Illinois Newspaper Project

Preserving Illinois's newspaper heritage.

Digitize Newspapers

The Illinois Newspaper Project digitizes Illinois newspapers, and makes them freely available online. Our goal is to digitize and make freely available as much of Illinois's newspaper heritage as possible. You can access the newspapers we have digitized through the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection.

Few newspaper articles were ever indexed or cataloged, and newspaper digitization therefore makes available to researchers a vast portion of the historical record that was previously difficult to access, often demanding hours of time browsing through newspapers, page-by-page, on microfilm. Because of digitization, many of these articles are being discovered for the first time, sometimes quite serendipitously in newspapers that researchers never even thought to consult. And, of course, if you have an Internet connection at home, you can do all this research without leaving your house!

Due to copyright restrictions, we primarily digitize newspapers published prior to the year 1923. Newspapers published prior to that year are in the public domain.

Where a newspaper publisher has given us permission, however, we are able to digitize newspapers published after 1922. For example, the publisher of the Farmer's Weekly Review gave us permission to digitize through March, 2011. We are grateful to publishers who allow us to make their copyright-protected newspaper issues freely available. It's important to note that publishers who grant us permission to digitize copyrighted newspapers do not forfeit their copyrights. They have simply granted us permission to make those newspaper issues freely available online. All subsequent uses must still respect the publisher's copyright.

The cost of newspaper digitization is approximately $0.25 per page; while the delivery platform costs about $13,000 a year to maintain. The University of Illinois Library provides support for our newspaper digitization efforts, but we would not be able to digitize newspapers without the generous support of our partners, which include other institutions, grant-funding agencies, private-sector businesses, public-sector organizations, and individuals.


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