Illinois Newspaper Project

Preserving Illinois Heritage as part of the U.S. Newspaper Program and the National Digital Newspaper Program

bullet Project Staff
bullet History of the INP
bullet History of Illinois Newspapers

Our Work
bullet Identify Newspapers
bullet Catalog Newspapers
bullet Microfilm Newspapers
bullet Digitize Newspapers

bullet INP Database
Newspaper titles we've found throughout Illinois.
bullet Participant Locator
Places we've visited
along the way.
bullet Gallery
A sampling of some treasures we've discovered.

Can you Help?
bullet Donate Your Papers
Have rare papers you want to donate?

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INP Headlines

bullet Illinois Newspaper Project Extended

The Illinois Newspaper Project has received one year extension to continue digitizing Illinois state newspapers as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

The extension, which runs from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016, will focus on digitizing historically significant foreign language newspapers.

bullet Illinois Newspaper Project Comes to a Close

On August 31, 2015, the Illinois Newspaper Project will end its very successful 28-year run, having identified and cataloged over 20,000 newspaper titles, microfilmed over 2 million pages of newsprint, and digitized over 300,000 pages of historical Illinois newspapers.

Since receiving funding in 2009, the INP has digitized 24 titles that are now available on the Library of Congress' Chronicling America website, and which can also be accessed via the University of Illinois History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library's Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections. A short list:

  • The Broad Ax (1895-1922)

  • The Cairo Bulletin (1868-1915)

  • Cairo Evening Times (1865)

  • Chicago Eagle (1889-1920)

  • The Day Book (1911-1917)

  • Juliet Signal (1846-1864)

  • The Ottawa Free Trader (1840-1922)

  • The Rock Island Argus (1862-1922)

Go here for a comprehensive list and detailed information regarding these titles.

bullet University of Illinois Receives NDNP Grant Award

In August 2013, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library received its third grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities' National Digital Newspaper Program to digitize culturally significant Illinois newspapers. Our previous grants were awarded in June 2009 and August 2011.

bullet INP Transitions from USNP to NDNP

As part of the U.S. Newspaper Program, the Illinois Newspaper Project completed cataloging and microfilming in July 2010, and has transitioned its work to digitization.

The INP has exhausted its grant funding for preservation microfilming of unique Illinois newspaper titles. If your institution is interested in donating, preserving, or microfilming your newspapers, please contact the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library.

About the INP

The Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and administered by the Library of Congress as part of the U.S. Newspaper Program (USNP) and the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). Both programs involved a cooperative effort between the states and the federal government designed to preserve the nation's historic newspaper heritage.

Since its establishment in 1987, the INP has been staffed by librarians from the Illinois State Historical Library (ISHL), the Chicago Historical Society (CHS), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. The ISHL, now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, participated from 1987 to 1995. The CHS, now the Chicago History Museum, worked on the project from 1989-2009 in the 19 northernmost Illinois counties. The UIUC Library was responsible for central and southern Illinois counties since June 1995, and hosted the staff for all aspects of the project.

Under the USNP, the INP team traveled throughout Illinois inventorying and cataloging collections held by libraries and repositories, private organizations, and individuals. We built, and still host, a searchable database of all newspapers discovered and preserved through the project. Newspapers that had not already been preserved on microfilm were filmed to create a permanent record of this vanishing material. All microfilm produced for INP is made available through interlibrary loan.

Under the NDNP, the INP team was charged with selecting and digitizing historically significant Illinois titles to be aggregated and permanently maintained by the Library of Congress via the Chronicling America website. One hundred thousand pages of Illinois newsprint, published before 1923, were digitized during each two-year cycle of grant funding, culuminating in over 300,000 pages at the Illinois Newspaper Project's closing on August 31, 2015.

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