The Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project is a collaboration between the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries and the library system at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. It receives funding support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for Florida and Puerto Rico’s involvement in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). The NDNP is a long-term effort between the NEH and the Library of Congress to create Chronicling America, a national, text-searchable database of historical newspapers published in the U.S. and its territories between 1836 and 1922. The main purpose of this database is to preserve and increase accessibility to historical newspapers. This webinar will provide a brief overview of our project, the digitization process, and an overview of the content. A demonstration of the contents and functionality of Chronicling America will follow to showcase how this resource is of great value to historians of all ages.


Original broadcast September 26, 2016 

Biography ~ Melissa Espino
Melissa Espino is the Project Coordinator for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project. Espino is currently responsible for all the day-to-day activities for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project, which includes all technical and administrative activities related to the digitizing of the selected newspapers, maintaining communication with the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, project vendors and the Library of Congress, as well as overseeing and assisting with outreach activities and publicity efforts. Espino received a BA in Criminology as well as an MS in Forensic DNA & Serology at UF. Espino has been employed in the Smathers Libraries at UF for eight years in various departments including Access Support in their Interlibrary Loan and Course Reserves department, as well as for the Circulation Department as acting supervisor for overnight hours.

Biography ~ Sarah “Moxy” Moczygemba
Sarah “Moxy” Moczygemba is the outreach and promotion assistant for the Florida and Puerto Rico Digital Newspaper Project. In addition to managing the project’s social media and blog, she also provides outreach to educators to help them integrate Chronicling America and associated resources into K-12 and university classrooms. Moxy is also a Religious Studies Doctoral Student at the University of Florida in the field of Religion and the Americas. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Religious Studies from Trinity University in 2009 and received her M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Florida in 2013. Currently, she is in the beginning stages of dissertation research, and is exploring transnational religious tourism and ethnic identity by looking at the Silesian Polish Catholic experience in Texas.