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African American Newspapers Added to Chronicling America

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This post was written by Nathan Yarasavage, a Digital Projects Specialist in the Library’s Serial and Government Publications Division.

In 1947, the Library of Congress in cooperation with the American Council of Learned Societies microfilmed the original print pages of over 150 African American newspapers published in the U.S. throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. This 12-reel microfilm collection brought together a selection of issues from these newspapers that were available in various libraries and state historical societies across the country. For some titles, only a single issue is extant or available, highlighting the uniqueness and significance of the collection. More info on this microfilming project is detailed in this guide distributed by the Library of Congress in 1953.

Image shows a collage of African American newspaper mastheads now available in Chronicling America.
A selection of African American newspapers now available in Chronicling America.

As part of an ongoing effort to enhance access to African American newspapers from the Library of Congress collections, we’re now digitizing these historically significant issues. By making this digital collection available online as part of Chronicling America*, we greatly broaden access to this content that was previously only available in disparate databases or in microfilm collections at many libraries throughout the country. These titles expand a growing list of more than 110 other African American newspaper titles digitized by National Digital Newspaper (NDNP) participants.

As of February 2022, we’ve added 1,224 new pages from 103 African American newspaper titles throughout 28 states and the District of Columbia. As we continue this project, more titles from the collection will be added very soon, so be sure to check our dynamic list of all digitized African American newspapers in Chronicling America. The list is updated as soon as we add new content.

If you prefer to explore newspaper coverage on a map interface, check out our interactive map visualization with links to titles cataloged by various ethnicities and audiences.

Image shows an interactive map visualization showing ethnic press coverage in Chronicling America.
Interactive map visualization showing ethnic press coverage in Chronicling America.

*The Chronicling America historic newspapers online collection is a product of the National Digital Newspaper Program and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Follow Chronicling America on Twitter @ChronAmLOC

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