Mickie Says …

Mickie Says - comic panel
Crossville Chronicle. March 30, 1921.

The Mickie Says cartoon panel was created by Charles Sughroe and syndicated through the Western Newspaper Union from 1918. Each week, the cartoon’s young protagonist – a “printer’s devil” at a small town newspaper – reminded readers to support their hometown newspaper in various ways such as keeping their subscription up to date, taking out ads in the paper, or reporting local news.

The character later appeared in his own comic strip – Mickie the Printer’s Devil – which follows the daily goings-on in a small-town newspaper printing office. Our friends over at the Vermont Newspaper Digitization Project highlighted the comic strip in an article on their website – check it out here.

Mickie’s creator, cartoonist Charles Sughroe, had plenty of experience to draw on having worked as a printer’s devil himself, at his father’s newspaper the Stockton Herald-News in Illinois. Following his boyhood experience in the print office, Sughroe spent four years at the Chicago Art Institute before working as a free-lance commercial artist, and later gaining national recognition for his Mickie cartoon. An article in trade journal, American Printer, in 1922 says, “Every Mickie cartoon is founded on some actual happening, so it is not overdrawn.” Some of Sughroe’s other comic panels and strips – People of our Town and Town Pests – can be found by searching Chronicling America‘s newspapers (for example, this page from the Leavenworth Echo, Wa., features both).

People of our town cartoon
Crossville Chronicle. June 29, 1921.

More information on Mickie and Sughroe is available at The Stripper’s Guidea comprehensive website with tons of information about the history of the American newspaper comic.

Charles Sughroe - Cartoonist
American Printer. July 5, 1922.














Chronicling America Update

Chronicling America 10 million pagesIn October, the total number of pages available via Chronicling America surpassed 10 MILLION! And it was a Tennessee batch that took it through that barrier!

The latest Tennessee titles to be added are: Putnam County Herald (1911-1921), Sneedville News (1913-1922), Crossville Chronicle (1915-1922), Grainger County News (1917-1922), and Memphis News Scimitar (1918-1920). Further issues of the Chattanooga News and the Camden Chronicle were added, bringing the coverage to Jan. 1918-1920 and 1890-1922 respectively.

Sneedville News December 6 1918
Sneedville News. December 6, 1918.

Chronicling America Data Challenge

Chronicling America Data ChallengeOver the last few years you’ve enjoyed browsing and searching America’s historical newspapers on Chronicling America, but all the time you were thinking, I know there’s so much more I could be doing with this data. Well now’s your chance!

NEH has launched a competition designed to encourage you to “develop data visualizations, web-based tools, or other innovative web-based projects using a user-friendly Application Program Interface (API) to explore the data contained in Chronicling America data.”

Read more about the challenge on this website. The contest is open to the public (some restrictions apply, see Rules on the website) – enter as an individual or group. This would make a great collaborative project for, say, historians, social scientists, digital humanists,  and computer scientists. Dig into the data and create something brilliant!!

To help start the cogs turning, here are some links to projects that have used Chronicling America data for visualizations, and also links to other data visualization projects, for inspiration.

Journalism's Voyage West mapJournalism’s Voyage West
From Stanford University’s Rural West Initiative, this visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. A panel on the right provides contextual information.

Viral text networks 19th century


Viral Texts
Mapping Networks of Reprinting in 19th-Century Newspapers and Magazines. From Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks, this project explores shared texts among pre-Civil War newspapers.

Hawaiian Star history


Visualizing Newspaper History
Created by a UCSD undergraduate in 2011, this animation uses 5930 front pages from the Hawaiian Star covering 1893-1912 period.


Mining the Dispatch


Visit the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab to explore a variety of data visualization projects, some of which use newspaper data (though not from Chronicling America).

Chronicling America Offline, Aug 28-30

The Chronicling America website will not be available this weekend due to maintenance on all Library of Congress websites.

Here is the announcement from the Library of Congress:

Websites Down Aug. 28-30, Reading Rooms Closed Aug. 29

The Library’s public websites (loc.gov, copyright.gov & others) will be unavailable from 7 p.m. ET, Friday, Aug. 28 through Sunday, Aug. 30.

