Glossary of Terms

A Glossary

Box Labels (for microfilm – Box-top label and Flat-side label) The Pennsylvania Newspaper Project developed a standard labeling schema to be applied for each box of microfilm produced for the Project.  The Box-top label contained the generic name of the newspaper title while the Flat-side label named each specific newspaper title, the span of years filmed, the reel number and the microfilm producer’s address. 


Cataloging is the process of listing information to describe a particular item.  In the case of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project, cataloging consisted of the process of describing a newspaper by looking at an original paper copy  and noting specific information about the paper which would then be added to the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) catalog.  A printed cataloging workform was completed for each title not already on OCLC (see Workform).  Piles of workforms were carried to each site visit and were partially filled-out on site.   Workforms were typically finalized weeks or months after the site visit before being sent to the University of Pittsburgh’s Project staff to be entered on OCLC.

The chief source of information for a newspaper is the title page, also known as the masthead or banner found on the first published issue of the newspaper.  Failing to find the first published issue, the chief source of information would come from the first issue available.

From the masthead of a newspaper, the following information is found:

B Glossary Democratic Whig Bellefonte pic 5 snippetAdditional information noted for each newspaper included the name of the publisher (taken from the publisher’s statement found in the paper); the physical dimensions of paper – its height measured in centimeters; the frequency of publication; the publication dates – beginning date and ending date for the title; the geographic coverage of the newspaper’s content – listing county and city or town; and any notes about the paper.  For instance, a note was added when the beginning and/or the ending dates were obtained from a source other than the first or last issues.

The completed OCLC catalog record of the Democratic Whig (Bellefonte, Pa.)

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Cataloging StatisticsThe Project’s cataloging statistics consisted of adding together new catalog records and new local data records (holdings) that were created plus the number of existing catalog records that were updated.  The total number was submitted each month to the State Library and to the Technical Coordinator of the United States Newspaper Program.   

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Condition Report (of newspapers) – For each newspaper found and holdings data collected, a Condition Report was completed (found on page two of the Local Data Record Worksheet).  For paper copies, if the newspapers were bound in volumes, the physical condition of the bindings was noted as well as the flexibility of the paper and the general coloration of the newsprint.   Newspapers on microfilm were examined to determine microfilm polarity (positive or negative), type of film stock used (sliver, diazo or vesicular), filming reduction ratio, ease of reading and the name of the microfilm producer.

CONSER – Cooperative Serials Program of the PCC (Program for Cooperative Cataloging), an authoritative source for bibliographic records, documentation, and training materials for serials cataloging. Working together, CONSER members ensure the uniformity and accuracy of descriptive records entered into the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) database for serial publications, such as journals, newspapers, and other materials published on a periodic basis.

Prior to entry into the OCLC database, bibliographic (cataloging) records must be “authenticated” by an approved CONSER site.  Only libraries with this approval may enter serials records into OCLC.

Correspondence – except for telephone calls, all communications were conducted via letters or written memos, which made up the Correspondence Files.  Letters were used to identify newspaper titles and holdings information, to explain the Project, to set up site visits, arrange meetings, as “thank-you” letters, to obtain accessibility agreements, and a host of other matters.  Email was still on the distant horizon.


PaNP Daily Journals documenting the daily activities of the Project Team, January 2, 1985 – February 26, 1988.

Daily JournalsA daily summary of Project activities was recorded in a notebook written primarily by Sue Kellerman, Project cataloging librarian.  These daily entries chronicled everything “project-related” from the routine in-house office activities of phone calls made, meetings attended, correspondence received, letter writing, answering reference questions, researching newspaper histories and cataloging newspaper titles to documenting each site visit made by the Project Team in 30 counties.  Details of the site visits included travel itineraries, people, and institutions visited along with all the discoveries and adventures experienced.  Eleven daily journals exist covering the period January 2, 1985 to February 26, 1988. Excerpts from these Daily Journals appear throughout the web resource.

