This collection provides a unique tool to access a wide selection of ethnic newspapers that originally were in a number of different languages from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These newspapers are now difficult or impossible to find anywhere else.
The newspaper language groupings included in this collection and the approximate number of pages of articles for each:
Albanian American newspapers (91)
Bohemian-Czech American newspapers (15,811)
Chinese American newspapers (398)
Croatian American newspapers (1,321)
Danish American newspapers (795)
Dutch American newspapers (598)
Filipino American newspapers (558)
German American newspapers (18,448)
Greek American newspapers (10,706)
Hungarian American newspapers (2,688)
Italian American newspapers (2,950)
Jewish American newspapers (16,298)
Latin American - Spanish newspapers (1,909)
Lithuanian American newspapers (5,963)
Norwegian American newspapers (7,654)
Polish American newspapers (16,368)
Russian American newspapers (5,963)
Serbian American newspapers (124)
Slovak American newspapers (509)
Slovenian American newspapers (197)
Swedish American newspapers (6,780)
Ukrainian American newspapers (997)
Welsh American newspapers (108)
The material in this collection was assembled from material produced by the Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey (CFLPS), from 1936 to 1941, conducted by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project, funded by the Work Projects Administration (WPA). The WPA was a President Roosevelt New Deal era program intended to provide employment to a wide range of categories of unemployed persons. This project hired writers and sociologists to translate and classify selected news articles.
From the introduction written by the Project of its work in 1942, "In the writing of American history, it has been recently recognized that not enough emphasis has been given to the many foreign-born groups who have helped to build this country. Although this neglect has been repaired to some extent in late years, the study of immigrant life in the United States remains largely an untilled field; The source materials on this subject have only been scratched. The failure to explore this phase of our national growth is also reflected in studies on urban development."
The WPA chose to fund a project covering Chicago ethnic communities. Chicago was chosen as the area for such a program due to its high number of immigrants from around the world. In the first few decades after the founding of Chicago in the 1850's, half the city's population was foreign born. At the time the CFLPS was launched twenty-five percent of the population of Chicago was foreign born.
The principal publications used in the Survey include:
Albanian Journal (Monthly) 1922-23.
Czechoslovak Review (Monthly) 1918-24.
Denni Hlasatel (Daily) 1901-18, 1920-22.
Svornost (Daily) Apr 1878-Sep 1885, 1890-92, 1896-1900.
Chinese Centralist Daily News 1928.
San Min Morning Paper 1936-38.
Hrvatska Zastava (Daily) 1915-17.
Hrvatski Glasnik (Weekly) 1923, 1928, 1930.
Jugoslavia (Weekly) 1921-23.
Jugoslovenska Zastava (Weekly)1918.
Novi Svijet (Weekly) 1924-34, 1936.
Radnicka Straza (Weekly) 1907-17.
Radnik (Weekly) 1923-Sep 1929.
Svjetlo (Monthly) 1911.
Znanje (Weekly) 1918-Feb 1922, 1935-36.
Dansk Tidende (Weekly) May-June 1919, 1921, 1932-36.
Dansk Tidende Og Revyen (Weekly) 1922-Nov 1931.
Hejmdal (Weekly) Oct 1874-Jan 1878.
Revyen (Weekly) Apr 1895-June 1921.
Onze Toekomst (Weekly) 1906-13, 1919-27.
Abendpost (Daily) 1889-Sep 1911, Aug 1914-Feb 1915, Jul 1918-19, 1923-35.
Chicagoer Arbeiter Zeitung (Daily) 1879-89.
Illinois Staats-Zeitung (Daily) 186l-81, 1885-93, 1899-1901, 1914-18.
American Hellenic World (Monthly) Aug 1926-Oct 1928.
Chicago Greek Daily 1921-32, 1932-Jan 1935.
Democrat (Monthly) 1927-Apr 1931.
Greek American News (Weekly) 1936.
Greek News (Weekly) 1935.
