Grant Application

We are pleased to announce the 2024 Digital Michigan Newspaper Grant Program awardees:

  • Ishpeming Area Historical Society and Cliffs Shaft Mine Museum, Ishpeming, MI
  • Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, Midland, MI
  • Lapeer District Library, Marguerite de Angeli Library, Lapeer, MI
  • Howard Miller Library, Zeeland, MI
  • DeWitt District Library, DeWitt, MI
  • Alma Public Library, Alma, MI

Digital Michigan Newspaper Grant Program Application Guidelines

The Digital Michigan Newspaper Grant Program is made possible by the Robert and Susan Clarke Endowment with additional funding provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library of Michigan.

A half starburst made of dots next to the text Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Selection process:

  • A committee of Clarke Historical Library staff and Library of Michigan staff plus a Central Michigan University faculty member reviewed all applications and determined which applications to fund.
  • Applicants selected for an award in the 2024 grant cycle were notified in February 2024.

    Additional information for applicants

    • Past award winners are prohibited from applying in the year following their award but may apply thereafter.
    • The winning applicant agrees to deliver or ship materials to Clarke Historical Library by March 8, 2024.
    • Scanning and making of the newspaper title available online must take place in a way consistent with all applicable provisions of U.S. Copyright law. Obtaining any necessary copyright permission is the sole responsibility of the applicant. The Clarke Historical Library, at its sole discretion, may decline to undertake any project if it believes to do so would place the Clarke in violation of copyright law.  
    • By applying, an applicant(s) consents that, should they be selected for an award, the Clarke Historical Library may post all or part of their application online in a publicly accessible website to inform the public about the application. The Clarke, however, will not post online personally identifiable information regarding the applicant included in the application, including name(s), address(es), or other contact information.
    • By applying, the applicant acknowledges that they control, or have unrestricted access to, the microfilmed version of the nominated paper or physical copies of the newspaper. The applicant is solely responsible for obtaining the original newspapers, or microfilm, needed for scanning and must allow, or arrange for the allowance of, the use of the original papers or film on the CMU campus for digitization for a period of at least one continuous calendar month (30 days).
    • In the case of original newspapers, if the material is bound, the applicant consents to dis-binding the material for filming. Original newspapers that are microfilmed will be returned to the applicant disbound.
    • Microfilm supplied by the successful applicant must meet minimum technical standards to ensure adequate scanning. The preferred film from which newspaper scans will be made is second generation negatives (print masters). The Clarke Historical Library reserves the right to abandon the successful applicant's project if, in the Clarke Historical Library's sole opinion, the film supplied by the successful applicant is inadequate for the creation of digital copies/OCR conversion or the original newspapers supplied cannot be microfilmed successfully.
    • Scanning standards, choice of online delivery platform, and all other technical features of the scanning project will be determined at the sole discretion of the Clarke Historical Library. Microfilming standards, if applicable, will also be determined at the sole discretion of the Clarke Historical Library.
    • After 90 days of being informed of winning, should the winning applicant be unable to meet, or show reasonable capacity to meet, any of the above terms, the Clarke Historical Library reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withdraw the award and present it to another applicant.  

    These Guidelines were updated in November 2023 and replace previously distributed ‘contest rules,’ whether dated or undated. These 2023 Guidelines define all aspects of the 2024 cycle of the grant program.

    Advice Regarding Copyright From the Clarke Historical Library

    January 2023

    Copyright is a complicated subject; however, there are some basic rules that apply to both users and authors. Among the most critical for bringing a previously printed newspaper online are the following:

    • As of January 1, 2024, Any newspaper printed in 1928 or earlier is in public domain and may be digitized and brought online
    • Any newspaper published after 1928 and prior to 1964 has a strong probability of being in the public domain. If it is, it may be digitized and brought online without requiring any permissions.
      • To be protected by copyright a paper published between these years was required to include a printed copyright notice within the paper itself. If there is no notice, the paper is not copyrighted.
    • If notice was published, copyright expired after 28 years, unless a renewal was requested. A convenient online tool through which you can determine if a renewal was requested is:
    • Any newspaper published before 1978 may be in the public domain. If it is, it may be digitized and brought online without requiring any permissions. • Prior to 1978, to obtain copyright a newspaper was required to publish a copyright notice in the newspaper to obtain copyright. Beginning in 1964, renewal was automatic.
    • Newspapers published after 1977 are copyrighted. Permission of the copyright holder is required to digitize and bring such a paper online.
      • After 1977, copyright was automatically granted upon publication, with or without a written notice.
    • Remember, you can copy anything with the written permission of the copyright holder, so ask!

    Copyright information above is accurate as of the date of issuance but is subject to change due to a subsequent revision of federal law or court ruling.