. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Titles Awaiting Cataloging and Leads Needing Further Study

The following newspapers (or sources pointing to papers) have been identified as handwritten or possibly handwritten (in whole or part). Some books and articles are also listed below that cite handwritten publications, but I’ve not had time to review or evaluate them for inclusion in this bibliography as yet. Once reviewed, they’ll either be included in the bibliography (and removed from this “pending” section) or deleted as not appropriate for the bibliography (i.e., they’re printed publications or not relevant to the bibliography). Recommendations of additional titles or assistance with current citations and sources will be greatly appreciated.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Sept. 18, 2016] Hindustan Ghadar (CA, 1913)


Hindustan Ghadar (CA, 1913)

“The Hindustan Ghadar (Hindi: हिन्दुस्तान ग़दर, Punjabi: ਹਿੰਦੁਸਤਾਨ ਗ਼ਦਰ, Urdu: ہِندُوستان غدر) was a weekly publication that was the party organ of the Ghadar Party. It was published under the auspices of the Yugantar Ashram (Advent of a New Age Ashram) in San Francisco. Its purpose was to further the militant nationalist faction of the Indian independence movement, especially amongst Indian sepoys of the British Indian Army.

“In 1912–1913, the Pacific Coast Hindustan Association was formed by Indian immigrants under the leadership of Har Dayal, with Sohan Singh Bhakna as its president, which later came to be called the Ghadar Party. With donations raised with the help of the Indian diaspora, especially with the aid of Indian students at the University of California, Berkeley, the party established the Yugantar Ashram at 436 Hill Street where a printing press was set up with the donations. The first Urdu edition of Hindustan Ghadar appeared on 1 November 1913, followed by a Punjabi edition 9 December 1913.[1] The issues were first handwritten before being printed on the press. Careful measures were taken to shield the party and its supporters from British intelligence, which included the measure of memorising over a thousand names of the subscribers so that no incriminating evidence could fall into the hands of the British government. (emphasis added)

“The articles in the paper were initially authored by Har Dayal, with the printing operation run by Kartar Singh Sarabha, then a student of UC Berkeley. Copies of the paper began to be shipped to India with returning Ghadarites and immigrants, and were quickly deemed to be seditious and banned by the British Indian government. Later publications from the Yugantar Ashram included compilations of nationalist compositions and pamphlets, including Ghadar di gunj, Talwar and other publications which were also banned from British India.

Source: Wikipedia: Hindustan Ghadar (accessed Sept. 18, 2016)


[Sept. 18, 2016] Manavar Nesan (India, ca. 1938)

“Muthuvel Karunanidhi (born 3 June 1924) . . . entered politics at the age of 14, inspired by a speech by Alagiriswamii of the Justice Party, and participated in Anti-Hindi agitations. He founded an organisation for the local youth of his locality. He circulated a handwritten newspaper called Manavar Nesan to its members. Later he founded a student organisation called Tamil Nadu Tamil Manavar Mandram, which was the first student wing of the Dravidan Movement. Karunanidhi involved himself and the student community in social work with other members. Here he started a newspaper for its members, which grew into Murasoli, the DMK party’s official newspaper.” (emphasis added)

Source: Wikipedia, Muthuvel Karunanidhi (accessed Sept. 18, 2016)

[Sept. 18, 2016] Stavangerske Adressecontoirs Efterretninger (Norway, 1769-1770)

“The first newspaper published in Stavanger, Norway, Stavangerske Adressecontoirs Efterretninger, was a handwritten weekly newspaper that probably came out in 1769 and 1770. This was not an ordinary newspaper, but a so-called link newspaper with the privilege of bringing out announcements, small articles and ads. The first printed newspaper in Stavanger, “Stavanger Addresseavis”, published its first issue on Friday, 4 October 1833.”

Source: Wikipedia, Stavanger (accessed Sept. 18, 2016)

[Sept. 18, 2016] Nipponjin (The Japanese People, Peru, 1909);
Jiritsu (The Independent, Peru, 1910-1913);
possibly others

“In 1909 Nipponjin (The Japanese people) was founded, a handwritten newspaper edited by someone with the surname Seki, who was a graduate of the University of Waseda, and who, as a free immigrant, worked at the Cerro de Pasco Corporation in La Oroya. The newspaper appeared about four times. It was written on sulfite paper or “office paper,” which was similar to the wrapping paper used in small businesses. The edition consisted of only one copy of thirty to forty pages that was held together by a string that served as a fastener of sorts.

“Between 1910 and 1913, when 2473 Japanese arrived in Peru, there appeared another handwritten newspaper that was printed and distributed on mimeograph paper: Jiritsu (The Independent), whose format was 18×23 centimeters with each edition averaging some seventy-two pages, which also were fastened together with a string. Its printing on mimeograph made it possible for greater distribution than its predecessor. It ended in 1913, the same year that the emperor Taisho, grandfather of the current Japanese emperor, celebrated one year on the throne.

“In June 1921, Nippi Shimpo (Japanese-Peruvian News) was published by Jutaro Tanaka, Teisuke Okubo, Noboru Kitahara, Kohei Mitsumori and Chijiwa.

“January 1, 1929, Perú Nichi Nichi Shimbun (Daily News of Peru), with the goal of taking part in the debate. It was understood that the Japanese readership should neither be polarized nor silent witnesses in the polemic that had sustained the other two newspapers. This new publication was directed by Susumu Sakuray.

Jutaro Tanaka, one of the publishers of Nippi Shimpo, managed to merge three newspapers and publish Lima Nippo (Daily Bulletin of Lima). He argued that for such a small community it was not necessary to waste such efforts publishing three newspapers; rather, it was better to save supplies and offer the readership one good newspaper. This is how the newspaper was born in July 1929; Tanaka himself was named manager of the new company, and Sakuray, the former manager of Andes Jiho and Perú Nichi Nichi Shimbun, was named editor.

