The collection is maintained by the Newspaper Library.
The Labor & Industrial Relations Library collects numerous labor newspapers. The Modern Languages & Linguistics Library, the Communications Library, and the area studies units also select newspapers.
The newspaper collection supports the research and teaching needs of the University faculty and students. The Library especially serves programs in the Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as the general reader for a variety of purposes. The Newspaper Library is the major repository in the state for general newspapers and is the largest of its kind. Contained within are over 12,000 bound volumes, over 100,000 reels of microfilm covering 2800 titles, over 8000 microfilm cards, and current subscriptions to almost 500 United States and foreign newspapers, which totals to well over 150 million pages of newspapers dating from 1632 to the present.
Revised April, 2005
I. Collection Description
The purpose of the newspaper collection is to support the research and teaching needs of the University faculty and students. The Library especially serves programs in the Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as the general reader for a variety of purposes.
History of Collection:
The collection of Illinois papers was begun circa 1914 but was soon expanded to include major United States and foreign dailies. The size and bulk of holdings required that the Newspaper Room, as it was then called, occupy the major part of the basement of the Main Library Building. In 1939, the first full-time professional assistant was appointed. In that year there were 502 titles shelved in the Newspaper Room of which only 61 were purchased.
Beginning in the late 1940s, and especially in the 1950s and 1960s, major efforts were undertaken to replace bound newspaper holdings with microfilm, so that by the 1980s film has become the primary format for retrospective files of newspapers.
Estimate of Holdings:
73,000 reels of microfilm consisting of 369 general interest domestic titles, 312 general interest foreign titles, and 172 subject-oriented titles; and 8,800 microcards representing 13 titles. In addition, the Newspaper Library has current subscriptions to 515 United States and foreign newspapers and more than 3,000 volumes of reference guides, bibliographies, histories, and newspaper indexes.
State, Regional and National Importance:
The Newspaper Library is the major repository in the state for general newspapers. The collection includes at least one daily from most major American metropolitan areas and regions and is particularly strong in Upper Mississippi Valley papers. It also includes Black newspapers, undergraduate college dailies, the “underground press,” religious newspapers, substantial holdings in labor and business titles such as the official organs of national and international labor unions and of Illinois labor organizations, agricultural, literary and political titles, representing a wide spectrum of opinion. Extensive or complete back files exist for many general and special newspapers.
Of the 180 foreign titles on newsprint and 80 on microfilm, the great majority are from Eastern and Western Europe, the Soviet Union, India, the Middle East and Latin America. Titles dating from World War II represent about one-half the collection, with the rest being primarily 19th and early 20th century British, French, and German papers.
Unit Responsible for Collecting:
The Newspaper Library has the major collecting responsibility for newspapers. The Labor and Industrial Relations Library collects numerous labor newspapers. The Modern Languages and Linguistics Library, the Communications Library, and the area studies units also select newspapers.
Location of Materials:
The newspaper collection is housed in the Newspaper Library, Bookstacks, and the basement of the Law Building. Current issues for many newspapers are located in the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library, the Labor and Industrial Relations Library, Communications Library, and various area studies units.
Citations of Works Describing the Collection:
Elston, Charles B. “General Newspapers in Microform, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Newspaper Library.” June 1977. (Unpub.)
Maher, William J. “General Newspapers in Microform-Update.” March 1982. (Unpub.)
Maher, William J. “University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Newspaper Library, Newspapers Classified by Subject.” 1980 (Unpub.)
II. General Collection Guidelines
No restrictions. The collection concentrates on the last fifty years but some papers date from the early 1700s.
Worldwide. According to an agreement with the State Historical Library, the Newspaper Library collects: 1) as exhaustively as possible, all general newspapers, including underground publications for the Champaign-Urbana area; and 2) newspapers from central Illinois on a comprehensive basis. Central Illinois newspapers are kept in the Library for one year and then are withdrawn and sent to the State Historical Library for filming and storage.
U.S. newspapers outside of Illinois are collected from major cities and regions according to the following criteria: population size, quality, availability of indexes, and research needs. Major cities of Western Europe are also represented. On a more selective basis, city newspapers from other areas of the world are collected as well.
Treatment of Subject:
Journalistic treatment of events as is appropriate for newspapers. General newspapers are not subject-oriented. Subject-oriented newspapers in such fields as labor, agriculture, religion, politics, and literature are collected, cataloged, and classified. Reference works, and historical and analytical studies of newspapers are collected to aid the use of newspapers.
Types of Materials:
Newspapers acquired for current reading/research purposes are in newspaper print and on microfilm, if permanently retained. Monographs and serials are also collected.
Date of Publication:
Place of Publication:
No restrictions, but in the following priority order: Champaign-Urbana; central Illinois and Chicago and Springfield, Illinois; major U.S. cities and regions; Western Europe, and the rest of the world.
III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments
Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.
|SUBJECT SUBDIVISIONS||EXISTING STRENGTH||PRIMARY ASSIGNMENTS||SECONDARY ASSIGNMENTS|
|Chicago and Springfield||3||Newspaper|
|United States newspapers||3||Newspaper|
|Other newspapers||3||Newspaper||Agriculture / Communications / etc.|
|REFERENCE MATERIALS (Indexes, histories, directories, etc.)||3||Communications||Reference/Newspaper|
Version Date: November 2005