The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2009

Historical Portuguese-American Newspaper Available Online

Diario de NoticiasThe Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives at the Claire T. Carney Library and the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth announce the completion of the digitization of the daily, Diário de Notícias (1919-1973), the most important Portuguese newspaper ever published in the United States. The newspaper, donated to the University Library in 1975 by the last publisher and owner, João Rocha, is comprised of 84,010 pages in 16,641 issues. This is the first Portuguese-American newspaper, and among the first ethnic newspapers in America, to be digitized. Each issue of the Diário de Notícias may be viewed in its entirety, or browsed by date or page. Patrons have the ability to search across all issues of the paper by keyword, or by selected categories.The Diário may be accessed through the Internet for free and without a password at A formal presentation of the online Diário—with the participation Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack, daughters of the founder of the newspaper, two former editors, and some of the donors—will take place on Tuesday, April 28 at 1 p.m. in the Board of Trustees Room (Parking Lot 6).

The Diário was digitized by ArcaSearch of Minneapolis, MN, which created high quality scans, using a patented process that optimizes the text and illustrations. In fact, the clarity of the scans is superior to any other digitized historical newspapers available online. ArcaSearch also provided preservation quality microfilm, which will serve as a backup for long-term preservation of the contents of the paper.

The Diario de Noticias, widely known at the time as the “Portuguese Daily News,” began as Alvorada Diária (Daily Awakening) in 1919, when Guilherme Luiz purchased A Alvorada, a weekly Portuguese-language newspaper published in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1919 it became a daily, and in 1927 the name was changed to Diário de Notícias. João R. Rocha purchased half ownership in 1940, and then bought out the paper, becoming publisher and sole owner in 1943. The paper enjoyed great success and a circulation of up to 10,000 that spanned the entire region, and was also read across the country, where the Portuguese had settled since the nineteenth century, and even in Portugal. It ceased publication when Rocha retired in 1973. Its local successors are the Portuguese Times and O Jornal

The Diário is an invaluable resource for the study of the Portuguese-American experience in the region and beyond, as well as being a source of news from Portugal during the Salazar regime. Research on the Diário will contribute to the academic fields of Portuguese-American and Portuguese studies, local history, immigration studies, sociology and political science.

There is news from the community not available in other newspapers, with reporting on local clubs, religious organizations, societies, businesses and politics. One can read about passenger arrivals from the Azores and mainland Portugal, while viewing the ship liners’ ads listing the cost of fares to ports in the United States and back again. Weddings, births, and deaths are reported, providing a valuable source for social historians and genealogists. In the advertisements and photographs we can glimpse the clothes they wore and the goods they purchased and for how much. The search capabilities of the Diário online provides an easy-to-use tool for locating this and other types of information, which previously required an individual to travel to the Claire T. Carney Library and browse through reel after reel of microfilm.

The Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives—a joint venture of the Claire T. Carney Library and the Center for Portuguese Studies—own the only known run of the Diário in its original form. To fulfill the library's responsibility for assuring the long-term preservation of the paper, the originals have been returned and stored in its new climate-controlled facility. This was the first initiative under the Portuguese-American Newspaper Digitization Project whose objective is to digitize most of the major historical Portuguese papers from across the United States in the next five years.

The digitization of the Diário de Notícias was made possible by generous grants from the Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores (Carlos César, President), Elisia and Mark Saab of Advanced Polymers, Inc., in Salem, NH, and Luis Pedroso, of Accutronics, Inc., in Lowell, MA.