“In 1929 Peru Jiho (Chronicles of Peru), began to circulate in the city, and it was supported by those who had opposed the merger of the original three newspapers. Kuninosuke Yamamoto assumed the leadership for two years, and in 1931, it passed to Hisao Ikeyama, a graduate of the University of Tokyo, who, thanks to his editorials that made the newspaper competitive, managed to stamp his own personal seal on the newspaper. Thereafter, a portion of the paper was published in Spanish, while some of the first Peruvians of Japanese descent worked on the newspaper, including Víctor Tateishi, Luis Okamoto, Julio Matsumura, Alberto Mochizuki, Enrique Shibao and Chihito Saito.

“In July 1941, Susumu Sakuray, who had earlier left the paper Lima Nippo, published the Peru Hochi (Reports of Peru), which now brought the number of newspapers circulating in the community back to three. It was World War II, and there was great interest in getting the most recent news coming out of Europe and then Asia. However, when Japan became involved in the war and Peru declared war against Japan, the Peruvian government closed down and confiscated Japanese newspapers. The government also deported the major players in the Japanese community, including those Japanese who had become Peruvian citizens, as well as Peruvians of Japanese descent.

“For almost a decade there were no Japanese-language newspapers circulating in Peru until July 1, 1950, when Peru Shimpo (Recent News from Peru) appeared, which remains in circulation today, and whose publication was authorized by Ministerial Resolution 107 of July 1, 1948. Peru Shimpo, just like Andes Jiho in 1913, was a product of donations gathered from among the members of the Japanese community. The organization for fundraising, as well as the donations lasted two years. With the proceeds the editors purchased machinery and the necessary typography, both of which arrived in Peru in February 1950. Diro Hasegawa was elected president of the board of directors, Masao Sawada as manager and Hiromu Sakuray as administrator and translator. The head of workshop was Kaname Ito, while some of the writers were Junji Kimura, Giei Higa, and Chihito Saito. Saito was also in charge of the Spanish section of the newspaper.

“After a year in circulation, Peru Shimpo Press acquired office space in Lima downtown. At the end of the 1990s, the Japanese philanthropist, Ryoichi Jinnai, donated to the press a second-hand offset machine that remains in use today. At the start of the new century, the press relocated to Bellavista, Callao. The publication was printed in the standard format and had four pages.”

Source: Wikipedia: Japanese Peruvians (accessed Sept. 18, 2016)

[Sept. 18, 2016] Minzhi Zhoukan (民治周刊), Jamaica (?-1956)

“The first Chinese-language newspaper in Jamaica, the Zhonghua Shang Bao (中華商報), was founded in 1930 by Zheng Yongkang; five years later, it was taken over by the Chinese Benevolent Association, who renamed it Huaqiao Gongbao (華僑公報). It continued publication until 1956, and was revived in 1975.[14] The Chinese Freemasons also published their own handwritten weekly newspaper, the Minzhi Zhoukan (民治周刊) until 1956. The Pagoda, started in 1940, was the first English-language newspaper for the Chinese community. The local branch of the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) also began publishing their own paper, The Chung San News (中山報) in 1953.” (emphasis added)

Source: Wikipedia: Chinese Jamaicans (accessed Sept. 18, 2016)

[Sept. 11, 2016] Mary Isbell had published a new critical edition of multiple issues of a shipboard paper, “Extracts from The Young Idea,” at Scholarly Editing (2016, Vol. 37).

[May 30, 2015] Fremantle Journal and General Advertiser



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Fremantle Journal and General Advertiser was the first newspaper ever published in Western Australia. It was edited and published by James A. Gardner, with the first issues appearing less than a year after the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829. As there was not yet a printing press in the colony, each issue was handwritten. Only a single copy of a single issue survives. Held by theBattye Library in Perth, Western Australia, it is copy number 5 of the first issue, that of 27 February 1830. It consists of a single sheet, printed on both sides and folded in half, thus yielding four pages; it sold for one shilling and sixpence. It is not known when publication ceased, except that it had certainly concluded by the time Gardner left the colony in September that year.[1]
In addition, three issues survive of a manuscript newspaper published by Gardner under the title Western Australia Gazette and General Advertiser (see entry below in this Pending section). It is unknown whether this is a different newspaper or the same newspaper under a new name. The three extant issues are held by the State Library of New South Wales, and are dated 4 April 1830, 1 June 1830 and 13 June 1830. They are larger, and sold for three shillings and sixpence.[1]


The publication of the Fremantle Journal and General Advertiser was widely recognised as an important, albeit modest, step in the progress of the colony. The Sydney Gazette published a number of extracts from it, prefacing them with the comment

“It is interesting to witness the first dawn of literature upon yonder savage shores, and, though faint and feeble, we trust it will continue to brighten and to spread, until the light of science and morals be diffused over the whole surface of Western Australia.”[2]

It was even noticed by The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, a London anthology.[3]

  1. Frost, A. C. (1830). “Early West Australian newspapers”. Early Days9 (1): 77–87.
  2. Sydney Gazette, 29 April 1830, p. 2.
  3. Limbird, John (1830). The mirror of literature, amusement, and instruction 16. pp. 429–430.

[May 30, 2015] Under the Wiki entry for the 19th century Russian literary critic, journalist and revolutionary democrat Nikolay Dobrolyubov, it reads, “During his years at the University he organized an underground democratic circle, issued a manuscript newspaper, and led the student’s struggle against the reactionary University administration.”

