When you think of the Champaign County Historical Archives (and we hope you do!), do you think of newspapers? Some folks might, if they are doing specific research or if they are interested in genealogy. But I want to let everyone know about the rich trove of newspapers we have here in the Archives, newspapers that you might remember and ones that are not so memorable. Over the next few months, I will be here to talk about our newspaper collection and how you can access the photos and stories that make up the rich history of Champaign County.
Today we’ll start with a couple of one-hit-wonders from University of Illinois students and other community members. Popcorn had a grand run of 4 issues, March-June, 1981. The subtitle of the paper was “The Big Buzz in the Midwest.” Most of the articles centered on on-campus activities, concerts, restaurants, and it contained plenty of advertising. Popcorn seems to be one in a long line of free newspapers centered around the ‘scene’ on campus.
Another short-lived publication was called Your Name Here. This free newspaper looks like it was put together using a typewriter, but there are interesting interviews with community members centering on the issues of the day. The paper only published two editions, as far as I know, March and April 1982, but it was jam-packed with poetry, advertising, essays, and concert reviews.
All of our newspapers are on microfilm and are available to the public for viewing and copying. We have microfilm readers and software that will let you capture any story or picture from our newspapers.
Here is a picture of our newspaper microfilm drawers. I don’t know how many newspapers and how many issues of those papers we have, but I can confidently say…it’s a lot! So, watch this space in the months to come, and I’ll share more interesting tidbits from our extensive newspaper colection.
- Ann P.