Princeton University Library Establishes Collection of African-American Newspapers

The Princeton University Library has established a collection of current newspapers published for African American audiences throughout the United States. The new collection contains 72 newspapers from various cities and towns in 32 states. Some of the included newspapers are Hudson Valley Press from Newburgh, New York, Tuskegee News from Tuskegee, Alabama, Tri-City Voice from Fremont, California, African-American News and Issues from Houston, Texas, and Black Chronicle from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Princeton librarians believe that scholars of African American history and culture will be able to use this collection for research purposes. The collected newspapers are community-oriented, meaning they cover local events, opinions, and advertisements as well as news stories. Researchers will be able to use these newspapers to trace activities, attitudes and thoughts of people living in the United States during the 21st century.

In the 20th century, microfilming companies made compact, long-lived copies of newspapers for libraries to purchase for their research needs. However, a recent rise in digital databases has caused many libraries to drop their microfilm purchases and rely on online news resources. These digital copies usually leave out advertising and graphical content and some titles can go unnoticed. The Princeton librarians believe that it is necessary to collect and preserve newspapers in their entirety to provide a permanent record of the activities of African American communities. The newspapers in the new collection are expected to remain in usable condition for many decades.

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  1. Continental Features, founded by L. H. Stanton produced a magazine supplement for African American newspapers, through L. H. Stanton Publications, Inc., National Scene.

    The supplement included the art work of Robert S. Pious and historically researched articles by bibliophile Clarence Holte.

    This preservation is wonderful news. As the supplement does, the story, our story, makes more complete our history as United States history.

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