[May 30, 2015] Reference to a Civil War prisoner of war “manuscript newspaper” at the Libby Prison, Richmond, VA, in the Ottawa Free Trader, 22 November 1879 (Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection).

USNS Sturgis newpaper 1951

[May 30, 2015] Shipboard newspaper (left):

USNS General S. D. Sturgis (10 July 1951)

See also this article on shipboard news:

Roland Wenzlhuemer and Michael Offermann, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, “Ship Newspapers and Passenger Life Aboard Transoceanic Steamships in the Late Nineteenth Century,Transcultural Studies, No. 1 (2012).

London handwritten newspaper, April 1689

Courtesy of Simon Randall, London: English Handwritten Newsletter 1689

“Wall” Newssheets from Stalag IV-B, WWII

From Wikipedia:

The British prisoners published two periodicals: the wall newspapers The New Times and a richly illustrated Flywheel.

The Flywheel was founded by Tom Swallow, and comprised pages from school exercise-books that carried hand-written articles with colour illustrations from whatever inks the editorial team could produce from stolen materials, like quinine from the medical room; these were stuck into place with fermented millet soup, kept from the meagre camp rations. One copy per issue was produced, to be circulated among members throughout the camp. When extracts were published in hardback format in 1987, the book ran to two reprints.[1]

An additional periodical, The Observer was published between December 1943 and May 1944.

The camp’s Welsh soldiers also created their own periodical called Cymro (“Welshman”), edited by prisoner William John Pitt. The magazines were produced between July 1943 and December 1944. Eight issues of the magazines were created, and out of these one was lost in the camp. Although most of the issues are in English, two pages are in Welsh. The manuscript was bought by The National Library of Wales at Sotheby’s in 1987.[2]

From March 1944 to December 1944 the Scottish prisoners were served with their own papers, The Scotsman and The Scotsman Special Sports Supplement, edited, printed and illustrated in both colour and black and white by RAF pilot Warrant Officer Matthew MacSwan Robertson. The articles were written by the editor and other prisoners and concentrated primarily on Scottish matters, camp social life and the various sports events held in the camp. The Scotsman had seven issues and the Sports had twelve issues. Only one copy of each issue was produced and the papers were taken from hut to hut between publications for all to read. Copies of one of each are shown below and both are also included in Wikimedia Commons where they can be viewed at full size

[File: POW Camp Newspaper, The Scotsman.pdf]. The original papers are still held by the Robertson family.

See also

THE OBSERVER, STALAG IV B: reproduction of a hand-printed prisoner-of-war w all newspaper and its story; edited and produced by Dave Katzeff; with a foreword by J.C. Smuts. Katzeff, Dave [ed.]. Published by [Privately published, 194-].


1 vol. (variously numbered leaves): ill., ports. 4to. Pict. paper covered boards, cloth spine, d.w. creased, soiled and with tears but not usually pre sent. our men in the prison camps of Germany never gave up the struggle. Their greatest enemy was boredom, and the best way of fighting that enemy, and of keeping up morale, was by the provision of news ‘wall newspapers’ o f forbidden -and encouraging- news. J.C. Smuts, foreword. Aimed at South Af rican POWs, the newspaper also alerted prisoners to special events; kept sports logs; announced forthcoming matches etc. We note that there were rugby matches were between South Africa and Wales, and South African and The Rest!

The PowWow (and BowWow) from Stalag Luft One, Bath, Germany (Prisoner of War camp paper 1944-45)


The Tiki Times (New Zealand, 1944) POW newspaper


Gefangenen Gazette (Stalag Luft III)

Vol XII, Issue 2:


The Benghazi Forum (Pow, North Africa, WWII)

As the Red Cross did not visit any of the camps in North Africa, there are no official reports on the living conditions in these camps and information has been gleaned from interviews, memoirs, diaries and to a lesser extent from The Benghazi Forum, a camp newspaper started by Eric Hurst, a British POW.94 Many POWs consider their experiences in North African as dehumanising, referring to the camps as “cages”.95 Maintaining a sense of dignity became a daily struggle, because living conditions worsened and most POWs lost on average between 20 and 30 kilograms in weight as a result of food shortages while in North Africa. Because there were so many prisoners, the distribution of food was a long process and after standing in line for hours, the POWs were always disappointed when they received their rations.


Cultural Heritage and Prisoners of War: Creativity Behind Barbed Wire (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Gilly Carr, Harold Mytum
CRC Press, Apr 27, 2012 – History – 328 pages
This book focuses on the numerous examples of creativity produced by POWs and civilian internees during their captivity, including: paintings, cartoons, craftwork, needlework, acting, musical compositions, magazine and newspaper articles, wood carving, and recycled Red Cross tins turned into plates, mugs and makeshift stoves, all which have previously received little attention. The authors of this volume show the wide potential of such items to inform us about the daily life and struggle for survival behind barbed wire. Previously dismissed as items which could only serve to illustrate POW memoirs and diaries, this book argues for a central role of all items of creativity in helping us to understand the true experience of life in captivity. The international authors draw upon a rich seam of material from their own case studies of POW and civilian internment camps across the world, to offer a range of interpretations of this diverse and extraordinary material.


The Voice of Refugees (NAM, 2006)

The Voice of Refugees (NAM, 2006)

The Kakuma News Reflector, KANERE, was started in December 2008 by a group of refugees in order to create a human voice for refugees, according to one source. They were helped by Bethany Ojalehto, an American Fulbright Scholar, to start a blog to reach the wider media and world and to help force NGOs and the Kenyan Government to have transparency in financials and policy creation.

