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April Was For Activation; May Is For Momentum
Inside: Funds, Partnerships, Volunteers, And What's Next
On April 17, 2023, we set up our scanner, put the first paper in, and started scanning. The first publication we’re scanning is PM News. In the context of our goal – scanning at least one newspaper from every day of 1960-2010 – PM News is young.
But PM News couldn’t have launched at a better time; a little over a year after the annulled June 12, 1993 elections. In those years between 1993 and the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria had one of its darkest periods of political uncertainty, and PM News was there to cover it everyday.
As a child, it’s what I also read on the hour-and-a-half long commute back home after school.
And so, it was with great pleasure that we received permission from the leadership of PM News to start digitising their archives. This partnership was made possible because a volunteer, Lade, made it happen.
We’ve now scanned over 1,000 days, about 5% of our goal in this phase. These scans have been made possible by the efforts of our full-time associates, Grace, Boyega and Ify.
And of course, you.
In the time since the last update a month ago, we’ve raised over $11,000 from thirty of you. It’s about 48% of our funding goal, but the fact that we made this much progress with little effort is incredible.
To help you keep tabs on our progress, we’ve made a public dashboard just for that. We’ll continue to improve it; but for now, you can track across different metrics like the papers we’ve scanned and how much we’ve raised in total at any point.
The page was made possible with the contributions of some of our volunteers – Aisha, Ted, Hannah, John, and Tosin – shout out to them.
May is already in Motion
We keep scanning, but just as importantly, we’ll be figuring out how to make sure you’re able to actually see what we’re scanning. We’ve scanned over twelve thousand pages; and we’ll be excited for you to see the actual stories, blowing your mind in real time as it’s blowing ours.
We’re still raising money. Our April fundraising goal has now become a goal for the rest of the quarter – we have at least $12,000 to go. Donate, tell your friends to donate. As always, you can see where the money is going here.
We really really need to close partnerships with more publishers, so we have permission to scan. Introduce us to publishers. We prefer publishers who were in print at some point between 1960 and 1994 or later; alive or defunct. Some of the publishers we’re interested in are, The Nigerian Tribune, Daily Sketch, Nigerian Observer, Punch, etc.
It’s time to start unlocking the potential of our volunteers: Over 200 people across all kinds of disciplines have signed up to volunteer in the past two years, and it’s time begin to make the most of it. First of all, we’re converting our slack to the town hall before the town hall; the place where we share real time updates even before they make it to the general public.
We’ll be adding existing volunteers to slack over the next few days, but one more thing before I round this up; here’s small interaction from Twitter about a cover from 1995:
Someone saw this cover, and tweeted about the ‘Col. Rindam’ story, “Rimdan* That’s my grandfather! This is so great. Thank you. ❤️”
It made my day, made my week.
You stay pumped, we’ll stay scanning.
We’re on a mission to make Nigerian history accessible by digitally archiving old newspapers. For the first phase of this project, our focus is digitising 18,627 days – that’s one newspaper a day from January 1960 to December 2010 – and making them accessible to everyone. Subscribe to stay up-to-date on our progress, donate, or volunteer.