DHs – Detailed  Holdings – Broad holdings (not to be confused with “Holdings Lists” – below) – this cataloging term refers to the process of recording newspaper holdings (date span held) regardless of format (paper, microfilm) for all copies found at each site or location visited.  Composite holdings specific to each site or location were reported on a worksheet and entered in the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) catalog.

The act of “checking” detailed holdings was an activity completed prior to each site visit.  The Project cataloging librarian searched OCLC for existing title-specific “detailed holdings” to determine what newspaper titles and date span for each title were held by an institution.  Finding partial, incorrect or no holdings listed meant that “detailed holdings” would then need to be verified, updated or recorded for the first time during the site visit.

Electronic Mail – a very early version of “email” was in its nascent stages.  Always wanting to be on the cutting edge, the Penn State Team explored possibilities for using this amazing new technology!

“Finds” and “Needs”see Needs” and “Finds” Lists

FormsA variety of forms were created by Pennsylvania Newspaper Project staff to collect data and information on newspaper titles, holdings, condition, acknowledging receipts of letters, etc.  For a full list of forms used throughout the Project. 

E Glossary Call in Sheet

“Telephone” Call-In form used to record holdings information.

F Glossary letter 2 p3

Survey form used when requesting specific holdings information.

Form used to collect cataloging data through the mail or by telephone

Form used to collect cataloging data through the mail or by telephone

Hand-held Microfilm Viewer Used for viewing reels of microfilm out in the field.  Not all institutions with microfilm had microfilm reading machines in working order.  Microfilm cannot be read with the naked eye.  Information on purchasing a hand-held viewer was distributed as part of the Project Team’s “preservation packet.  See Preservation Materials/Information Packet.

Hand-held microfilm reader for use on site visits

Hand-held microfilm reader for use on site visits

“Help, Help, Help” List – this in-house generated handout listed newspaper titles that the Project Team was particularly anxious to find.  Often these title lists would be distributed to attendees who attended our Slide Show Presentation about the Project.

Holdings Lists (aka “Comprehensive List”, “Titles List” or “List of Holdings”) – These phrases were used in several ways:

1)  They could refer to titles we presumed were held by a repository such as a historical society, newspaper publisher, or library or by an individual, based on the Survey response forms returned to us when we asked what newspaper titles they owned.

2)  Following a site visit, on many occasions the repository or individual would ask us to provide them with a comprehensive list of titles and holdings that we found in their collections.  For many, this would be the first time a complete inventory was done of their newspapers.  This would be mailed to them from our Office, following the site visit.

The phrase “holdings” differs from the “DHs” listed above, which represent the confirmed newspaper titles and date span owned (holdings) by a specific institution and added to the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) catalog.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) – is a process by which one library borrows resources for a user from another library.  The Penn State Project staff developed a computer management file called the “Sites” file to record and track each institution or private collector participating in the Project.  These files were shared with the State Library Project staff so they could have access to holder’s information for future ILL purposes. 

Sample of the "Site file" developed by the Penn State Project staff using PowerBase software.

Sample of the “Site file” developed by the Penn State Project staff using PowerBase software.

LC (The Library of Congress) The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.   The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.  The Library of Congress partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide technical assistance for the United States Newspaper Project.

Completed Bradford Republican (Towanda, Pa.) Local Data Record, Condition Report and notes from collecting holdings while in the field.

Completed Bradford Republican (Towanda, Pa.) Local Data Record, Condition Report and notes from collecting holdings while in the field.

LDRs (Local Data Records) – In addition to “cataloging” or describing each newspaper title found (see Cataloging), holdings (date spans) for each title were also recorded, known as local data records.  Both the cataloging record and the holdings (LDRs) were added to the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) catalog.  Piles of Local Data Record Worksheets were carried on each site visit and filled-out on site.   The LDRs would represent the official inventory of titles found at any institution or private collector’s home. 

The Local Data Record Worksheet was used to record the newspaper holdings (issues or volumes) at any given institution or individual.  A sheet was completed for each newspaper title found.