The newspaper grew into a source of hope for many of the journalists involved. Hope is far from staple within the camp. One KANERE writer said, “I don’t feel like a normal person. I feel isolated, not like a human being.”

On top of the difficulties universal to everyone in the camp, such as crowding and lack of food and freedom, the newspaper staff has to also fight threadbare finances, without concrete recognition by the Kenyan Government, UNHCR, and other NGOs that they can even exist..

KANERE is not the first refugee newspaper, but it could be the first to publish its content using modern technology. The UN operated a newsletter in Kakuma from 1993-2005 called The Kakuma News Bulletin, KANEBU. KANEBU died off as journalists were resettled or moved to other camps. In Osire Refugee Camp, Namibia, The Voice of Refugees was a handwritten newspaper that was snuck out of the camp and then spread around to shed light on what happens there. The Namibian Government and UNHCR shut down the venture before long.

See also where the image is from.

The Capstan Head (Eng-Aus, 1854 Oct.-Nov.) Shipboard newspaper [manuscript]

Bib ID 334803
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Access Conditions Available for reference. Not for loan.
Description 1854.
4 v.
Summary Prospectus and volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of a handwritten journal produced weekly by some passengers on the Lady Jocelyn, on her journey apparently from England to Australia in 1854.
Notes Manuscript reference no. : NLA MS 2108.
Subjects Lady Jocelyn (Ship) | Voyages and travels. | Ship newspapers – Australia.

See also

The Lady Jocelyn Weekly mail : a journal of a voyage from Melbourne to London; containing a detailed log of the voyage, a variety of incidental and amusing contributions : together with numerous hints for intending passengers / edited by John Ferguson, assistant editor of the Ceylon Observer
Bib ID 1735562
Format BookBook
Description London : J. Haddon ; Melbourne : G.Robertson, 1869.
[4], 82, [2] p. ; 22 cm.
Notes No. 1, Saturday, 26th June, 1869-no. 14, Saturday, 25th Sept., 1869.”Complete list of the passengers by the ‘Lady Jocelyn’ on her voyage from Melbourne to London … “: p. 75.
Cited In Ferguson, J.A. Australia, 11282
Subjects Lady Jocelyn (Ship) | Ship newspapers. | Ocean travel.
Other authors/contributors Ferguson, John, 1842-1913 | Lady Jocelyn (Ship)

The Union Sentinal (sic) (CT, 1862)

Student handwritten newspaper 1862 edition of The Union Sentinel, a handwritten newspaper published on lined notepaper by students in Warren, Conn. (Newseum collection)

The Vistula Weekly Newspaper (POL, 1918)

WWI POW newspaper (handwritten)


From the BBC website: This is a copy of a handwritten “newspaper” for Graudenz POW camp in 1918. My grandfather was held there and helped with illustrations. Some of the “adverts” on the back page I believe refer to escapes.
John Rhodes Wilson was commissioned on 12th Oct 1915, promoted to lieutenant in Sept 1916. He took part in the battle of Cambrai,1917 and the first battle of the Somme 1918.He was reported “killed in action” at Vieux Berquin, April 1918 and his family received the telegram that everyone dreaded. His memorial service was held in his home village and preparations made to include his name on the war memorial there. But in the summer of 1918 a much censored postcard arrived and, far from being dead, he was a POW in Graudenz in Poland. We have not only the newspaper but the war office telegram, the telegram from the King, a copy of the memorial card, the censored postcard and a letter and photos from the camp. He was finally repatriated on Dec 19th 1918. What a Christmas!
He talked little about his experience but recalled feeling the wound that felled him and coming round to hear a German soldier announce him “kaput” but the medical attention he received from the enemy saved his life.

The Plain dealer, 1775-1776 ; a newspaper of the American Revolutionary period published in Cumberland County, New Jersey. Rutgers University Library, Special Collections. Handwritten paper, later printed.

From the Cumberland County, NJ, history webpage: The Plain Dealer, the first newspaper established in New Jersey expressly for the purpose of supporting the sometimes faltering drive for American liberty, is one of the literary-political landmarks of the American Revolutionary period. The distinguished historian, John T. Cunningham, said that the fact that the Plain Dealer appeared every Tuesday morning probably made it New Jersey’s first regular “Newspaper.”

Potter’s Tavern, where the Plain Dealer was published is one of New Jersey’s most significant historical shrines.

The editor of the Plain Dealer was Ebenezer Elmer, age 23, a native of Fairfield, a tea burner and a young physician who later distinguished himself as a soldier, a statesman and a public benefactor. He was the last survivor of Washington’s officers of the Jersey Continental Line. He was also the last original member of the New Jersey Society of the Cincinnati and at his death was the president of that mutual aid organization formed by the officers of Washington’s army when his troops were disbanded.

Containing clear and persuasive argument in favor of Liberty from British domination, the Plain Dealer successfully served to crystallize sentiment in Cumberland County in favor of armed resistance. This accomplished, the editor and the contributors went off to war.

The tavern bore the name of its licensed keeper, Matthew Potter. He was a brother of David Potter, who was later a Colonel in the Militia. Matthew’s place of entertainment was a gathering spot for the local firebrands. The fact that he gave a home to the Plain Dealer placed him in personal danger in the Revolutionary period. The silhouette on the cover of this booklet is the only likeness of Ebenezer Elmer so far identified.

The original manuscript of the Plain Dealer was in the hands of Bridgeton owners who held it by inheritance. In the 1930’s it found its way into the streams of trade finally coming to rest in the Rare Book Collection of Rutgers, The State University.

View The Plain Dealer Original Text

The New South Wales Library and manuscript collections has several shipboard papers from Australia’s convict transport era and beyond, including

The Wild Goose: A Collection of Ocean Waifs (AUS, 1867) [see bibliographic entry in this HNP collection].

