I have been Project Coordinator for the US Caribbean & Florida Digital Newspaper Project since June 2022. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and in affiliation with the Library of Congress, this project is one of the longest-running grant projects at Smathers Libraries. Over the past 10 years the project has digitized over half a million newspaper pages from Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands from 1836 to 1963. All the newspapers digitized through the US Caribbean & Florida Digital Newspaper Project are available for free to everyone in Chronicling America and University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC).
Besides managing the day-to-day processes of newspaper digitization, I also host outreach events and develop digital projects to share the newspapers with the public. Our latest digital project, Recetas de las Américas, is a bilingual website for searching and cooking newspaper recipes from the Miami newspaper Diario las Américas. Not only does this project celebrate Latin American cuisine and publishing, it also highlights the contributions of women writers and editors. Excluded from the newsroom and the front page, women built robust communities in the “Women’s Page”, or in Diario las Américas’ case, “Sociales” (“Society News”) and “Del Hogar” (“Of the Home”). These sections featured recipes, advice columns, fashion spreads, society news, film reviews, and editorials by women authors for women readers.
Victoria Alejandra’s recipes in Diario las Américas witness and contribute to this community of women in newspaper publishing and Miami’s vibrant Latin American community in the 1950s and ‘60s. Recetas reconnects today’s readers with the past and encourages them to think about who they are through food. My favorite recipe is the almond horchata.