WAND TV released a news report about HPNL’s “Blaxtravaganza” event taking place March 2-8th.
URBANA, Ill (WAND) – The History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library at the University of Illinois will host a Blaxtravaganza which will highlight the talents of faculty members.
Event organizer Courtney Becks says the goal is to highlight research, creativity, and brilliance.
“I wanted to make sure that people were aware of their work and kind of create a platform for what they’re doing,” said Becks.
Professor David Wright will kick off the event by reading part of his novel ‘Black Cloud Rising’. Other events will include more readings, workshops, and performances.
“I’m looking at it through the lens of race and class. Gender to a certain extent. But the thing that I’m trying to trouble or get at is complicating our understanding of Americanness,” said Wright.
The news report can be viewed on the WAND TV website: History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library set to host Blaxtravaganza | Top Stories | wandtv.com
Halloween Reading List!
Looking for some magical reading? Here’s some non-fiction and fiction recommendations for books on witches, witchcraft, and magic in honor of upcoming All Hallow’s Eve!
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As you prepare for the fall semester, we know that many of you are trying to make sure your students have online access to assigned readings. The Library is ready and able to help as much as we can with this.
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In late June, the University Library will introduce its new catalog, Primo. The Primo Catalog is the search interface of a state-of-the-art library management system called Ex Libris Alma. The Alma/Primo system was designed to provide better access to, and management of, 21st-century library collections. It has been adopted by a number of research libraries including Harvard and Northwestern.
Continue reading “New Library Catalog debuts June 24, 2020” →
In September of 1944 the front pages of the Daily Illini were covered with updates about the ongoing war. The newspaper readily chronicled major developments in the war as well as the deaths of young men who, just a few short years before, had once walked the university’s halls. Given the amount of bloodshed that was unfolding around the world, it is easy to miss the newspapers’ coverage of one particularly strange event, one that would come to be called the Mad Gasser of Mattoon.
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In March of 1912 a lovelorn young woman wrote into the Rock Island Argus with a problem. At 20 years old she found that her boyfriend of 2 years was starting to hint that he was interested in marriage. Overcome with doubt, she wrote a letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson, the Rock Island Argus’ resident advice columnist. After explaining the situation, she ended her letter with one simple question: Am I too young? The answer she received was quick and straight to the point: “No”. This short and straight to the point style of answering questions seemed to be Mrs. Thompson’s specialty. Another woman in the same issue asked for advice on what to wear to an upcoming masquerade and was told curtly to dress as a French maid. Mrs. Thompson’s knowledge base was expansive and she seemed to be able to answer questions over a broad array of topics from skincare to food to fashion. She also dealt with much heavier topics, telling people, women in particular, how to survive and provide for their children when they had nowhere else to turn.
Continue reading “A Brief History of Advice Columns” →
Series 13 of Early American Newspapers boasts over 2,300 titles from the trans-Mississippi west. If you browse the series, however, you might notice something peculiar: over a third of these titles are represented by only a single issue, with all these single issues coming from the year 1876. Why does the collection contain so many random issues from the year 1876?
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Call for applications: 2019-2020 Research Travel Grant
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library and the Department of History are pleased to announce a Research Travel Grant to support scholars conducting research in any of the Library’s collections.
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There is no secret that humans are drawn to the macabre. Shows revolving around murder, such as CSI and Criminal Minds, carry on for years and spur a number of spin-offs which are often met with success. In the meantime, podcasts like UP and Vanished and My Favorite Murder continue to top the iTunes podcast charts.
Continue reading “Morbidity, Macabre, Murder, and Memory: a look into our collections” →
“The case of Lurancy Vennum, a bright young girl of fourteen years, has been the subject of much discussion in Watseka during the past year, and there is a good deal in it beyond human comprehension.” – “Mesmeric Mysteries,” Cincinnati Enquirer (Cincinnati, OH), Jun. 22, 1878 
Ever since Regan MacNeil crawled backwards down the stairs in The Exorcist, possession has been a cornerstone of American horror movies. The very idea of losing control of ourselves to something otherworldly fills us with fear. The fear of possession, of course, has been around since long before the 1970s. Cases of possession have featured on the pages of newspapers across the country since the Salem witch trials in the 1690s. We don’t have to look far to find one such case.
Continue reading “The Watseka Wonder” →