‘The Suffolk Chronicle’, a troopship journal published at sea on board H.M.A. Transport A 23 ‘S.S. Suffolk’, June – Aug. 1917

Michael D. Goddard – ‘The Petrel Papers: A journal issued on board the ship Parramatta during the voyage from London to Sydney 1882-3’, along with additional pages concerning an earlier voyage, 1881-1882

Gerald Fitzgerald – Southward the wild geese the story of the Fenians transported to Australia, 1868. Compiled 1972.

P. H. Bassano – ‘The Sobraon Occasional’ and associated material, 1875

Open Sea, weekly journal of the ship True Briton, numbers 1-11, July to September 1868

Pestonjee Bomanjee Journal, numbers 1-14, 28 April-28 July 1852

Leichardt Chronicle, 1865 : a ship’s newspaper edited by Reverend S. Fergusson

Zealandia Free Press, nos. 1-8, 5 May-July 10, 1884

Series 02: Petrel Papers: a weekly magazine issued on board the ship ‘Parramatta’ outward bound from London to Sydney, 1882-1883, Editor John Maffey, L.R.C.P., 1882

Series 03: The Parramatta Journal written by children on board the ship, 1882

The Sobraon Occasional published on board the Sobraon during her outward voyage to Melbourne, 7 October-26 December 1875 (was handwritten onboard ship and later compiled and printed in the extant bound volume, which contains some manuscript entries)

Din Dalit (India, 1986-)

Article from BBC (26 Aug. 2007): (see also,; July 3, 2007)

Gaurishankar Rajak is a poor, “untouchable” washerman, who barely went to school.

But the sixty-something Dalit from Dumka in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand has published a newspaper every week without fail for the past 21 years, highlighting discrimination against the poor and local corruption.

Mr Rajak’s four-page, handwritten Hindi-news Din Dalit is photocopied 100 times and sold to subscribers or pasted onto Dumka’s main traffic lights, bus stands and roads.

Din Dalit is not just another small town news sheet – the newspaper is registered with India’s Registrar of Newspapers, thanks to the efforts of India’s first Dalit President, KR Narayanan, after Mr Rajak wrote to him.

Since its first edition in October 1986, Din Dalit has made a difference to the lives of local people, even helping a resident to secure social security from the authorities after his plight was reported in the paper.

‘I was hurt’

Mr Rajak says he decided to bring out the newspaper after he was humiliated by local authorities when he took some people to meet them to help enlist them in a government social security scheme.

“I was very hurt. I approached the local media to highlight the incident but they did not show any interest. So I decided to go ahead and bring out my own newspaper,” he says.

Over the years, Din Dalit has run stories on diverse subjects like a local scam in the distribution of specially-made cycles for disabled people, and bungling in a government housing scheme and kerosene oil distribution for the poor.

After washing clothes through the week for a living, Mr Rajak concentrates on bringing out the paper by selecting the news, deciding on the editorial page content and headlining the articles on Sundays.

Gaurishankar Rajak

I don’t have money to print the paper

Gaurishankar Rajak

The paper now even boasts a reporter – 45-year-old Ravi Shanker Gupta, who works in a grocery and goes out to collect news when he gets a work break.

On Monday morning, the editor and his intrepid reporter publish 100 copies of Din Dalit – 50 are bought by regular readers, and some are pasted on the walls. Some 25 copies go to government departments.

Mr Rajak says he spends 300 to 350 rupees (about $8) producing the paper.

His wife is less than impressed with his efforts. “He just wastes his time and money every week. I have no idea what he gets by bringing out the paper,” says Lakshmi Devi.

But others in Dumka think highly of Mr Rajak’s paper.

Ashok Khatri, a disabled man, says he received a 2,000 rupee social security grant from the government, only after Din Dalit wrote about him.

‘War against corruption’

Rickshaw puller Dhrub Rai says Din Dalit serves a critical social purpose.

“Rajak has simply waged a war against corruption and social evils here,” he says.

Mr Rajak’s four sons also support their father’s unstinting efforts.

“We feel proud when we see people reading and discussing the issues raised in the paper,” says eldest son, Raj Shanker Rajak.

Mr Rajak pastes his newspaper at the local bus stand
Local people read his paper off the walls in Dumka town

And local English-language journalist Brajesh Verma concedes that Din Dalit serves an important purpose.

“It has its own dedicated readership who wait for it every week,” he says.

Din Dalit has also begun commenting on larger national issues. A recent piece by Mr Rajak stressed the need to turn the Line of Control – the de facto border separating the disputed region of Kashmir – into a “line of peace”.

He has also written a drama on the Kashmir problem and sent it to a state-run television channel to make a serial out of it. He is still waiting for a response.

Mr Rajak’s achievement is considerable when you consider the fact that India’s 180 million Dalits still remain largely neglected by the authorities.

Officially, caste discrimination was outlawed when India gained independence in 1947.

But Dalits are still often expected to do the most menial jobs. In many villages, they are also prevented from drinking water from wells used by high-caste Hindus.

Texas: Ford City Herald (TX, 1864)

Probably a sister publication to the Old Flag (TX, 1864). The editor of the Old Flag produced a 12-page facsimile edition, published by J.P. Robens and William H. May entitled, The Old Flag: First Publication by Union Prisoners at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas, V. 1, No. 1-3; Feb. 17-March 13, 1864: Preface includes history of the manuscript plus some items and advertisements from the Ford City Herald. A copy of the Ford City Herald may be available soon through the Library of Virginia’s Civil War 150 Legacy Project (thanks to Renee M. Savits, of the CW 150 Legacy Project).

