Illinois Newspaper Project Receives NEH Grant

    We are delighted to announce that we’ve received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts  to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) again in 2022-2024. The Illinois Newspaper Project has contributed more than 500,000 pages of Illinois newspapers to the NDNP (all available in Chronicling America as well as in the […]

    Chili Pepper in the Urbana Daily Courier

    Can powdered chili pepper help with arthritis? Capsaicin, the compound found in peppers that gives them zing or heat, can send signals to the brain, reducing the perception of pain. This compound can be added to creams, gels, and pain-relief patches. This interesting tidbit of information appears in an advertisement in the April 18, 1922 […]

    Chicago Whip 1922

    What is our responsibility? This was the title of the speech Mrs. Loraine Richardson Green speech gave at the St. Mark’s Lyceum in March 1922. This event, meant to take place on the following Sunday, was mentioned in the March 25, 1922 issue of the Chicago Whip. Mrs. Green obviously felt her responsibility was serving […]

    The Twin City Review: A 1920s Labor Newspaper Covering Champaign-Urbana

    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 National News: A Trade Unionist Newspaper

    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 […]

    The Illinois Issue and the American Issue: Powerful Forces in Prohibitionist Politics

    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 […]

    Vandalia Whig and Illinois Intelligencer: An Early Illinois Newspaper

    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 […]

    The Strike Bulletin: A Chronicle of a Failed Strike

    The Clinton (IL) 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 […]

    Veridian Update

    A major software update is being implemented by our software developer Veridian that will change certain aspects of the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection website. IDNC users will notice that several features of the website are different than they were in previous versions. Many of the changes involve back-end software updates which should not directly affect […]

    The Universalist

    The Universalist (Chicago and Cincinnati, 1884-1897) was a religious newspaper published near the end of the nineteenth century, a century when religious newspapers proliferated alongside the denominations they documented. Denominationalism was a distinctive feature of the nineteenth century American religious landscape, and European observers frequently remarked upon it, usually attributing the phenomenon to religious disestablishment. […]

    The National Prohibitionist

    From 1907 to 1911 the National Prohibitionist was the official organ of the Prohibition Party, an influential “third party” of the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era produced at least twenty “third” parties, and the Prohibition Party was among the more influential, certainly the most enduring. The newspaper was formed by the consolidation of multiple Prohibition […]

    Newly Digitized Immigrant Newspaper: Irish Republic

    The Fenian Brotherhood, a secret society of Irish nationalists, founded the Chicago Irish Republic in 1867. At the time, Chicago had the fourth largest Irish population in the United States and was considered a “hotbed” of militant Fenianism: for example, in 1864 the Chicago Fenians tried to declare war on England; in both 1865 and […]

    The Daily Worker: A Communist Newspaper out of Chicago

    The 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 […]

    A Twentieth Century Church-State (in Illinois)

    Zion City was a utopian religious community founded in July 1901 by John Alexander Dowie, an evangelical minister and pioneer of Pentecostalism in the United States. Dowie emigrated from Australia in 1888, and eventually settled in Chicago where, in 1893, he established a ministry near the World’s Columbian Exposition. Central to Dowie’s ministry was the […]

    Newly Digitized Newspaper: Workingman’s Advocate

    The Workingman’s Advocate was established in the fall of 1864 by members of the Chicago Typographical Union. At the time, the union was striking against the Chicago Times, and the union felt the strike was receiving unfair coverage in the local press. Even newspapers traditionally hostile to the Times, like the Chicago Tribune, opposed the […]

    Chicago’s Historic Polish-Language Newspapers

    Explore historic Chicago newspapers published in Croation, Czech, German, Lithuanian, Polish, and Slovenian through Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections and Chronicling America.   By 1900, the mark of mass immigration to the United States on Chicago’s population was impressive. Of the city’s 1.7 million inhabitants, three-fourths were immigrants or were the children of immigrants.[1] It’s difficult […]

    Hay Stove: Part Two

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: July 15, 2020 We left off on the last blog post just about ready to get some food into the hay stove. Let’s see what we should do to prep the food! Preparing the Food for the Hay Stove   Cereals, soups, meats, vegetables, fruits, steamed breads and even puddings […]

