The Penn State University Libraries agreed to serve as a cataloging site for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project. It was determined that two staff would need to be hired to complete the work – 1 FTE cataloger and 1 FTE field survey librarian. It was estimated that the field work would take 3,000 miles of travel at $.25 per mile; 18 nights of lodging and meals at $23.00 per day. University Libraries Assistant Dean Barbara Smith would serve as project coordinator. Since the Penn State University Libraries was a tape-loading member of OCLC, the keyboarding of cataloging worksheets generated at Penn State would be handled elsewhere.


A $312,418 NEH grant application was submitted by David Hoffman, Director of Library Services at the State Library on behalf of the Commonwealth to inventory and catalog the newspapers of Pennsylvania as part of the United States Newspaper Program.

NEH reported to the State Library that they would not fund the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project proposal for July 1 but recommended re-submission for the October 1 funding cycle.


The Pennsylvania Newspaper Steering Committee met to consider what to look for in examining microfilm, to discuss cataloging procedures, and to review responses to NEH reviewer comments about Pennsylvania’s application. Committee member Ruth Carter distributed copies of the cataloger’s worksheets and examples of OCLC entries and a list of fields required for each entry.


The Library of Congress sent the State Library a list of Pennsylvania titles currently on the CONSER database.

The Pennsylvania Newspaper Steering Committee met where Ruth Carter distributed the ‘Report on Newspaper Cataloging Test’ conducted at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to recommending cataloging entry field changes, the report suggested that the cataloging worksheets be modified to be a 4-page form: two pages for cataloging data, one page for holdings information and one page for a condition report. At this meeting attendees were reminded that the creation of catalog records will be “a very slow process” if the catalogers are also responsible for the information on the holdings for the copy from which cataloging is done.

Penn State University Libraries signed an agreement with the State Library of Pennsylvania to participate in the Project to inventory and catalog Pennsylvania newspapers.

The University of Pittsburgh Hillman Library signed an agreement with the State Library of Pennsylvania to participate in the Program to inventory and catalog Pennsylvania newspapers.

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania signed an agreement with the State Library of Pennsylvania to participate in the Project to inventory and catalog Pennsylvania newspapers.


NEH awarded the State Library an outright grant of $200,000 to inventory and catalog newspapers published in Pennsylvania and out-of-state papers held in Pennsylvania libraries, historical societies, publishers’ files and other collections for 1985 and 1986.

Note: An additional $112,419 would need to be raised in Pennsylvania to earn the full NEH grant of $312,419 (funds were to be matched on a 3:1 basis).

$30,000 was appropriated by the General Assembly for the project as part of the match requirement.

It was officially announced that cataloging sites would be established at the State Library, the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. These sites were to gather and catalog newspapers held in south central, southwestern and southeastern Pennsylvania during the life of the two-year grant.

It was officially announced that one-year cataloging sites would be established at the Pennsylvania State University and at libraries in northeastern and northwestern Pennsylvania, yet to be identified.

The United States Newspaper Program’s Guidelines “Input of Holdings into OCLC” and OCLC’s “Profiling Guidelines for the U.S. Newspaper Program” were distributed to the State Library and to each of the regional cataloging sites.

Members of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project Advisory Committee were named to work with the State Library during the cataloging phase.


Penn State University Libraries advertised for two one-year non-renewable faculty appointments; appointments to begin January 1, 1985.

State Library agreed to pay for cataloging training for all sites’ cataloging staff.


Penn State University Libraries hired Sue Kellerman and Becky Wilson to serve as the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project staff at Penn State. Project staff began work on January 2, 1985.

Penn State Project staff office space was secured in the Steelworker’s Annex, room W308 Pattee Library. It was noted in a memo dated December 13, 1984 from Barbara Smith to Dean Stuart Forth that “it is essential that these women have a telephone” in their office, and to “make arrangements for [its] installation as soon as possible.”

It was decided that the Project “could work best if the largest collections were cataloged first,” according to David Hoffman’s 1986 article in Serials Librarian. Hoffman further noted in his article “that even if the largest collections were entered, it would be necessary for us to spend considerable time in the field because not even the State Library or the Historical Society of Pennsylvania claimed more than about 20% of the universe of Pennsylvania titles.”



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