Virginia: The Camp Barry Herald (VA, 1861-1862)

Papers of the Houstater Family, primarily of Henry Houstater (1837-1862) and Harriet (Hattie) Houstater (1842-1931) of New York State. Collection was held by Harriet Houstater. After her death, her sister Sarah Houstater owned it.Collection includes the papers of Henry F. Houstater, a Democrat who enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. Also contains the papers of several Houstater family members. Henry F. Houstater’s papers (1840s-1862) include political speeches and literary manuscripts written before the Civil War. During the war, Henry wrote and received several letters and he also wrote several political essays and produced a handwritten newspaper, the Camp Barry Herald. (Swem Library, College of William and Mary, VA: id63973, Houstater Correspondences and Writings; Newspapers; Envelopes, 1862-1931)

Virginia?: Youth Handwritten Newspapers Produced in Europe Cited (n.d.)

The Papers of Kenneth Brown contain ca. 3,000 items, ca. 1880-1954, chiefly photographs of the Brown family, of Turkey, Greece, and various western European countries, and of Greek and Turkish leaders of the World War I era. There is some correspondence of the Browns (1876-1954), some bills to Francesca Boone, Kenneth Brown’s sister, three photograph albums, and seven scrapbooks, chiefly filled with clippings, belonging to Kenneth Brown, Caroline Brown, and Francesca Boone. There are also a number of handwritten newspapers that the young Kenneth Brown wrote in Europe. Special Collections, University of Virginia, VA

North Carolina: The Nation State (NC, 1856)

Wilkesboro, NC, handwritten paper in the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries collection of the James Gwyn papers; 1. Loose Papers, 1653-1946, 1.1. 1653-1860: a handwritten newspaper “The Nation State,” Wilkesboro, N.C., 1856.

New Zealand: The Nokomia (Nokomai) Herald (NZ, 1871)

National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past:

Article in the Mataura Ensign, 18 May 1897, on the Nokomai Herald, 1871

Scanned image of the front page:,281979.msg1653914.html[Nokomai]

Handwritten newspaper, NZ, 1871


Afghanistan: Kandahar News (AFG, 1879)


Mss Eur E193

PITMAN (Charles Edward)
`Kandahar News’, nos 1-227, dated 9 Apr-31 Dec 1879: manuscript garrison newspaper edited by Charles Edward Pitman, Telegraph Dept, Government of India 1868-1900, on special telegraph duties with Afghanistan Field Force 1878-79.
1 volume, 1879 – 1879

The Western Australia Chronicle and Perth Gazette (AUS, 1831)

See The website states:

Western Australian Chronicle & Perth Gazette (AUS, 1831)

Handwritten in ink in two columns on both sides of two sheets of foolscap paper and written in a clear, bold hand this second edition of The Western Australian Chronicle and Perth Gazette published on 26 February 1831, is one of the earliest surviving copies of a Western Australia newspaper.

Written and published by William Kernot Shenton every Saturday, it featured copied newspaper items from England, government notices, shipping notes, births and deaths, purchases and sales and was available to anyone for three shillings – an enormous cost at the time and equivalent to two loaves of bread.

The newspaper remained a handwritten publication until the end of April 1831 when the Ruthven iron hand printing press arrived from Hobart, Tasmania.

The only known newspaper to precede it in the colony was The Fremantle Journal and General Advertiser, of which the Battye Library holds edition number 3, published on 27 February 1830 (see reference above in this Pending section)

The Morning Post (London, England), Thursday, August 25, 1831; Issue 18942. (276 words) notes under “Swan River” that an agricultural report has appeared in “The Western Australia Chronicle and Perth Gazette of the 28th of February, a newspaper published in manuscript, at the price of 3s.”

The Tattler (NJ, ca. 1840)

handwritten newspaper

An early Princeton University gossip/humor paper, The Tattler (1840), is mentioned in story on “Princetonians in Print: 175 Years of Student Publications at Princeton,” an exhibition at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library in 2010, which chronicled the history and variety of student publications at Princeton from the earliest known student papers to the present-day online publications.

For more on the Princeton archival exhibit, see:

Article on Greek Handwritten Newspapers (1938-1943) [also cited below with images]

  • Title: “Conformity and Subversion: Handwritten Newspapers from an Exiles’ Commune, 1938-1943”
  • Author/Artist: Kenna, ME
  • Description: Handwritten newspapers from a commune of political exiles on one of the Aegean islands came to light 50 years after their first appearance and a survey of their contents has begun. There are more than 40 items, with seven differently tilled newspapers catering to a variety of readers, from ordinary communards to political theorists and members of regionally-based sub-groups. A detailed discussion of Particular issues of newspapers using theoretical insights from the works of Goffman and Foucault helps place the collection in its historical context.
  • Located: Journal of Modern Greek Studies, May 31, 2008, Vol.26(1), p.115-157
  • Accessed via Princeton University Library online catalog

Journal Devotes Issue to Manuscript Culture in an Age of Print

The LIR journal devotes its No. 1 (2011) issue to manuscript culture in an age of print. It includes an article by Heiko Droste entitled, “Degrees of Publicity. Handwritten Newspapers in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries:”


This article concerns the handwritten newspaper in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The genre appeared in late sixteenth century as part of a growing public news market, which from the early seventeenth century onwards expanded rapidly with the introduction of the printed newspapers. The latter in parts replaced the handwritten one. However, at about 1700 the handwritten newspaper is still there, fulfilling specific functions alongside its printed twin. The question must therefore be what these functions were and why costumers were willing to pay for a medium that was much more expensive, although subject to the governments’ censorship in the same way as printed newspapers. The paper argues for different degrees of publicity, which shaped the public news market as well as private news correspondences. In consequence, there were different news genres, tailor-made for a general public or more specific groups of recipients. This argument relies on contemporary tracts on the printed newspaper as well as Swedish and Northern German collections of handwritten newspapers.

