The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean that provides access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections. With 36 content contributing partners and 16 financially supporting members, dLOC is a stable digital resource for Caribbean researchers worldwide.
Together with the University of Puerto Rico, dLOC proposed the digitization of the 1936 issues of El Mundo, an important Puerto Rican newspaper published from 1919-1990. The proposal has now been funded by the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP)! The 1936 issues of El Mundo will add to the ever-growing collection of Puerto Rican material available in dLOC for the world.
The University of Puerto Rico (UPR) holds to rights for El Mundo and selected it as a priority for digitization. UPR identified the years from 1936-1939 as a key priority because they:
[R]epresent a moment of tension and transformation in the Puerto Rican society. Of grand importance were the political tensions that culminated in the political activities taken by the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico and the birth of the Popular Democratic Party. In addition, this period continued to experience impacts of the Great Depression and labor unrest among workers as the society transformed from an agricultural to an industrial society. (Grant proposal narrative)
UPR and UF have a joint proposal to the US National Digital Newspaper Program for the years up to 1923, and prior collaboration allowed for El Mundo issues for 1938-1939 to be digitized and these are currently available online in dLOC. Additionally, UPR and FIU partnered for the digitization of the 1937 issues of El Mundo, and this is currently underway and the issues are expected to be openly available online in dLOC later in 2013. The issues of El Mundo for 1938-1939 have already registered more than 405,000 page views since being added in 2009. This is an extremely high level of usage when considering the limited amount of material currently available. In addition to worldwide users, many scholars have specifically requested and recommended more materials from Puerto Rico for digitization for use in teaching and research. With so much clear interest, it’s wonderful to see how dLOC partners are able to work together, drawing resources from various sources, to enable digital preservation and access for El Mundo.
Congratulations to all involved, and to the world for what this access will enable!