Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives digitizing project will provide global resource for students, faculty, and genealogists
University sets September 18 as official grand opening celebration for archives
A groundbreaking Portuguese-American newspaper digitization project was unveiled today by UMass Dartmouth, providing teaching and research resource for students, faculty, and genealogists. University officials also announced that they have set September 18 as the official grand opening of the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, which the University is planning to make the most comprehensive and accessible U.S. collection of the information related to the Portuguese-American experience.
The digitization project, completed by the Claire T. Carney Library's Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives in collaboration with the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture, will make 84,010 pages from 16,641 issues of the Diario de Noticias accessible to the world. The materials cover 1919 through 1973 and are available at no cost over the internet to students and academic researchers interested in Portuguese-related issues, as well as individuals tracing their family genealogy.
The web site can be found at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/archives/paa/diario.html.
"By digitizing these documents, we are now able to share this unique resource with the rest of the world,'' UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "Thanks the financial support of the Azorean government, Luis Pedroso, and Elisia Saab -- students, faculty and citizens from the SouthCoast to all corners of the globe, will have a major collection of Portuguese-American history at their fingertips. This is an exciting step in our development as the premier U.S. center of teaching and research related to the Portuguese-American experience which has shaped so much of our local and global history.''
Chancellor MacCormack also announced that the University will officially open the new archives facility with a major celebration on September 18.
Diario de Noticias was the most influential Portuguese-American newspaper of its era and the only Portuguese-American daily newspaper for much of that time. The newspaper was a critical independent voice during the dictatorship of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar (1928 to 1968). The Diario de Noticias, widely known at the time as the "Portuguese Daily News," began as Alvorada Diária (Daily Awakening) in 1919, when Guilherme Luiz purchased A Alvorada, a weekly Portuguese-language newspaper published in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1919 it became a daily, and in 1927 the name was changed to Diário de Notícias. João R. Rocha purchased half ownership in 1940, and then bought out the paper, becoming publisher and sole owner in 1943. The paper enjoyed great success and a
circulation of up to 10,000 that spanned the entire region, and was also read across the country, where the Portuguese had settled since the nineteenth century, and even in Portugal. It ceased publication when Rocha retired in 1973. Its local successors are the Portuguese Times and O Jornal.
"The Diario de Noticias is an invaluable resource for the study of the Portuguese-American daily experience in the region and beyond,'' said Dr. Frank Sousa, director of the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. "In the advertisements and photographs we can glimpse the clothes people wore and the goods they purchased and for how much. There is news from the community not available in other newspapers, with reporting on local clubs, religious organizations, societies, businesses and politics. Weddings, births, and deaths are reported, providing a valuable source for social historians and genealogists."
The goal of the ongoing digitization project is to provide the most comprehensive single source of Portuguese language newspapers published in the United States from the early nineteenth century to the present.
The project is funded by the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, Elisia Saab, co-founder of Advanced Polymers, Inc.; and Luis Pedroso, president of Accutronics, Inc.
Author: "John Hoey"
Library Archives / Special Collections
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