The Congress.gov website will be available over the weekend of August 28-30. Data will be current through Thursday, Aug. 27, and updates will resume on Monday, Aug. 31.

On Saturday, Aug. 29, all reading rooms and research areas, Library Shop, Madison and Adams buildings will be closed to the public.

The Thomas Jefferson Building’s Great Hall and exhibitions will be open to the public from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 29. No food service will be available throughout the day, however the vending lounge in the Thomas Jefferson Building cellar will be open.

The Architect of the Capitol will be conducting essential maintenance on the Capitol Hill campus from Friday, Aug. 28, through Sunday, Aug. 30, resulting in power outages that will require these closings.

# # #

PR 15-A02
ISSN 0731-3527

TNDP Update

The Chattanooga News, July 1918 – December 1920, is now available on Chronicling America.

Issues feature war reports, news from the home front, editorial cartoons, and the daily weather report from Billy ‘Possum.

Chattanooga News 1919 Peace Treaty Signed
The Chattanooga News. June 28, 1919.
Billy Possum weather - Chattanooga News
Weather report – Chattanooga News. July 12, 1918.


Tennessee Newspaper Resources

Information iconLooking for Tennessee newspapers? Looking for information about Tennessee newspapers? Check out the new Resources tab right here on this website!

The resources cover both historical and current newspapers, where to find them (online and print), publications about Tennessee newspapers (note the link to an extended bibliography), and a selection of special interest newspaper-related items and places in Tennessee.

Within these pages, you can find downloadable spreadsheets such as these on the “Where to Find Tenn Newspapers” page: Tennessee titles available in Chronicling America; Historical Tennessee titles in subscription databases. And these on the “Resources About TN Newspapers“: “Lost” Tennessee newspapers – a list of newspapers that we’ve found references to, but for which there are no extant copies; African American Tennessee newspapers – not an exhaustive list, but a work-in-progress. We’re compiling it from several different sources, and will add to it from time to time.

Please let us know if have any other recommendations to add to these resources.


List of Tennessee Newspapers on Chronicling America

Lady on a question mark. Baking powder ad.
Camden Chronicle. June 11, 1915

Although it is possible to view a list of Tennessee newspapers on the Chronicling America website, the arrangement of the titles makes the list a little awkward to read. To make it easier, we’ve created a list organized by town. Use this link to open and download the spreadsheet: TNDP_TitlesOnChronAm_list

A list of essays about the Tennessee newspapers featured in Chronicling America can be found here: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/awardees/tu/

TNDP Batch Names 2014-16

Batch names - Tennessee musicians
TNDP batch names – people with a Tennessee music connection. How many can you name?

The first batch of microfilm for the TNDP 2014-16 award cycle is now with our digitization vendor, iArchives. We send microfilm to them in small batches and they return the digital images and metadata for each reel. The Library of Congress requires each of these batches to have a name. The choice of names is entirely up to each awardee. Here’s how LC explains it:

“Referring to a batch as “last month’s batch” or even the “fifth batch” can leave room for interpretation. The fifth hard drive sent in is not always batch 5. To accomplish this clarity, what evolved in NDNP is a standardized way of naming batches using a word unique among that awardee institution’s batches. For example, a series of data could use the names of aliens (e.g. “alf,” “beeblebrox”). Different institutions have pulled their lists of names from various sources. Some have used alphabetical lists of cities within their state, or a list of philosophers, or foreign countries or musicians.
We ask that the NATO radio alphabet no longer be used. Repeated use has caused confusion. See this page for existing naming schemes: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/data/batches/ .”

For the previous two award cycles (2010-12 and 2012-14), TNDP used Tennessee musicians, or people with a strong Tennessee music connection. We’ve decided to keep that theme going through 2014-16. Pictured above are the new inductees into the TNDP batch hall of fame. How many did you recognize? (answers below)


Answers: Anita Kerr, Bertha Walburn Clark, Carla Thomas, Dinah Shore, “Smilin'” Eddie Hill, Fred E. Smith, Gus Nennstiel, Harry Nides, Ira Louvin, James D. Vaughan, Kathy Hill.