Library of Congress for permanent retention.

If your nomination is chosen, it will be the responsibility of the cultural heritage institution to ship the microfilm reel(s) to the University of Alabama. ALDNP staff will assess the reels and prepare them for digitization. Reels will then be sent to a vendor for digitization. The holding institution must understand that, if selected, their material will be out of their collection for up to one year. Microfilm reels will be held in a secure, preservation-friendly location onsite for the duration of the grant. Retaining the film for this period allows us, if necessary, to quickly conduct re-scans of content to ensure we capture to best images possible.

If you have any questions about the opportunity or application, please email UA’s NDNP Project Manager, David Ferrara, at

Ready to nominate? Access the web form.