For a view of the entire Droste article on 17th and 18th century handwritten newspapers in pdf, link here.

Japanese Internment Camp Papers (U.S.A.)

List of WWII Internment Camps and Detention Centers in the USA

  1. Communique (Jerome, AR, Relocation Center, No. 1-41, Oct. 23, 1942-Feb. 26, 1943)
  2. The Newell Star (Newell, CA, Vol. 2, No. 4, Oct. 12, 1945; Vol. 3, No. 8, Feb. 21, 1946)
  3. Pomona Center News (Pomona, CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 23, 1942-No. 25, August 15, 1942)
  4. Pinedale Logger (Pinedale, CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 23, 1942-No. 9, July 14, 1942; cites Tulean Dispatch of Tule Lake, CA)
  5. Santa Anita Pacemaker (Santa Anita, CA, April 18-October 8, 1942)
  6. Tulean Dispatch (Tule Lake, CA, Vol. 2, No. 1, June 15, 1942; Vol. 3, No. 99, Nov. 10, 1942; originally called Information Bulletin in volume 1)
  7. Tulare News (Tulare, CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 6, 1962-No. 31, August 19, 1942)

Portugese Papers (“Folhetos”)

Cited in “Between History and Periodicity: Printed and Handwritten News in 18th-Century Portugal” by Andre Belo, University of Lille 3 ( A selection from his paper is quoted below


Monterroyo sent his own news to Santarém, in his regular letter to Pereira de Faria or in a different pamphlet, usually composed of three to four written pages known as a folheto (‘leaflet’). This folheto was sent either to Pereira de Faria or to Father Luís Montez Mattozo, (an apostolic notary) another key character in the network of information that was built up around the gazette. These folhetos, along with a series of other newsletters which undoubtedly circulated18, may be considered the Portuguese equivalent of the French nouvelles à la main, as they have been described in the texts of François Moureau19.

Montez Mattozo (and Pereira de Faria himself) was similarly responsible for the writing of the hand-written periodical Folheto de Lisboa, also entitled Mercúrio de Lisboa or Mercúrio Histórico de Lisboa. Unlike Monterroyo’s already-mentionedfolheto, it had a large headline that could be printed, drawings or engravings and other features that imitated a printed gazette. The existence of at least three different copies of it in Portuguese archives (the Biblioteca da Academia das Ciências and Biblioteca Nacional in Lisbon, and the Biblioteca Pública de Évora) demonstrates the extent of its circulation. This is a clear case of publishing through the manuscript20. Though we still lack essential background about its production, copying, trading and the extent of its circulation and reading21, we know that it was sent from Santarém to several readers. As with the printed gazette, the folhetos could be assembled in one-year volumes, with a different title from the weekly issue: this was the case with the Anno noticioso e historico, which was started in January 1740. Like the gazette, the folhetos were thus conceived as a periodical publication that gathered together historical material. The folheto also imitated the internal structure of printed gazettes: geographical division into ‘chapters’, each one representing the geographical origin of the news, as well as a chronological progression from the oldest to the most recent news.

The hand-written folhetos only make sense if we consider a legal regime in which there was a monopoly of printed information. If competition in print was forbidden because of the letter of privilege, it could be carried out at another, less public, level of circulation, through the manuscript. In the first number of the Folheto for the year 1740, Luís Montez Mattozo explains to the readers in a prologue (a typical feature in a book) the reasons for the new periodical’s appearance. The reference to the printed gazette is immediate: since its foreign news was too slow in being reported, the folheto would announce it sooner; on the other hand, the domestic news that was not usually printed in the gazette would be published in the folheto22. At the end of the prologue, an important reference is made to the method of gathering information: only news deserving of credit, either directly eyewitnessed or given by trustworthy correspondents, was to be published. Historical credit seems to have the same grounds both in the printed and in the hand-written gazette.

A systematic comparison between the two periodicals’ news items will certainly reveal other similarities, but also differences in content. For the moment, we may confirm that domestic news was indeed more prolific in the manuscript. To the very restricted social order of the printed gazette, the folhetos brought a wider world. The popular element is often present in its news, mostly in contexts of violence and riots. If the fact that news was hand-written in the folheto — and thus uncensored — does indeed make a difference, we should not try to see in the manuscript, at least not in this particular case, a clandestine version of the gazette. At the end of the first volume of the Anno Noticioso…, Luís Montez Mattozo signs a statement in which he denies the contents of his book in the event of any conflict with God’s commandments or royal dictates.

Oamaru Times (NZ, 1864)

Canadian First Nation Papers (see Library and Archives Canada)

  1. Atsimoowin Newsletter (Ile a La Crosse, SK, Canada, 1980-81)
  2. Atuaqnik: The Newspaper of Northern Quebec (QB, Canada, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1979)
  3. Deep River Press (Fort McPherson, NWT, Canada, Vol. 1, No. 1, September 15, 1970)
  4. Dene Express (Fort Good Hope, NWT, Canada , 1975-1977; Vol. 5, No. 23, Dec. 1976; twice monthly)
  5. The Drummer (Radisson, SK, Canada, Vol. 1, November 1971)
  6. Eastern Arctic Star (Frobisher Bay, NWT, Canada, 1969-1972; see Library and Archives Canada)
  7. Keewatin News (Keewatin Region, Churchill, MB, Canada, circa 1968)
  8. Queen Charlotte Islands Observer (Clay Hill, BC, Canada, circa 1972; still produced with an online version)
  9. The Listening Post (Frobisher Bay, NWT, Canada, March 1971)
  10. Ministikok (Moose Factory, ON, Canada, Sept. 1968; ceased publication in 1970s; cataloged at University of Windsor)
  11. Native Press (Yellowknife, NWT, June 11, 1971; still produced with online version)
  12. News of April 1973 (Pond Inlet, NWT, Canada, April 1973)
  13. Nunatsiaq News (Frobisher Bay, NWT, Canada, “Year 5, No. 23, July 14, 1977; still produced with online version)
  14. Suvaguq (Pond Inlet, NWT, Canada, circa 1974-1976; cataloged by National Library of Australia)

Belmont AB Star (AB, 1889)


See also this Canadian school paper, the Belmont Star (AB, 1889), published near Edmonton.