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Page 2 of the Local Data Record Worksheet was used to record the condition of the newspaper.  If paper, details were given on how stable the newsprint was.  If on microfilm, the type and composition were given.

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Page 3 of the Local Data Record Worksheet was the Newspaper Microfilming Score Sheet.  The data recorded on this form was completed by the Project Team based on their inventorying work and from conversations with contacts in the field.  Notes regarding the physical condition of the newspaper, its accessibility, research importance and names of local community members were recorded.  Typically the Project Team would use their best persuasive skills to have a newspaper title microfilmed if so warranted. 

M Glossary Newpaper Project Microfilming SCORE Sheet  Dec 4 2012

Letters and Survey Questionnaires – Four different follow-up letters were sent out by the Project Team throughout the duration of the Project.

Cover Letters and Survey Forms included:

Letter #1:

  • Follow-up letter to verify holdings (2nd contact)
  • Survey requesting specific holdings information
  • Instructions for filling out the survey

Letter #2:

  • Follow-up letter to sites who did not respond to original survey
  • Survey requesting number of newspaper titles

  Letter #3:

  • Letter sent to newly identified institutions (1st contact)
  • Survey requesting number of newspapers titles

Letter #4:

  • Letter sent to newly indentified private collectors (1st contact)
  • Survey requesting titles

LIAS – Penn State’s Library Information Access System (LIAS), which included the CAT (the University Libraries’ online catalog).  Project librarians at the Penn State Site regularly scheduled times for searching the OCLC database in the Catalog/Technical Services Department prior to receiving a computer in their office at West 308.

Master Card File – also referred to as “Master File of Institutions and Addresses”, this was a 4 x 6 comprehensive card file of all contacts made throughout the Project. 

The Card file included names of individuals in the field for all sites, as well as phone numbers, addresses, directions, secondary contacts, brief notes regarding newspaper holdings (collections), storage conditions, and other pertinent information. 

Added to this would be dates for site visits, phone calls made, and follow-up information, e.g., “thank-you” letters written.

The file was arranged by County, then Town, then alphabetically by names of institutions or individuals.

Above, two of four boxes of 4x6 cards in the Master Card File.

Above, two of four boxes of 4×6 cards in the Master Card File.

Paper clips were color-coded to indicate the status of various sites, i.e., whether they had collections, required a visit, or some other action needed to be taken.

Close-up view of the Master Card File.

Close-up view of the Master Card File.


The Card File required regular updating.

The Card File required regular updating.

Mastheads (also known as banner or title page)this is a publishing term used to describe the section of the newspaper found at the top of the page in large type.  The masthead was the chief source of cataloging information which included the title, date, place of publication and the numeric, alphabetic or chronological numbering given to the issue.

Masthead of the Lewistown Gazette, Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pa., Whole No. 3007, vol. 59, no. 7 (February 10, 1869).

Masthead of the Lewistown Gazette, Lewistown, Mifflin County, Pa., Whole No. 3007, vol. 59, no. 7 (February 10, 1869).

Microfilming Phase of PaNPThe Pennsylvania Newspaper Project microfilming program began in 1987.  The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia was slated to manage the multi-year program under contract with the State Library, Harrisburg.  William (Bill) Hamill was hired as the Project’s microfilm coordinator.  Microfilming selection criteria were developed by the Technical Committee to rank papers based on research importance, intended audience, geographic scope, publication dates, physical condition, accessibility, and availability of complete runs.  Consultation with local experts was also part of the work plan.  One of the main goals of the Microfilming Phase was to have on microfilm a run of newspapers from each county from the earliest surviving paper through 1980.  The initial funding levels for the microfilming phase permitted a considerable amount of filming, however, in the end the funds fell short leaving many vulnerable titles at risk of being lost.  A total of 270 titles were microfilmed representing 3.2M pages by the end of the 1990.

