Endangered Archives

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EAP571: Digital preservation of newspapers of the first half of the twentieth century in Nicaragua

This project aims to digitise a collection of Nicaraguan newspapers dating from the first half of the twentieth century and held in the collections of the Institute of History of Nicaragua and Central America. Digitisation will ensure the preservation of newspapers that are part of the documentary heritage of the country. The condition of the collections is critical and there is a great risk of losing the newspapers if no action is taken.

The project aims to digitise approximately 26,000 pages, of the following newspapers:
El Comercio 1903-1916 and 1918-1919
La Noticia 1916-1917 and 1937-1940
El Diario Nicaragüense 1910-1916
La Tribuna 1917-1925 and 1928
La Prensa 1936-1940
El Liberal 1935-1936

This collection of newspapers represents a primary source for research and analysis of turbulent periods in the national and regional history of Nicaragua. They contain details of the conflicts and political debates, as well as cultural and economic transformations as a result of liberal reforms in Central America. Precious information about the agroexport model (coffee production) and the nation state building process are also to be found. These newspapers are unique sources to study the US military intervention, and the dispute with Great Britain over the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast.

The collection covers decisive periods in the history of Nicaragua, including the US military intervention (1909-1933) and its impact on the formation of a strong political and economic elite, which constituted the modern national state. It also documents the struggle led by Augusto C. Sandino (1926-1934) and the emergence of the Somoza dictatorship (1934-1940). Due to the destruction of archives and other historical documents because of natural disasters (Managua’s earthquake in 1972) this collection stands as a unique source for studying the first half of the twentieth century in Nicaragua.

The collection is located on wooden shelves. Most are bound and have varying degrees of deterioration. The main damage is deterioration of pages due to physical handling, general deterioration due to the acidity of the paper, insect attacks and moths, poor storage conditions, water damage, moisture and dust. Only those newspapers in a suitable condition will be selected for digitisation. In the rainy season of May to October, it is difficult to control the humidity which increases to 70%, resulting in mould growth.

As a result of this project, the original newspapers will be guaranteed through digital and online copies. Digital copies will be sent to national institutions that have information centres: Institute of History of Nicaragua and Central University Library, Central Bank of Nicaragua, Central Library of the UCA, and La Prensa. A copy will be sent to the British Library.

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EAP571/1: El Comercio

"Description: A daily newspaper published in Managua from July 1896 to May 1933, in the printing house “Rojas” and later in the printing house “El Comercio”. Its editor was José María Castrillo. It consisted of four pages and it was published in broadsheet format. “El Comercio” was the first Nicaraguan newspaper to reach 10,000 published issues (Source: Jorge Eduardo Arellano. Catálogo de periódicos y revistas de Nicaragua (1830-1930). Managua: Instituto Nicaragüense de Cultura, 1992). Extent of original material: 20 series."

EAP571/1/5: "El Comercio, Aug – Dec 1906"

Extent: 410 TIFF images
Level: File
Scope and Content: "Description: One hardcover binding containing 100 issues of the newspaper “El Comercio”. Issue numbers: Issue 2862 to 2873, 2875 to 2883, 2885, 2887 to 2893, 2895, 2896, 2898 to 2902, 2903, 2903, 2903, 2903, 2905 to 2915, 2917 to 2919, 2910 to 2914, 2916, 2920, 2921, 2923 to 2929, 2932 to 2938, 2940 to 2945, 2947 to 2950, 2952, 2954 to 2962, 2964 to 2967. Extent of original: 100 files."
Owner Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica – Universidad Centroamericana (IHNCA-UCA),
Editor José María Castrillo,
Language(s) Spanish
Script(s) Latin
Legal & Ethical Usage Policy Access is for research purposes only