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ArcaSearch provides technology for the Diário de Notícias Newspaper Digitization Project

ArcaSearch is honored to be involved in the world-wide sharing of the Portuguese-American Newspaper Digitization Collection managed by the Claire T. Carney Library of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  The Portuguese-language newspaper archives are part of the larger Ferreira-Mendes
Portuguese American Archives held at the institution.

The archives detail the history of generations of emigrants to the U.S. from Portugal. Today, genealogists, researchers, academicians and students, rely on the archives for a historical, cultural and political perspective, according to Carney Library librarian-archivist Sonia Pacheco.

ArcaSearch has provided the technology to preserve and protect these historic newspapers in a digital format to be shared wherever the Internet is available, and to make the entire archive word-searchable – of course it helps to have knowledge of Portuguese but with an estimated 260 million Portuguese speakers, it is the fifth or sixth most-spoken language in the world.

“My experience is that ArcaSearch has been very easy to work with,” Ms. Pacheco said. “The staff is simply fabulous.”

The ArcaSearch mobile unit – “MAX” for “mobile archive express” – recently was on location in California to digitize fragile, historic pages to add to the archive. Building on a 20-year history of digitizing similar delicate materials, ArcaSearch created MAX to work on-site when it is impractical or too risky to transport delicate materials.

Fifteen distinct new segments were recently added to the project, and Ms. Pacheco anticipates another eight to nine will be included over the next four to five years. Those Portuguese-language newspapers are held in Hawaii, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Beginning in the late 1800s, the Portuguese immigrants to the American settled in Massachusetts and New England to ply their fishing skills while others went as far west as California to work on cattle ranches, she explained.  The Carney Library archives help genealogists, historians and language scholars document the incorporation of the Portuguese into the U.S.

In late November, she will travel to the Azores to introduce the newspaper digitization project at a biennial conference of Azorian archivists, librarians and records managers. She describes the project as “a world-wide resource.”

While the application of ArcaSearch technology to the newspaper archive it the most important aspect of the partnership, Ms. Pacheco said there was one other aspect she particularly appreciates: “I must commend ArcaSearch for working with us as a state (government) institution, which is not particularly easy to work with” from the standpoint of policies and procedures. “All of our interactions with ArcaSearch and its staff members have been positive,” she added.

To learn more about the project, visit http://www.lib.umassd.edu/archives/paa/diario.html.