Utah Newspapers Data Viewer: In Progress


I thought I’d spend a few paragraphs talking about a project I started a couple of months ago. It’s a data viewer for Utah newspapers, historical and current. You can check it out here: http://todrobbins.com/utah-newspapers/


First: Some Context

The University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library has been a leader in newspaper digitization. They were among the original contributors to the Chronicling America (CA) project (hosted by the Library of Congress) as a partner in the National Digital Newspaper Program. The Marriott Library hosts the Utah Digital Newspapers (UDN) project which with the Chronicling America site is where I am sourcing my data for my own project. The UDN “holds over 1,000,000 pages of historic Utah newspapers and it grows monthly,” which means I will be adding new entries to my own tool as often as there are updates at UDN.

I started this project because as a researcher I wanted a more usable tool for seeing all newspapers from Utah’s past and present and what newspapers were extant at a particular period of time in Utah’s history. UDN provides a newspaper timeline in PDF format but I wanted to see if I could improve on the information offered at their site and make it more user-friendly.

I’ve built the site myself with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and relying on Mapbox and open source geospatial tools for the maps. I’ve only just begun to add data and links for each newspaper and their corresponding placenames. If a page is missing, leave a comment here on the code repository or email me at and I’ll be sure to prioritize adding those entries.



Some items on my to-do list (so you all can keep me accountable):

  • Site search
  • Add links to people connected to each newspaper (founders, editors, photographers, etc.)
  • Add links from other digital newspaper resources (most of which are not publicly accessible but are out there)
  • Add social buttons (Facebook, Twitter) for easily sharing newspaper and place pages

Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments below!


To the extent possible under law, Creative Libraries Utah has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Utah Newspapers Data Viewer: In Progress.

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