In 1987 MICOR Micrographics Corporation of Bensalem, Pa. was selected as the microfilming subcontractor for the PaNP.  In mid-December 1987 MATCO/ROMCOR, Camp Hill, Pa. was selected as the new microproducer for the Project for 1988.  By October 1989, MATCO/ROMCOR became IMR, Inc.

Microforms or Micro-formats – A broad term used to describe an arrangement of reduced images found in microfilm, microfiche, microprint/micro-card (micro-opaque).  Specialized magnifying devices are required to read micro-reduced images.

Monthly ReportsThe Monthly Reports constitute the core of this opus.  Each Pennsylvania Newspaper Project regional site was required to submit project activity reports on a monthly basis to its local site’s administrators and to the Project Coordinator, David Hoffman.  The Penn State site’s Monthly Reports were written primarily by Rebecca “Becky” Wilson, field librarian, and drew from accounts recorded every day in the Daily Journals (See Daily Journals), from scores of other notes kept, from itineraries, letters received, statistics compiled and from anecdotes recorded immediately after a site visit.  The text of the Monthly Reports found on this website is an exact transcription from the original typewritten reports.  Photographs taken while on the Project, 1985 – 1988 now digitized, plus new imagery have been added to the Monthly Reports to enhance the story of the Project Team’s work.           

NAD Records – Name-Address Directory Records

NDNP – National Digital Newspaper Program – The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages.  Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress.  An NEH award program funds the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories.              

The content in the NDNP is based on digitized scans from the microfilmed newspapers located through the USNP. See the Chronicling America database, for titles that have been digitized.  

“Needs” and “Finds” Lists – As part of the process of preparing for a site visit, whether near or far, the Project Team would research the newspaper publishing history of the soon-to-be visited county.  A newspaper title list was compiled of all titles known to have been published.   This list was then used as a quick reference guide during the site visit.  After the county was completely canvassed, the list was revised noting all the titles “Found” and those titles not found, known as “Needs.” 

Northampton County "Needs" List.

Northampton County “Needs” List.

Publishers often ran our “Needs” list in articles about the Newspaper Project.  Many repositories and individuals asked that we send them a copy of our completed “Needs” and “Finds” List following a site visit.

The Daily Review published the Bradford County "Needs" list in its October 18, 1985 issue.

The Daily Review published the Bradford County “Needs” list in its October 18, 1985 issue.

NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities)The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.  NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.

Newspaper Titles and Variant Titles – As publishers and politics changed or mergers with other papers occurred, over the course of time newspaper titles changed along with them.  These name changes whether permanent (having the same title for over a year ) or only lasting a few months or days were noted as part of the cataloging process. 

If a newspaper title fluctuated, and the variant title appeared for longer than a year at a time, a separate catalog record was required.  The winner in Pennsylvania was the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which changed titles 44 times; coming in second was the Lehighton Evening Times with 39 title changes.  In contrast, the Bedford Gazette (Bedford, Pa), which began in 1805, is still being published 127 years later without a title change.  Identifying and linking title changes was particularly challenging to Project Catalogers, who had to see and verify every change. 

Six linking titles associated with the German language title from Centre County, Pa., Der Centre Berichter.

Six linking titles associated with the German language title from Centre County, Pa., Der Centre Berichter.

NPH – the unique 3-character OCLC symbol assigned to the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project (PNP).  Project librarians in Pennsylvania sometimes referred to the PaNP as NPH.

OCLC Access Number – Throughout the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project, Project Staff were temporarily assigned an OCLC Access Number which would permit them to search the OCLC databases for newspaper titles needed to assist in the cataloging process.

OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC) – is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information. Founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center, OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog (OPAC) in the world. 

Newspaper titles found on OCLC could be used to obtain cataloging information and to attach holdings information from various institutions.  If a newspaper was not already in the OCLC database, original cataloging was required.  This was a much more involved and time-consuming process.  Field Catalogers were required to have the newspaper “in hand” in order to catalog it.

OCLC Symbols – Each institution, large or small, including individuals (private collectors) participating in the Newspaper Project were assigned a unique 3-character OCLC symbol.  This symbol was the key identifier used to locate newspaper holdings held by that institution or individual.

