DC Public Library Adds Washington City Paper Archive

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DC Public Library Adds Washington City Paper Archive

People’s Archive to Digitize 1,000 Back Issues

D.C. residents can celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of Washington’s most popular newspapers at the DC Public Library. The Washington City Paper digital collection is being added to the Library’s People’s Archive.
 
Washington City Paper has been Washington, D.C.’s principal alternative weekly newspaper since its first issue in February 1981, and focuses on local news and arts. The paper’s name has evolved over the years, from its original, "1981," to "City Paper" in 1982, to "Washington City Paper" in 1988. Notable writers who were once City Paper staffers include David Carr, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jake Tapper, Katherine Boo, Clara Jeffery and Michael Schaffer.
 
"The Washington City Paper is an iconic local newspaper, and I am delighted that the public will have access to its archive through the People's Archive," said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library. "The Library strives to be a place where people learn about their city. Few publications have covered the local city as authentically and irreverently as the Washington City Paper. Its archive will provide readers a window into the rich and unique history of the District."

"Partnering with the DC Public Library to create a rich, accessible resource of D.C. history for our community feels like a fitting start to our 40th anniversary year,” said Duc Luu, publisher of the Washington City Paper. "We are grateful for their hard work to bring this digital archive to life and look forward to continued collaboration."
 
To coincide with the 40th anniversary, the issues published in 1981 are currently available. In addition to the launch of the Library’s digital collection, the Washington City Paper plans to publish an old paper a week through their 40th year, "This Week in City Paper History.”
 
The Washington City Paper digital collection is a multi-year project. The Library is digitizing, describing, storing and making available 1,000 back issues of the Washington City Paper from 1981 to 2000 on Dig DC, the online portal maintained by the Library’s People’s Archive. To jump start the work, the Library is hosting a virtual Describe-a-thon on March 20.  This event will pair community participants with archivists to read and summarize stories from past issues. The intent is to make the city's history available online using broad voices from the community.
 
The People's Archive, which encompasses the Washingtoniana, Black Studies, and Peabody Room collects, preserves and provide access to collections and materials of historic importance documenting the social, cultural and political life of the District of Columbia. Washington City Paper collection is housed on Dig DC, the Library's web portal for digitized and born-digital People's Archive items. To view the collection, visit http://hdl.handle.net/1961/dcplislandora:272345