One of the goals for History Unfolded is to develop a representative sample of newspaper reporting in each of the fifty states in order to facilitate scholarly research and comparative data analysis. Toward that end, the Museum has identified the two newspapers, or in some cases three, with the highest circulation in each state in 1940. We have set a goal to publish findings from these two newspapers for each event module in each state.
Since making this goal public in 2018, we’ve had considerable success, especially in collecting articles for the top priority newspapers available online. Due to the active participation in our original top priority newspaper research and the expansion of the project to 2023, we have identified two additional top priority newspapers for each state. These additional two newspapers, which we refer to as “priority newspapers of medium circulation”, were chosen to complement the original highest circulation newspapers. We selected these newspapers based on their city’s population and geographical location within the state. We were interested in seeing how smaller newspapers’ coverage of History Unfolded’s event modules compared to the top circulation newspapers of each state. This dataset should also help scholars with future research into what readers in some smaller towns could have known about the Holocaust while it was taking place.
While dozens of citizen historians have helped us collect the main dataset for many top priority newspapers, many of which were easily accessible online, we still need your help collecting articles from newspapers which are not always easily accessible. The newspapers remaining are generally found only on microfilm in local libraries, or in some cases restricted online. The newspapers we are still working towards completing are listed below. Between now and June 2023, we are trying hard to publish findings from these top priority newspapers for each event module in each state.
We have included in the list below the newspapers not easily accessible online still in need of significant research, which may only include one or two newspapers. We encourage students to look at newspapers in their local community. If you also happen to live near one of the high circulation newspapers on this list, or want to contribute “above and beyond” your local newspaper coverage, please follow these steps:
- Let the History Unfolded team know by sending an email to historyunfolded [at] ushmm [dot] org.
- Choose a newspaper from the list below.
- Go to the History Unfolded site’s “Menu” and then “Explore User Research” page. Enter in the newspaper name in the “Newspaper” field. (If the newspaper name does not appear, then we may not have any submissions from it yet.)
- Select an individual event module you wish to research from the dropdown list above the “Newspaper” field.
- Hit the blue “Search” button to see if we have any submissions from that newspaper on that topic. If we do not, this is a great event to begin researching from this newspaper.
- Continue this process for your chosen newspaper with other events the database does not currently have any published submissions from.
The top priority newspapers for each state, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, are identified on the History Unfolded website’s Find a Newspaper Archive listing with a small red flag symbol next to the newspaper name. They are listed with a flag whether they have been completed or not at this point. Below is an example of the red flag used to highlight the top priority newspapers. At this time, the priority newspapers of medium circulation are not indicated with a flag.
Have questions about the state-by-state sprint? Want particular guidance from the History Unfolded team? If so, please email us at historyunfolded [at] ushmm [dot] org or call community manager Eric Schmalz at 202.382.0211. Keep your eye out for additional enhancements to History Unfolded. As always, thank you for all your incredible work!
*Any newspaper names listed in blue below are one of our “priority newspapers of medium circulation” priority newspapers.*