Juniata County OCLC Symbol List.

Juniata County OCLC Symbol List.

PALINET – This non-profit member-owned and governed regional library cooperative represented hundreds of libraries, information centers, museums, archives, and other similar organizations throughout Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and elsewhere. In addition to many other programs, PALINET was the region’s provider of OCLC services.   PALINET and SOLINET merged in 2008 to form the larger cooperative, LYRASIS. 

Read more on PALINET

Pattee Library –   The library location for our office in West 308, and as a major holder of newspapers (paper and microfilm) that we had to inventory and catalog.  MANY areas in the Library had newspapers.

Penn State Siteone of four regional sites in Pennsylvania selected to execute the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  Pennsylvania was the largest state to come aboard in 1985.  See: PaNP for other sites.

Personal Computer (PC)see ZAC

“Pitt-ready” – see Workforms to Pittsburgh

PaNP (Pennsylvania Newspaper Project) – Pennsylvania was one of the largest states participating in the USNP in 1985.  As such, it was divided into four regions under the direction of the State Library of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. The four regional sites were:

  • State Library of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg) – Site Headquarters for the Pennsylvania Newspapers Project and South East Counties; 11 Counties
  • Pennsylvania Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (HSP) – Site Headquarters for East Pennsylvania Counties; 5 Counties
  • University of Pittsburgh (Hillman Library) – Site Headquarters for Northwest Pennsylvania Counties; 21 Counties
  • Pennsylvania State University (Pattee Library) – Site Headquarters for Central and Northeast Pennsylvania Counties; 30 Counties

Read more on PaNP

Preservation Materials Packet/Information By 1987 the Project Staff found it necessary to compile and distribute a basic information packet on how to preserve newspapers, whether bound or single loose issues.   The original packet included two Library of Congress’ preservation leaflets – Newsprint and It’s Preservation (leaflet #5, 1981) and Paper and Its Preservation:  Environmental Controls (leaflet # 2, 1983), a list of “Home Remedy” suggestions and information to purchase archival boxes and a hand-held microfilm viewer.  In September 1988, the State Library formalized the “Preserving Newspapers” packet for statewide distribution.  See Hand-held Microfilm Viewer.

V Glossary Home Remedy for PRESERVING Newspapers

PRLC (Pittsburgh Regional Library Center)was one of the main OCLC library network cooperatives in Pennsylvania – serving Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Western Maryland.  PRLC’s service mission was to provide member libraries with leadership, technical support and education and training.  H.E. Broadbent, Executive Director of PRLC served on the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project’s Advisory Council. 

Project Team – aka “The Penn State Team” – refers to Project Librarians Lydia Suzanne “Sue” Kellerman, Project Cataloging Librarian and Rebecca “Becky”  “Beck” Wilson, Project Field Librarian operated out of the Penn State University Site in Central Pennsylvania under the direction of Assistant Dean Dr. Barbara Smith. 

From the outset, both librarians shared in the office work, site visitations, cataloging, and overall statistics gathering.  Sue maintained the Daily Journals recording each day’s activities, was primary cataloger, and compiled all the cataloging statistics.  Becky arranged site visit schedules, drew from the Journals and statistics to write the Monthly Reports, track budgetary expenses, and write proposals for extensions to the Project. 

Public Accessibility AgreementsIssued by the State Library, this agreement form when signed by an institution or individual gave unrestricted use and distribution rights of the description of the title and its holdings found “by the Library of Congress, OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), other bibliographic utilities and networks, other state and repository project participants in the United States Newspaper Program, and potentially, private/commercial database vendors.”   Institutions and individuals needed to sign this form before actual inventorying of holding and cataloging of titles could commence.   

Public Accessibility Form.

Public Accessibility Form.

