For those interested in cultural and social history, one of the most invaluable resources made available through the University of Illinois Library are the historical newspaper databases. Containing the decade-spanning backfiles of such major newspapers as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, these databases provide readers the opportunity to envision what it might have been like to live during a certain era and experience world-changing events as they were initially recorded. Continue reading “Reading the Women’s Pages”
Microfilm and Digital Research
The History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library holds over 100,000 reels of microfilmed newspapers in its collection as well as most of the University Library microfilm. The term “microform” encompasses microfilm and microfiche (as well as the now obsolete microcard.) What is microfilm and why do researchers and historians use it?
(University of Illinois Libguide to Microform)
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. Continue reading “Over 200 Illinois Newspapers Digitized”
The Twin City Review went into circulation in November 1920. The Review was originally published in Tolono, Illinois, before relocating to Champaign. The Twin City Federation of Labor published the paper “in the interest of organized labor.” At the time, Champaign County’s primary industries were higher education (the University of Illinois), railroads, and farming. The Review frequently wrote about the perceived need for solidarity between farmers and urban laborers, including an inaugural issue article titled “Farm and City Workers Aim Identical-To Secure Justice” Continue reading “The Twin City Review: A 1920s Labor Newspaper For Champaign County”
The National News was created by editor Carl E. Person after the shutdown of the Strike Bulletin in May 1915. National News began publication only a few months later in October of that year. Person was a famous labor activist who had been put on trial in 1914 for shooting a strike breaker and was later acquitted on the basis of self-defense. Much like Strike Bulletin, the National News was devoted to describing collective labor actions across the United States. However, it also contained excerpts from the some of the latest popular fiction of the day including a novel The Abysmal Brute by Jack London. Person centered the National News in Chicago instead of his earlier location in Clinton, Illinois due to his feelings that Clinton had become a hostile work environment following the end of the Illinois Central Shopmen’s Strike and his near-fatal encounter. Continue reading “The National News: A Trade Unionist Newspaper”
The Illinois Issue was a weekly newspaper created in January 1906 for an audience of prohibitionist readers. The Illinois Issue was centered in Chicago, IL, and published in Downers Grove, IL. In February 1912, the Illinois Issue ceased production. Starting in July 1913, the Illinois Issue merged with a weekly national publication called the American Issue. Both papers were organized by a political group called the Anti-Saloon League. The American Issue began in 1896. It then ramped up production in 1909 because the town of Westerville, OH, donated a printing plant to the Anti-Saloon League to further the cause of alcohol prohibition. Continue reading “The Illinois Issue and The American Issue: Prohibitionist Newspapers”
The first newspaper in Illinois, the Illinois Herald, was founded as a weekly publication in 1814 based in Kaskaskia. It soon became the Western Intelligencer and carried the title Intelligencer in one form or another for the rest of its existence. The town of Kaskaskia was the Illinois Territory’s capital until 1818 when it became the state capital after Illinois gained statehood. The Intelligencer was created by abolitionist politicians Daniel Pope Cook and Elijah C. Berry. While they were in charge, the paper shared their anti-slavery politics. The boundary between journalism and politics in the 19th century was porous. Multiple editors and publishers for the Intelligencer held elected offices during the Intelligencer’s time in print. William H. Brown notes in his 1857 biography of Cook, “With the printing of the Laws and Journals of the Territorial Legislatures, and blanks for public offices, at prices which would now astonish a practical printer it is certain that the business was lucrative”. As both the early state’s primary newspaper and the official printer of state documents, the Intelligencer wielded strong political clout. Continue reading “Vandalia Whig and Illinois Intelligencer: An Early Illinois Newspaper”
The Strike Bulletin began publication in April 1913. The Strike Bulletin was a weekly paper marketed to labor unionists in the railroad industry. It was published from Clinton, Illinois for the entirety of its run. The Strike Bulletin was the creation of a labor organization called the Illinois Central System Foundation and was edited by Carl E. Person. Person was affiliated with the Industrial Workers of the World. The Illinois Central System Foundation organized laborers who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad.
Daily Worker was created for Communist Party USA members in 1921. The paper was originally titled the Worker, centered in Chicago and marketed as a weekly newspaper for the first three years of its existence. It then moved to New York City and carried out a pre-planned expansion into a daily broadsheet with a new name, Daily Worker. Publication under this new title lasted from 1924 to 1958. Daily Worker was primarily focused on issues relating to organized labor. Continue reading “The Daily Worker“
We have acquired several new digital collections for Fall, 2020, including major historical newspaper collections, module three of British Periodicals, two collections for the study of LGBTQ history, the latest release of records from the Mass Observation archive (1981-1990), over two centuries of U.S. government documents, and a major collection of Chinese gazetteers.