    Hay Stove: Part One

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: July 8, 2020 Are you an overworked farm wife?   Short on time but long of mouths to feed? Between weeding the garden, scrubbing and hanging out the wash to dry, visiting your sick neighbors, baking goods for the church social, repairing worn clothing, taking care of the chickens, churning […]

    Fancy Work (French and Eyelet/Cutwork Embroidery)

    by Kimberly Lerch | Published: June 29, 2020     I love to do needlework; in particular, I love to do what is called “fancy work.” What is Fancy Work? Needlework encompasses all work done with the needle, whether it is necessary work or not. Darning, patching, repairing ripped seams, hemming, sewing buttons back on […]

    Five Weeks in October: Week Five

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 19, 2020 October of 1918, the fifth week.[1] Last week read like an endless list of friends, neighbors, and loved ones in the area dying from this damned flu. We (I say we because, after a month of reading about these folks, I feel I know them) are told […]

    Five Weeks in October: Week Four

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 18, 2020 October of 1918, the fourth week.[1] At the beginning of last week, they closed the Urbana and, a day later, the Champaign public schools. The state stepped in and forced the closure of all non-essential businesses and any schools that did not have a nurse on-site. By […]

    Five Weeks in October: Week Three

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 17, 2020 October of 1918, the third week.[1] At the beginning of last week, “places of amusement” were ordered closed, only one church service was allowed per week, but residents’ children were still expected to attend school. Folks were becoming increasingly concerned by the flu directly affecting their community; […]

    Five Weeks in October: Week Two

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 16, 2020 October of 1918, its second week.[1] At the beginning of last week, residents in Champaign County felt safe; not a case to be mentioned in the Urbana Daily Courier. Then, local folks had relatives in other locations become flu victims. By the end of the week, there […]

    Five Weeks in October: Week One

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 15, 2020 In March 1918, what was later known to be the “first wave” of the Spanish influenza in the United States began quietly in Kansas as small outbreaks of a flu-like illness. At Camp Funston in Fort Riley, Kansas, approximately 100 soldiers suddenly fell ill from the flu. […]

    The Spanish Influenza versus COVID-19

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 8, 2020 Imagine being able to sit down with the Surgeon General of the United States during the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 and a top doctor from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the current COVID-19 crisis at the same time and ask them a […]

    Cooking with Salsify

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: June 4, 2020 As promised, I present to you not only some representative recipes taken from the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections highlighting the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables, salsify, but pictures of the dishes and opinions of those lucky enough to eat and critique them! Salsify recipes are aplenty; when I […]

    Forgotten Colonial Vegetable–Salsify

    by Kimberly Lerch  |  Published: May 20, 2020 While correcting text for the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections (IDNC), I discovered an article in the June 15, 1918 issue of the Chicago Packer that covered a partial ban of some American produce into Canada. I believe the ban had more to do with World War I […]

    Illinois Newspaper Project Interviews James P. Danky

    by Jerilyn P. Tinio  |  Published: February 29, 2020     In 2019, James P. Danky received the American Journalism Historians Association’s Distinguished Service to Journalism History Award for his 40 years spent expanding and diversifying serial collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Danky is editor of the indispensable reference tool, African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography (Cambridge: […]

    New Titles: African American Historical Newspapers

    Published: February 17, 2020 The Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) announces titles available soon on Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections (IDNC) and Chronicling America. Funded by a grant received in 2018  from the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), these additions mark the beginning of a series of new titles selected in line with INP’s proposed theme: communities […]

    Periodic Dose of Cute – Cat Anecdotes Edition

    Since the rise of the internet a common joke has always been that the internet is meant for cat gifs. Be it your cousin’s boyfriend posting incessantly about their cat’s every movement or the trending page on YouTube, it is often hard to get away from cute stories about cats. This apparently has long been […]

    Recipes from the Masters: Holiday’s Edition: Volume 3

    Nothing screams the holidays quite like fruitcake. Honestly, these cookies are good enough that I would happily make them at any time of the year.   Spicy Holiday Fruit Cookies Source: December 3, 1960- Lancaster Farming Recipe: 1 cup shortening 2 cups packed brown sugar 2 eggs ½ cup rolled oats 3 ½ cups sifted […]

