In what is seen as a boon to genealogists and local scholars, UMass Dartmouth announced Tuesday that more than 50 years of the former New Bedford Portuguese-language newspaper, Diario de Noticias, affectionately known as the Portuguese Daily News, is now available online at http://www.lib.umassd.edu/archives/paa/diario.html.
The newspaper began as the Alvorada (The Dawn) on January 25,1919 when Guilherme Luiz purchased a weekly Portuguese-language newspaper with the same name that had been published in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In 1927, the board changed its name to Diário de Notícias and began publishing a Fall River version of the paper. João R. Rocha acquired 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 that spanned the entire county. It ceased publication when Rocha retired in 1973. Its local successors are the Portuguese Times and O Jornal.
Known as the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, the project includes the digitizing of 84,010 pages or 16,641 issues of the newspaper, covering the period from 1919-73, so they can be viewed on the Web.
The newspaper collection contains news stories about local elections, as well as information about local clubs, religious organizations, societies and businesses, along with wedding announcements, births and obituaries.
Judy Farrar, an archivist at the Claire T. Carney Library, said she has received inquiries from family members who want to know whether there was information about a loved one in the Diario collection. Now, with its search engine, family members can make their own inquiries from anywhere in the world, she said. It has been available on microfilm for many years.