Greek Press (Weekly) June 1929-Mar 1934.
Greek Star (Weekly) Jan 1908-Apr 1910.
Loxias (Weekly) June 1908-Nov 1918.
Proodos (Irregular) Apr 1931-Oct 1934.
Saloniki (Weekly) Aug 1913-1931.
Saloniki-Greek Press (Weekly) Mar 1934-36.
Star (Weekly) Jan 1904-Jan 1908.
Interest (Weekly) Nov 1933, 1934-30.
Magyar Tribune (Weekly) Mar 1917-21, July 1924-31, Jan-Sep 1933.
Otthon (Weekly) 1922-36.
Bollettino Delia Camera Di Commercio Italiana (Irregular) 1911-Oct 1926, Apr 1928-1933, 1935-36.
Bollettino Italo-American National Union (Monthly) Mar 1922-36.
II Bollettino Sociale (Monthly) Nov. 1928-Mar 1931.
Bulletin of Illinois Grand Lodge Order of Sons of Italy in America (Monthly) 1927, 1930, 1932-36.
L'Italia (Daily) Oct 1886-1920.
Men's Italica (Monthly) 1928-29, 1936.
La Parola del Popolo (Monthly) Sep 1921-Nov 1924.
La Parola dei Socialisti (Weekly) 1908-May 1916.
La Parola Proletaria (Weekly) 1916.
La Trihuna Italiana Transatlantica (Weekly) June 1904-Apr 1908.
Vita Nuova (Monthly) 1925-31.
Jewish Advance (Weekly) 1881.
Jewish Daily Courier 1906-28.
Jewish Daily Forward 1919-32.
Jewish Labor World (Weekly) 1908, 1916-19.
Jewish Standard (Weekly) Apr 1908-Jul 1909.
Jaunimas (Semi-Monthly) 1926, 1930, 1936.
Katalikas (Weekly) 1899-1903.
Lietuva (Weekly) Dec 1892-1918.
Naujienos (Daily) Feb 1914-16.
Vilnis (Daily) 1925-27.
Skandia (Daily) June 1899-1902, 1904-08, 1910-1935.
Skandinaven (Weekly) 1871-72, 1876-87, 1889-94, 1886-1921.
Dziennik Chicagoski (Daily) 1890-97, 1903-08, 1921-22.
Dziennik Ludowy (Daily) Mar 1907-08.
Dziennik Zjednoczenia (Daily) 1921-23, 1926-1930.
Dziennik Zwiazkowy Zgoda (Daily) 1908-18.
Narod Polski (Weekly) 1897-1902, 1904-21.
Polonia (Weekly) 1916-25, 1936.
Przebudzenie (Weekly) Nov 1927-31.
Zgoda (Weekly) 1887-94, 1897-1903.
Domasimi Vrach (Monthly) 1916-18.
Moskva (Monthly) 1929-30.
Rassviet (Daily) Kay 1926-36.
Russkaya Pochta (Weekly) 1917-18.
Russkii Yiestnik (Daily) Nov 1923-Apr 1926.
Russkoe Ooozrenie (Monthly) 1927-30.
Svobodnaya Rossiya 1917-23.
Balkan (Weekly) 1909.
Soko (Monthly) 1912-13.
Ujednijeno Srpstvo (Weekly) 1922-23, 1934, 1936.
Osadne Elasy (Weekly) Sep-Oct 1928, Mar 1929-June 1933, Jan 1933, Mar 1935.
Rovnost Ludu (Weekly) Oct 1906-Mar 1913.
Amerikanski Slovenec (Weekly) 1925-26, 1928.
Proletarec (Weekly) 1906, 1908-13, 1915-1919, 1927-1930, 1932.
L'Alianza (Monthly) 1936.
El Buen Samaritano (Monthly) 1924.
La Defensa (Weekly) 1935-36.
Evolucion (Semi-Monthly) 1937.