    Recipes from the Masters: Holidays Edition: Volume 2

    Are you a fan of super chewy cookies? If, so you may be interested in these Christmas cane cookies! I can’t say that I quite understand the association between the Holidays and these orange-ish flavored cookies, beyond the shape you can give them. Regardless, let’s jump into the recipe:   Christmas Cane Cookies Source: December […]

    Recipes from the Masters: Holidays Edition: Volume 1

    In the most recent adventures in trying to become a 1950’s housewife, I decided to try out several holiday themed recipes from our archives. The first of which, and the subject of today’s blog post, is for pie crust and cranberry pie. Just last year I discovered a love for cranberries and this recipe may […]

    Recipes from the Masters: Testing Out Vintage Recipes

    The holiday rush is upon us and that means one thing, a huge uptake in baking and cooking for the ones we love. While I tend to spend a lot the year eyeing new recipes I tend to not actually test them out until the holidays. (Personally, I’m notorious for baking at two in the […]

    Cora Harvey, the “Queen of Hoboes”

    In the 1910’s one woman made it her personal mission to bring attention to the plight of homeless people, especially homeless women. Her life story is not immediately clear and she does not seem to have any biographies written on her. Instead, her memory lives in the pages of newspapers. This is what we currently […]

    Periodic Dose of Cute – Rags the Dog

    It is absolutely no secret that Americans love dogs, a 2006 Gallup poll estimated that 44% of Americans owned a dog.[1] According to an article in the Atlantic Americans spent a combined $63 billion on their pets in 2016 alone.[2] This love for animals is by no means a recent phenomenon, as a series of […]

    A Brief History of Advice Columns

    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. […]

    The West Frankfort Riot of 1920

    One fateful day in 1920 a grisly discovery sparked a violent riot that would shake the small mining community of West Frankfort, Illinois. On August 5th several hunters were trapesing through the woods searching for squirrels. Instead, they of finding the charming rodents they had been hoping for, they stumbled across a crime scene. There, […]

    Welcome To Our New Website!

    Welcome to the new and improved Illinois Newspaper Project Website! Starting in 1987, this project is aimed at identifying, preserving, cataloging, and digitizing Illinois newspapers. All newspapers that are digitized are housed on our Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection which can be accessed here.  To see where specific newspapers are held you can search by city […]

    Recipes from the Masters: Horrific Mishaps Edition

    But First:  The Recipe Three Squares unsweetened chocolate cut in pieces Two and one-half cups milk One and one-third cups sugar One-half cup corn starch One-half teaspoon salt Two tablespoons butter or margarine Three eggs One teaspoon vanilla One baked pie shell Add chocolate to milk and heat in double boiler. When melted beat with […]

    Our Current Banner Image: Newspaper Hawker Selling the Chicago Defender

    Our current banner image comes from the Farm Security Administration Photograph Collection at the Library of Congress. This photograph of a young, Chicago newspaper hawker (a familiar sight in American cities from the 1830s) was taken by Jack Delano , an immigrant who achieved considerable renown as a documentary photographer. The original film negative of […]

    From the INP Archives: Women Diversifying Illinois Newspapers

    For the most part the women’s movement was ignored by the press. When newspapers in the 19th century did address women’s rights and suffrage, it was from the negative perspective. Women realized early on that newspapers could reach greater numbers of people than the conferences and lectures most often attended by wealthy women.

    The INP and Newspaper Digitization at Illinois

    Newspaper digitization at University of Illinois began in 2004, under the leadership of Professor Mary Stuart, History Librarian and head of the History and Philosophy Library. At the time, Stuart was developing a plan to merge the History and Philosophy Library with the Newspaper Library, to form a single unit: the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper […]

    How the INP Began

    The INP began in 1987, as part of the United States Newspaper Program (USNP), a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities(NEH) to identify, catalog, and preserve American newspapers. Since that time, the INP has been staffed by librarians from the Illinois State Historical Library (ISHL), the Chicago Historical Society (CHS), and the […]

    A Brief History of Newspapers in Illinois

    Newspapers have played an important role in Illinois history since their introduction four years prior to statehood. In 1813, Matthew Duncan, a friend of Illinois Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards, secured a contract to print the first edition of the Illinois Territorial Laws. In 1814, Duncan began publishing the Illinois Herald at Kaskaskia, subsequently the state’s […]