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Duquesne Digitizes 150 Years of Pittsburgh Catholic Newspapers

More than 150 years' worth of America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Pittsburgh Catholic, is now available online as part of a digitization project recently completed by Duquesne University's Gumberg Library.

The digitization project began in 2008 after microfilm reels of the newspaper showed signs of deterioration. Now users can access issues published between 1844 and 2001 at http://digital.library.duq.edu. Issues from 2001 to present day are available through the Pittsburgh Catholic's online archives, www.pittsburghcatholic.org.

"By digitizing the newspaper, Gumberg has been able to support the Diocese of Pittsburgh as well as individuals researching parish and family histories because all issues are freely available online and are keyword searchable," said Dr. Laverna Saunders, who retired in December as University librarian. The library has supported preservation of the newspaper for nearly 40 years and views as a way for patrons from around the world to retrieve the information faster and easier than ever.

As a premier chronicle of Roman Catholic life in the diocese, the Pittsburgh Catholic collection represents a significant contribution to the growing body of primary documents covering the Roman Catholic Church in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The digitization project has helped safeguard the region's Catholic history while providing greater access to a rich local resource. "The Pittsburgh Catholic will be extremely useful to social and religious historians, genealogists and anyone researching the history of the church in western Pennsylvania," said Tom White, University archivist and curator of special collections.

Gumberg Library funds, a Library Services and Technology Act grant and a capstone gift from The Ann and Frank Cahouet Foundation supported the digitization project.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.