READEX Newspaper CollectionsIn the early 1970s the American Antiquarian Society and Readex Microprint Corporation published the Readex Collection of Early American Newspapers, 1704 to 1820 in microprint, on opaque cards (Microopaque).  This microopaque collection was complete in over 200 boxes representing 529 different newspaper titles published throughout the north and south Eastern United States.  In the 1990s this collection and additional titles not previously captured were microfilmed.  Geographic coverage for the microopaque collection included newspapers from the following states:  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia.

Microopaque cards and box from the Readex Collection of Early American Newspapers, 1704-1820.

Microopaque cards and box from the Readex Collection of Early American Newspapers, 1704-1820.

Site Visits – also “In the Field”.  Because of the rural nature of the Central Pennsylvania Counties assigned to the Penn State Team, a tremendous number of site visits were required.  Newspapers, as mentioned above, had to be seen and inventoried first-hand by site/field catalogers.  Site visits were scheduled anywhere from half an hour up to 2 days or more, depending on the number of newspaper titles held.  The Penn State Team traveled to each of the 30 assigned counties, visiting a total of 462 repositories and individuals during the 3-year period from 1985-1987.

Slide/Talk Show/ Presentations/”Dog and Pony Show”– The Project Team presented “slide shows”  during the three-year period of the Project.  A total of eleven presentations (plus a television show!) were given in Centre, Huntingdon, Luzerne and Northampton Counties.

State Library at HarrisburgHeadquarters for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project and regional site for inventorying the South East Counties.

StatisticsThe Project Team kept, compiled and analyzed countless facts and figures about the Project as a means to track progress and measure success (or lack thereof).   Consequently much of this data was reported out and distributed as “official” Project statistics.  One such statistical report generated at the conclusion of inventorying a county was “the percentage of newspapers found” report.  This report proved useful to the Project staff and the local citizens as it served to motivate everyone involved to continue searching for all known titles published in a county.Capture pic X1

Telephone Calls – all phone calls throughout the Project were made from “land lines”.  Remember, cell phones (and most current technology) were part of a distant future…   This often proved onerous when phone calls had to be made during a site visit. All long-distance phone calls had to be logged until a calling card for making long-distance calls was obtained for the Team.

Z Glossary Making calls to set up site visits

Making calls to set up site visits.

Y Glossary Log Long Distance Calls

Log of Long Distance Calls.

Thank-you Letters – Writing “thank you” letters was an integral part of the Project’s interaction with contacts in the field and was a means of building good will.  We considered this activity an absolute courtesy for all the help and assistance we received.  While this required considerable time it resulted in a huge return on investment.  Contacts in the field willingly contributed additional information and stayed in touch with the Project staff throughout the life of the Project, for example see Viola Pletcher. Approximately 450 personalized “thank you” letters were composed and mailed to contacts.  Examples of some of these letters can be found in a few of the Vignettes. 

Titles (And Variant Titles) – See Newspapers Titles and Variant titles

USNP (United States Newspaper Program)The United States Newspaper Program is a cooperative national effort among the states and the federal government to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Technical assistance is furnished by the Library of Congress.

U.S. Newspaper Program Participants

The USNP has supported projects in each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project is conducted by a single organization within a state or territory, usually the state’s largest newspaper repository.

A project’s staff inventories holdings in public libraries, county courthouses, newspaper offices, historical museums, college and university libraries, archives, and historical societies. Catalog records are entered into a national database maintained by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and accessible through more than 53,500 dedicated computer terminals worldwide. Microfilm copies of newspapers are generally available to researchers anywhere in the country through inter-library loan.”

West 308 Pattee LibraryThe office address of the Penn State Project Team.

