HANDWRITTEN NEWSPAPERS & PERIODICALS have been produced all over the world for hundreds of years. They illustrate how the universal journalistic impulse to share news and information publicly doesn’t always follow our preconceived technological expectations. Sometimes, to tell their stories or to convey the news to others, people break the rules or defy convention. Some have no other choice; some are constrained by resources or circumstances; some are just a little crazy. But, for whatever reason, they wrote these newspapers by hand with pen and ink. This collection is a modest tribute to their legacy of writing news by coloring outside the lines.

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The Handwritten Newspapers Project is a repository of bibliographical data, images, resource links, and research notes for hundreds of rare manuscript publications produced under extraordinary conditions in remarkable settings.

A majority of the handwritten publications identified below are from North America, particularly Canada and the United States. Most were published during the 19th century. However, this collection includes works from around the globe–from Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and beyond–and they date from the ancient world (Rome’s Acta Diurna) to the present day (see the Japanese handwritten newspaper published March 2011 after that nation’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, an Urdu language paper in India still handwritten since 1927, and Liberia’s Daily Talk, a chalkboard “paper” posted on a blackboard on busy Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia, the capital of this impoverished African nation, since 2000; see a video here).

The Old Flag (TX, 1864)
The Old Flag (TX, 1864)

The handwritten newspapers and periodicals in this collection are identified individually by title, place of origin and dates of publication, if known. Each bibliographic entry is divided into three sections containing a publication history, a general overview with the project editor’s comments based on a review of the available documentary evidence, and information on the known bibliographic resources for that particular publication and the archival location(s) of extant copies. When available, an image of an extant copy of the publication has been included.  All entries containing images are indexed.

In the right column on every page is the site index that allows users to sort the collection by key categories: date, alphabetical order, country, state/province, and type of publication, as categorized by the project editor. These categories have been applied to each publication to allow users to sort through or group related or similar publications as desired.

Across the top of the website, separate groups of indexed material appear for further research. Tabs for “recent” and “pending” pages identify “new” titles that have recently become known to the editor and/or for handwritten publications which haven’t been fully vetted or cataloged yet.

Kamloops Wawa (BC, 1891-1905)
Kamloops Wawa (BC, 1891-1905)

Welcome, and An Invitation

Welcome to the Handwritten Newspaper Project. Please take the time to explore these amazing publications. If you are aware of any handwritten publications not yet included in this collection, or you can provide additional or corrected information for the bibliographical entries below, please contact the editor. And please feel free to offer any feedback about particular entries in this collection or the site as a whole. Thanks and welcome. Enjoy.

Roy Alden Atwood
Project Editor    

Published First Day of Summer, June 21, 2011, Moscow, Idaho, USA
[Updated Ascension Day, May 14, 2015, Moscow, Idaho USA]
[Updated September 20, 2016, Moscow, Idaho, USA]
[Updated February 26, 2019, Pogradec, Albania]

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michael Ray Smith
    Jul 02, 2011 @ 22:41:25

    A first-class contribution.

  2. bishnunmdc
    Jan 08, 2015 @ 00:40:06

    This provides historic information.

  3. bishnunmdc
    Jan 08, 2015 @ 00:40:29

    I am also very much interested to contribute

  4. PolO (@PolOAviles)
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 22:56:50

    I was the editor of a handwriten newspaper -‘El Balsero”, in 1994-95 during the Cuban refugee crisis of 1994, in Gitmo Bay, Cuba.

  5. Steven Van Impe
    Mar 21, 2016 @ 16:08:43

    Some of the trench journals published in the Great War were handwritten, then polycopied. Many of these have recently been digitized, including some 150 titles from the Hendrik Conscience Library in Antwerp. See for example the newspaper ‘Ursel boven al’ for soldiers from the village of Ursel: https://hetarchief.be/nl/zoeken?sort=issued-asc&Serie%5B%5D=Ursel%20boven%20al

  6. Roy Atwood
    Mar 21, 2016 @ 20:03:00

    Steven, thanks for the information about these digitized copies of Great War handwritten journals and the link to the Hendrik Library archives. Much appreciated. Are you affiliated with the library?

  7. Steven Van Impe
    Mar 23, 2016 @ 08:18:30

    Hi, yes I’m the curator of old and rare books at the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library. There’s lots of trench journals in our collection, but most are typeset. You can find all of them in the link above, but that will require a lot of browsing as the printing method is not recorded in the metadata.

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