The Illinois State Historical Library (now the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library) received a planning grant from 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 team received another grant from NEH 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 (now the Chicago History Museum) 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 in 1996. 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.
The INP staff at UIUC began the fieldwork phase, beginning with McLean County. Inventorying and cataloging of all collections at Illinois State University, including the Milner Library and the ISU Archives, was completed in April 2000. A total of 469 titles were cataloged, and holdings records for 529 newspaper titles were added to OCLC.
INP catalogers processed the collection at the McLean County Historical Society in Bloomington, Illinois. During this time, 230 distinct titles were inventoried and cataloged, 230 holdings records were added to the newspaper union list on OCLC, and 75 unique Illinois newsprint 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 Chicago Historical Society team took responsibility for inventorying and cataloging region 6.
UIUC INP staff performed all inventorying and cataloging in regions 1 and 5.
May 2005-October 2007
The UIUC INP team completed most of the inventorying and cataloging of newspapers in region 4, and added the holdings information for these newspapers to the union list in OCLC. INP staff also began preservation microfilming of unique Illinois newspapers from the UIUC Library collections and other institutions in the state. The CHM team 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 U.S. newspaper titles and added 26,429 holdings records to the newspaper union list in OCLC. The INP also completed preservation microfilming of unique Illinois newspaper titles from the UIUC Library. Additionally, the team borrowed newspapers from many other repositories in Illinois to microfilm, in order to complete our efforts to preserve the state's newspaper heritage.
NDNP Grant awarded. The INP staff begins work on digitization while completing microfilming and updating ALPL records.