July 26, 2016 Grant Will Provide for Digitization of Historic Japanese American Newspaper
The Marriott Library has recently been selected for a $16,343 grant from the Department of Heritage and Arts (DHA) to digitize the historic Japanese American newspaper, The Utah Nippo.
Spanning 78 years from 1914 to 1991, The Utah Nippo tells the story of its first-generation Japanese American settlers, along with the history of the great west as population and industry took flight.
One of only three Japanese language newspapers in the United States at the time, The Utah Nippo provided news to the Japanese communities in Utah, Idaho, Western Wyoming, and Eastern Nevada. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States government forbade the circulation of all Japanese language newspapers. However, not long after this ban, the government then granted approval for The Utah Nippo to resume circulation, as Japanese Americans needed to be informed of official policies regarding relocation, curfews, and other wartime news. Because of this, The Utah Nippo circulation reached its peak during the World War II years and was a highly valued newspaper for the Japanese American people of the Intermountain area.
The Utah Nippo was founded by Salt Lake City resident Uneo Terasawa and, upon his death in 1939, his wife Kuniko Muramatsu Terasawa took over the publishing. Over the course of 52 years, Kuniko served as reporter, editor, typesetter, and publisher, and became a distinguished newspaperwoman. When Kuniko passed away in August of 1991 at the age of 95, the publishing of The Utah Nippo came to a close. At the same time, her death marked the end of the Issei Era in Utah (the first-generation of Japanese Americans).
After Kuniko’s death, her daughters, Kazuko Terasawa and Haruko Terasawa Moriyasu, donated the full run of The Utah Nippo to the Marriott Library. With the DHA grant, the 46,550 pages of The Utah Nippo will be digitized for the use of all, on a global level. Spanning September of 2016 through June of 2017, this project will satisfy many needs by placing The Utah Nippo online for the world, granting convenient and long lasting public access, as well as preserving the content in digital form. Additionally, the library’s Preservation Department will be taking measures to preserve and re-house the original newspapers.
“The requested funding will enable the Marriott Library to digitize the entire run of The Utah Nippo newspaper collection and add it to our renowned library of digital newspapers,” explains Kinza Masood, Assistant Head of Digital Operations. “We are extremely excited about this contribution and what it means for access to this incredible resource.”
CORRECTION: Earlier version of this article about the Utah Nippo’s grant funding incorrectly stated that the award amount listed has been made possible through LSTA funds. The Department of Heritage and Arts (DHA) has elected to fund this grant project from their own budget. This version has been modified to reflect the correct funding agency for this award.