El Heraldo (Weekly) 1935-1927.
Ideal (Semi-Monthly) 1929-1930.
El Ideal Catolico Mexicano (Weekly) 1935-1937.
El Indicador (Weekly) 1903.
El Liberal (Bi-Monthly) 1933.
La Lucha (Semi-Monthly) 1932-1934.
El Mexicano (Weekly) 1928-1930.
Mexico (Tri-Weekly) 1928-1930.
El Nacional (Weekly) 1930-1935.
La Voz de Mexico (Monthly) 1935-36.
Svenska Amerikanaren (Weekly) 1907-1909.
Svenska Euriren (Weekly) 1907-08, 1911-20, 1925-Sep 1929.
Svenska Nyheter (Weekly) 1903.
Svenska Nyheter-Humoristen (Weekly) Oct 1903-Jul 1906.
Svenska Tribunen (Weekly) 1878-Mar 1904, 1905-June 1906.
Svenska Tribunen-Nyheter (Weekly) July 1906-Dec 1906, 1909-10, 1915-16, 1919-24, 1927, 1929-33.
Nash Styah (Weekly) Dec 1933-July 1936.
Banna Zorya (Monthly) 1919.
Sichovi Yisty (Semi-Monthly) 1920-24.
Sitch (Semi-Monthly) 1924-1929.
Ukraina (Weekly) May 1917-1920.
Ukraina (Weekly) 1930-1931.
The articles selected from these publications were intended to sample attitudes, contributions and activities, assimilation, and representative individuals of the selected ethnic communities.
From the WPA'S 1942 description of the contents of the CFLPS, "There are at the present moment historians, sociologists, journalists and writers who are actively engaged in studying the social fabric of Chicago, it is clear to these persons that to understand why Chicago is what it is today and how it came to be so, they must, among other things, dig into the written records of the many foreign language groups of the city. Perhaps for this purpose the most important type of record is the foreign language newspaper. But to use these newspapers requires knowledge of many tongues. No one person is sufficiently acquainted with the number of languages necessary to make a comprehensive study. Nor is it possible for one person during a single lifetime to complete such a search. It was to satisfy this need that the Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was established."
One example of the of utility of this material is how Katherine Leonard Turner, author of "How the Other Half Ate: A History of Working-Class Meals at the Turn of the Century," used the studies in part to document the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, working-class Americans' eating habits that were distinctly shaped by jobs, families, neighborhoods, and the tools, utilities, and size of their kitchens, along with their cultural heritage.
One of the many subjects that can be researched using this material is ethnic communities voting as a block. As early as September 12, 1862, the Illinois Staats-Zeitung declared: "We have called the attention of the
Germans of the state to the fact that they now have a very good opportunity to send a German representative to the U. S. Congress. The Germans of Illinois constitute an important part of the population of the state, and no one can justly accuse them of being immodest if they ask that one of the fourteen men chosen to represent the people of Illinois in Congress be a German."
The Denni Hlasatel wrote on November 5, 1922: "All Czechoslovak voters, both men and women, should forever bear in mind that there are four of our countrymen on the Democratic ticket and not one on the Republican, and act accordingly next Tuesday."
The Bollettino Italo-American National Union asserted in March 1928: "April 10 is Election Day and various Italians are candidates for different offices. It is our duty to vote for them regardless of our party affiliations."
Whether to send children to public schools or ethnic community based schools was an issue many parents faced. A piece appearing in the September 3, 1897, Lietuva read: "Nobody will dispute that the most important thing to the Lithuanians in America is the Lithuanian school. It is the only institution that can uplift the intellect of our brothers and inspire our children with the Lithuanian spirit."
Addressing the same issue, the Reform Advocate on October 10, 1931 wrote, "If, therefore you want to fit your child to meet the future with courage, with wisdom, and with hopefulness, do not deprive him of his right to a Jewish education."