Workform (Cataloging Record)  –  Printed workforms were used by the Project staff to record specific information for each newspaper cataloged and not found in the OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) catalog.  Piles of workforms were carried to each site visit and were partially filled-out while on-site. These workforms were typically finalized weeks or months after the site visit before being sent to the University of Pittsburgh’s Project staff to be entered on OCLC (See Workforms to Pittsburgh).ZA Glossary PaNP Work Form p1Page 2 of the Workform:

Capture ZB pic

Workforms to Pittsburgh – The University of Pittsburgh Project staff was the CONSER Authentication Site for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Project.  Pittsburgh’s Project staff reviewed and entered all the workforms data into OCLC from the other PaNP sites.  Penn State University was a tape-loading participant in OCLC and did not directly input its cataloging into OCLC.  Penn State Project staff regularly sent all workforms and LDRs to the University of Pittsburgh for entry into the OCLC database.

“Yellow Sheet” – This term was used to describe the hand-written list of titles recorded at every site the Project Team visited – written on yellow tablet paper.  These title lists were frequently requested after each site visit and were considered the “unofficial” newspaper inventory list.   

ZD Glossary Yellow Sheet 1987 Standard Speaker page 1

“Yellow Sheet” listing the titles inventoried at Standard-Speaker Office, Hazleton, Pa. – a six-hour site visit, March 6, 1987.

ZAC (Personal Computer) – We personalized our COMPAQ personal computer by naming it “ZAC” to rhyme with COMPAQ. 

ZC Glossary computer sign

ZE Glossary

ZAC in West 308 Pattee Library office.

Using Power Base 2.2 management software the Penn State Project staff developed a comprehensive database of newspaper titles found, not found, names and addresses and other contact information for all sites visited, and an OCLC symbols list by county.  This database enabled the Project staff to quickly run off monthly statistics, lists of titles found and not found (see “Needs” and “Finds”), major holders of newspaper titles, and other data.  The database was a ready reference source for all project-related information including the location of papers!

Newspaper Title File.

Newspaper Title File.

Our COMPAQ system configuration included: 

  • COMPAQ Portable Computer – 256K of internal memory
  • 2 Double-sided Disk Drives
  • Monitor and Keyboard
  • COMPAQ DOS (Disk Operating System)
  • Ven-Tel Modem with Crosstalk Software
  • Printer Cable
  • Power Base (Data Base Program)
  • Box of Paper 8 ½” x 11″ (2500 sheets)
  • Convenience Kit – containing 10 Double-sided diskettes with 360K capacity, head cleaning kit for disk drives, pens, Flip n File diskette holder, screen wipes, etc.
  • Power Base training for 2 people
  • Service of equipment

Total cost: $2,975.95

In November 1982 COMPAQ announced their first product, the Compaq Portable, a portable IBM PC compatible personal computer. It was released in March 1983.

Read more on the COMPAQ Portable Computer.

Of special note, the storage media used in 1985-1988 consisted of 5 ¼inch floppy disks.  In the mid-1990s the files on these disks were converted to 3 ½” disks but have not subsequently been converted to any newer media such as CDs, or converted to any other file format.

ZH Glossary OLD disks

Original Newspaper Project computer files stored on 5 1/4″ floppy disks.

Similarly, all of the Penn State Project photographs taken either in our office or from the field, and now found throughout this website, were originally shot using a Kodak Disc Camera; a Kodak technology from the early 1980s. 

The film used in the Disc Camera was in the form of a flat disc, and housed within a plastic cartridge. Each disc held fifteen 11 × 8 mm exposures.  Paper 4”x 6” prints were made from the film.

Exposed Disc Camera film (negative polarity) from the Project Days!

Exposed Disc Camera film (negative polarity) from the Project Days!

According to Wikipedia – The system was primarily a consumer-oriented product, and most cameras were self-contained units with no expansion capability. The cameras were very simple to load and unload, and were generally completely automated. The cassette had a built-in dark slide to prevent stray light reaching the film when the disc was removed.

The film was officially discontinued by the last manufacturer, Kodak, on December 31, 1999, though the cameras had disappeared from the market long before then.

Disc film is not available to purchase new due to the very complex design.  No manufacturers remain, nor are any likely to recommence production.

Read more on Disc Film.

Project photographs found in this website have been scanned in color using a flatbed scanner, a photo scanner or re-shot using a hand-held digital camera, and saved as jpeg files.



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