The Illinois State Historical Library (ISHL) received a planning grant from National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to develop a survey to assess the state's newspaper collections. ISHL staff sent more than 4,000 surveys to libraries, newspaper publishers, historical societies, genealogical organizations, library systems, county clerks, and some individuals and booksellers.
With the planning phase completed, the Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) team received another grant from NEH, administered by the Library of Congress as part of the U.S. Newspaper Program, to undertake the cataloging and inventorying work. For the purposes of the project, the state was divided into seven cataloging regions. The INP began inventorying and cataloging the newspaper collections at the ISHL in Springfield, Illinois, and at the Chicago Historical Society (CHS) in Chicago. The work on the collection at ISHL was completed in June 1995. Over the course of these six years, INP staff inventoried and cataloged 6,232 newspaper titles and added 11,791 holdings records to the newspaper union list in OCLC. Staff at the CHS completed work on their collection in 1995, and continued inventorying and cataloging other collections in INP Region 7 during this period.
The INP relocated its office to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Library in Urbana, Illinois.
The UIUC-based staff began inventorying and cataloging the newspaper collections at UIUC Library. Over the next three years, INP staff inventoried and cataloged 1,963 U.S. newspaper titles and added 2,287 holdings records to the newspaper union list in OCLC. INP staff identified 73 unique Illinois newspapers in the UIUC collections for future preservation microfilming.
July 1999-March 2000
The INP staff at UIUC began the fieldwork phase, beginning with McLean County. Inventorying and cataloging of all collections at Illinois State University and the McLean County Historical Society was completed in April 2000. A total of 699 titles were cataloged, and holdings records for 759 newspaper titles were added to OCLC. Additionally, 75 unique titles were added to the list of candidates for future microfilming.
A streamlined inventory strategy was developed by INP staff at UIUC. Fieldwork was completed in INP Cataloging region 2. After completing work in region 7, the CHS team took responsibility for inventorying and cataloging region 6.
UIUC INP staff performed all inventorying and cataloging in regions 1 and 5, and completed most of the inventorying and cataloging of newspapers in region 4. INP staff also began preservation microfilming of unique Illinois newspapers from the UIUC Library collections and other institutions in the state. The Chicago Historical Society team (now the Chicago History Museum) completed fieldwork in region 7.
October 2007-June 2009
The INP completed inventorying and cataloging the final regions. To date, INP staff have inventoried and cataloged 20,916 newspaper titles and added 26,429 holdings records to the newspaper union list in OCLC. To access information of all titles inventoried and cataloged, please see our database.
The INP also completed preservation microfilming of unique Illinois newspaper titles from the UIUC Library. In order to complete our efforts to preserve the state's newspaper heritage, the team borrowed newspapers from many other repositories in Illinois to microfilm. For a list of all titles microfilmed, please go here.
July 2009-August 2015
The INP team was awarded a grant from the NEH, administered by the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program, to begin work on digitization. For detailed information on this phase of our project, including all titles digitized, please go here.
The Illinois Newspaper project came to a close on August 31, 2015.