“Extra! Extra! Newspapers in Special Collections” features various newspapers housed in Falvey’s Special Collections. The exhibit was curated by Laura Bang, digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant; Laura Hutelmyer, electronic resources and special acquisitions coordinator; and Jean Lutes, PhD, associate professor, Department of English, and director of academics, gender and women’s studies. Joanne Quinn, Falvey’s graphic designer, created the graphics for the exhibit.
“Extra! Extra! …” begins in the vertical case which houses a placard with information about newspapers, concluding with “This exhibit provides a glimpse of some of the varied types of newspapers that can be found in Falvey’s Special Collections.” Also on display in this case are 12 mastheads reproduced from newspapers; “The Lepracaun,” “Public Ledger,” “Chicago Ledger,” “The New World” and “New York Ledger” are among those shown. On the bottom shelf are a large scrapbook from c.1880s containing clippings related to the Catholic Church and a bound volume of the “Boston Cultivator” from March 1848 from which articles have been cut, probably for inclusion in someone’s scrapbook. The curator’s placard says, “Scrapbooks provided a format for readers to collect and organize a rapidly growing selection of reading materials.”
Five additional cases feature newspapers grouped by categories: “Early Papers,” “Illustrations,” “Social Justice,” “Family Papers” and “Publications for Young Readers,” all accompanied by informative placards.
“Early Papers” features works published in Philadelphia: “The Saturday Evening Post,” May 30, 1829 (here a newspaper, but later a magazine); “Public Ledger,” March 25, 1836; “Saturday Night,” Nov. 16, 1889; and a bound volume of “Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine” opened to the July 1856 issue. The curator’s placard tells us that between 1836 and 1880 Philadelphia had 12 daily papers, many more than we have today.
“Illustrations” exhibits a “Public Ledger Color Supplement” cover from June 8, 1919; a “Dear Little French Orphan …” paper doll with several outfits; an image of “Picturesque Philadelphia: Old South Street Market;” an open volume of a New York “Illustrated News” from 1853 and placards explaining how illustrations were created in a time before it was possible to insert photographs in newspapers and magazines.
The “Social Justice” case offers four issues of this newspaper published from 1936 until 1942 by Father Charles Edward Coughlin, a member of the Basilian Fathers. Father Coughlin used “Social Justice” to promote his ideology and as a supplement to his radio broadcasts. Articles such as “Ladies and Gentlemen Meet Satan,” “The Roosevelt Cleaner,” “The Smut Vendor” and “Who Is Next on Relief?” give the reader a sense of Father Coughlin’s interests.
“Harper’s Bazar: A Repository of Fashion, Pleasure, and Instruction,” “People’s Home Journal,” “Collier’s Weekly: An Illustrated Journal of Art, Literature and Current Events” and “Comfort” are displayed as “Family Papers.” These newspapers reflect the interests of American families in the years 1870 through 1919 (the years on display). Look carefully at them; the illustrations provide information about fashion and farm life, one shows a mounted policeman coming to the aid of a woman on a runaway horse, and, particularly appropriate for our winter weather, another displays couple riding a toboggan.
The final group of newspapers on display is “Publications for Young Readers:” “Golden Days for Boys and Girls,” Feb. 4, 1882, and “Happy Days: A Paper for Young and Old,” Feb. 2, 1907, and Nov. 6, 1915, issues. The front pages of these papers show large illustrations related to the stories included.
The exhibit will remain on display through May.
Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.