Illustrative of the efforts made by the various foreign communities to preserve their national identity is the following article. On February 21, 1910, the Denni Hlasatel announced: "A moment has arrived, when all the Slavonic nationalities in the United States have to join in a firm protest, rise in unity and without delay, in order to thwart the plan of the U. S. Census Bureau which aims at obliterating their names from the list of recognized nations and at subordinating them to the countries of their respective emigration. The census which is to be taken in April this year is not to recognize any Bohemians, Poles, Slovenians, Slovaks, or Croatians, but to recognize only Austrians, German, Hungarians, etc."
From the Survey's introduction to the collection, "Further amplification of the scope of the Survey, the limits of the present writing will not permit. It is enough to state that the files contain a huge body of valuable original source materials hitherto inaccessible to most persons. This reservoir of information can be used in the preparation of historical, sociological and economic studies on all phases of city and group life. The translations open up new avenues for the study of urban organization which were formerly closed because of language barriers. Through its classification arrangement the Survey makes it possible to study a topic such as politics, education, divorce, etc., from the standpoint of all the foreign language communities at the same time and not merely of one or two isolated groups. This in itself is a considerable contribution since it insures a more complete presentation of a subject. Many scholars, research students, writers, and organizations have already used this material to great advantage. It is now made available to the public through the combined efforts of the
Work Projects Administration and the Chicago Public Library."
For each language included in the CFLPS, the original editors organized the newspaper clippings by a standard outline. Each clipping was marked with its place on the outline (i.e. in the German I A 3 a) and put in order.
The classifications include:
a. Elementary and Higher (High School and College)
b. Foreign Languages
c. Taxation for Public Schools
d. Special Endowments
a. Elementary and Higher (High School and College)
b. Foreign Languages
d. Special Endowments
2. Blue Laws
3. Family Organizations
b. Parent-Child Relationship
c. Family Economic Organization
4. Religious Customs and Practices
C. Own and Other National or Language Groups
D. Economic Organization
1. Capitalistic Enterprise
a. Big Business
b. Small Business
2. Labor Organization and Activities
E. Social Organization
1. Voting as Blocs
2. Part played by Social and Political Societies
3. Programs and Purposes
4. Extent of Influence
5. Political Leadership
6. Graft and Corruption
H. Social Problems and Social Legislation
J. Interpretation of American History
K. Position of Women and Feminism
L. Agriculture in the United States
M. Health and Sanitation
II. CONTRIBUTIONS AND ACTIVITIES
2. Industrial and Commercial
a. Arts and Handicrafts
c. Painting and Sculpture
B. Avocational and Intellectual
b. Painting and Sculpture
(3) Festivals, Pageants, Fairs, and Expositions
d. Literary Societies
c. Scientific and Historical
e. Radio Programs and Cinema
f. Special Schools and Classes
g. Forums, Discussion Groups and Lectures
3. Athletics and Sports
C. Permanent Memorials
D. Benevolent and Protective Institutions
1. Benevolent Societies
2. Insurance Companies
3. Hospitals, Clinics and Medical Aid
4. Orphanages and Creches
5. Homes for the Aged
6. Settlement Houses and Community Centers
7. Organizations for Legal Assistance
8. Employment Agencies
9. Extra-Legal Organizations
10. Foreign and Domestic Relief
E. Crime and Delinquency
1. Organized Crime
2. Individual Crime
3. Crime Prevention
F. Real Estate Transfers and Building Activities
B. Nationalistic Societies and Influences
1. Effect upon United States Government and State Policies
2. Activities of Nationalistic Societies
3. Commemoration of Holidays
4. Conventions and Conferences
C. Nation Churches and Sects
D. Participation in United States Service
E. Youth Organizations
F. Special Contributions to Early American Development
G. Immigration and Emigration
H. Relations with Homeland
IV. Representative Individuals
V. MISCELLANEOUS CHARACTERISTICS
A. Foreign Origins
2. Social and Occupational
B. Picturesque Miscellanies