Howard University Receives $2 Million To Digitize Its Black Newspaper Archive

Howard University Receives $2 Million To Digitize Its Black Newspaper Archive

Howard University has received a $2 million donation to digitize a collection of Black newspaper archives, making it more accessible.

According to a university release, Howard’s Black press archives date back to the 1970s and contains more than 200 titles from newspapers in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Benjamin Talton, the director of Howard’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, which holds the archives,  said the bulk of the collection has largely been hidden from the public for several reasons. For starters, only a small percentage of the collection has been microfilmed and many of the physical copies are old and fragile.

“Once digitized, Howard’s Black Press Archive will be the largest, most diverse, and the world’s most accessible Black newspaper database,” Talton told ABC News.

The $2 million for the archives was provided by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation with the help of Howard University’s Center for Journalism & Democracy. The foundation has donated to many social justice causes in journalism and the arts.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and 1619 Project co-author Nikole Hannah-Jones said it is extremely important to have access to Black newspapers to get a better sense of the past and to potentially tell Black stories that were kept from or ignored by mainstream media at the time.

“Documenting and telling our stories has always served as a source of truth and power for the Black community in the United States and across the African diaspora,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick said.

“The Black Press Archives is a unique and deeply important resource for Howard University faculty and students as well as the broader research community. We are very pleased to receive the support of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation to digitize the archives–an important milestone that advances Howard’s mission to share the story of the Black experience with the world.”