Chicago Defender (and More) Comes to W&L


The recent issues of the newspapers we still have are full of stories about long-published newspapers which are no longer with us.  And sometimes this sort of news involves a publication which is a true icon of newspaper history.

The New York Times recently contained an article about the landmark Chicago Defender, which last week ceased publication of its print editions, becoming another digital-only publication in the 21st century.  As you can read in the NYT article,  the Defender has been one of the pre-eminent African-American newspapers ever since it began publication in 1905.

Earlier this summer the Washington and Lee University Library acquired access to a resource called the Black Studies Center, which includes a variety of databases, including historical newspapers, magazine and journal articles, essays, abolitionist papers, and other materials, including the History Makers array of interviews with noteworthy modern-era individuals.   The Newspapers module offers W&L researchers our first-ever online access to past issues and articles of the Chicago Defender (1910-1975) and nine other important newspapers which were published for African-American audiences.

Please note that more recent articles from these newspapers may be available through other W&L library databases, as is true of the Chicago Defender. Check the University Library’s Journal Search tool for the possibilities for any particular newspaper.

We hope that W&L researchers will explore the many facets of Black Studies Center and let us know if there are questions or comments.



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