Today’s news items are usually outdated by the time their headlines appear in print. But now, really old news — news that appeared in publications from 1860-1922 — is getting a facelift. At least, in South Carolina.
The University of South Carolina just received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize 100,000 pages of old South Carolina newsprint. They will make the hallowed sheets available through a database in the Library of Congress, hopefully by 2011, Kate Boyd, digital collections librarian, told the Charleston Post and Courier on Tuesday. She said the University plans to launch the Digital Newspaper Project with 15 to 18 publications to bring a variety of historically relevant content to South Carolina communities.
Even more encouraging is that these ancient print editions still exist somewhere (presumably in a dark basement, but still), waiting to be read again. But when their crumpled pages cross the technological threshold and find a new home on the web, it’s probably only a matter of time until the real versions are thrown down a new-media-slicked chute.