Over 200 Illinois Newspapers Digitized

Now available: over two hundred digitized Illinois newspapers: https://go.library.illinois.edu/npcom. Access currently restricted to computers with a campus IP address, but will soon be freely available through the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections (IDNC) to researchers everywhere.

These newspapers were digitized from the collections of the University of Illinois through a partnership with Newspapers.com. The project was based on a similar collaboration between Newspapers.com and the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research at the University of California, Riverside. Newspapers.com paid all costs, and provided the legal expertise needed to determine which newspapers were eligible for digitization. Until now, most of our newspaper digitization has been restricted to newspapers that are conclusively in the public domain, which, as of 2023, would be newspapers published prior to 1928.  However, newspaper issues published after 1928 are potentially eligible for digitization if they meet specific criteria established by copyright law. The legal complexity of dealing with newspapers in these categories vastly exceeds the resources of our newspaper digitization project, and a benefit of our partnership with Newspapers.com was the ability effectively to outsource the copyright clearance component and allow us vastly to expand the range of digitized newspapers in our collection.

For me, a particular highlight of the collection is the sports paper Collyer’s Eye, which put its locker-room prose style (notes of cardamon, coriander, camphor, clove, Canadian Club, and shoe leather) to especially good effect in covering the sordid and sensational:

Excerpt from Collyer's Eye
from Collyer’s Eye, September 27, 1924.

We had previously digitized Collyer’s Eye for the IDNC, but because of the copyright limitations described above, the IDNC’s run ended with 1922,1 almost two years before the media event that was the Leopold and Loeb murder. Thanks to the Newspapers.com collaboration, we can now extend that run to 1942, supplying you with twenty additional years of spicy journalism.


  1. The public domain’s upper limit when we first digitized that newspaper.
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