Japanese Internment Camp Papers (U.S.A.)

List of WWII Internment Camps and Detention Centers in the USA

  1. Communique (Jerome, AR, Relocation Center, No. 1-41, Oct. 23, 1942-Feb. 26, 1943)
  2. The Newell Star (Newell, CA, Vol. 2, No. 4, Oct. 12, 1945; Vol. 3, No. 8, Feb. 21, 1946)
  3. Pomona Center News (Pomona, CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 23, 1942-No. 25, August 15, 1942)
  4. Pinedale Logger (Pinedale, CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 23, 1942-No. 9, July 14, 1942; cites Tulean Dispatch of Tule Lake, CA)
  5. Santa Anita Pacemaker (Santa Anita, CA, April 18-October 8, 1942)
  6. Tulean Dispatch (Tule Lake, CA, Vol. 2, No. 1, June 15, 1942; Vol. 3, No. 99, Nov. 10, 1942; originally called Information Bulletin in volume 1)
  7. Tulare News (Tulare, CA, Vol. 1, No. 1, May 6, 1962-No. 31, August 19, 1942)

Finnish Language Handwritten Newspapers

  1. Kirsti Salmi-Niklander, “Crooks and Heroes, Priests and Preachers: Religion and socialism in the oral-literary tradition of a Finnish-Canadian mining community”
  2. Kirsti Salmi-Niklander, “Manuscripts and Broadsheets: Narrative Genres and the Communication Circuit Among Workingclass Youth in Early 20th Century Finland,” Folklore (33), pp. 109-126;
  3. Aika (The Time) (Nanaimo, BC, Canada, May 6, 1901) Cited in Serials Canada: aspects of serials work in Canadian libraries by Wayne Jones
  4. Valistaja (The Enlightener)(Karkkila, Finland, 1914-1925) Cited in Humour and social protest, by Marjolein C. ‘t Hart, Dennis Bos, p. 130
  5. Apparently Finns produced hundreds, perhaps thousands, of handwritten newspapers in Finland and in their new immigrant communities around the world (anyone with Finnish language skills who could help me out here?)

French Nouvelles la main


Melbourne Advertiser (AUS, 1838)

Books and Articles Citing Handwritten Newspapers

  1. Consuming News: Newspapers and Print Culture in Early Modern Europe (1500-1800). Edited by William Layher, Gerhild Scholz Williams. Book lists multiple handwritten newspapers and indexes this class of papers separately from printed ones.
  2. Literary activities and attitudes in the Stanislavian age in Poland (1764-1795), By Jan IJ. van der Meer
  3. After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany by Michael Brenner, Barbara Harshav
  4. Safe among the Germans: liberated Jews after World War II, by Ruth Gay (cites a Jewish handwritten paper in Dachau, p. 63).
  5. Antiphasistas (GRC, 1942)


    Conformity and subversion: handwritten newspapers from an exiles’ commune, 1938-1943. By Kenna, Margaret E, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, v.26, no.1, 2008, May, p.115;
    Summary: Handwritten newspapers from a commune of political exiles on one of the Aegean islands came to light 50 years after their first appearance and a survey of their contents has begun. There are more than 40 items, with seven differently titled newspapers catering to a variety of readers, from ordinary communards to political theorists and members of regionally-based sub-groups. A detailed discussion of particular issues of newspapers using theoretical insights from the works of Goffman and Foucault helps place the collection in its historical context.

    Deltio (GRC, 1940)

    Editor’s Note: For more information and images of Greek papers of this genre see:

  6. “Handwritten Macao Newspapers on Display in Nanjing.” Xinhua (Chinese) News Agency (Dec. 22, 1999): NANJING–“A complete set of unique handwritten Macao newspapers went on display for the first time recently in Nanjing, the capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province.”
  7. “Iraq: Handwritten newspaper ‘published’ in central Baghdad,” Asia Africa Intelligence Wire (Financial Times), 2003 June 17: “A daily newspaper, called Al-Rasif, [The Pavement]. The newspaper is entirely handwritten.” According to “A one-man newspaper handwritten by Husayn al-Ayash, an unemployed Iraqi electrician, on sheets of cardboard and displayed on the pavement in Sa’dun Street, Baghdad (, “The New Iraqi Press, 2003“)
  8. Samizdat (Russian for self-publishing-house) or dissident underground publications were common across the Soviet bloc, especially Czechoslovakia (most notably Prague), during the Cold War. Many were handwritten papers which were either carboned copied or duplicated by hand. Individuals or small groups of dissidents reproduced these illegal publications and passed them along to trusted readers. I saw many examples of handwritten Samizdat newspapers at the National Archives in Prague. See, Gordon Johnston, “What Is the History of Samizdat?” Social History (24:2) May, 1999, pp. 115-133: Abstract:

In the 1970s and 1980s the volume of samizdat activity increased significantly in Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The study of samizdat has tended to concentrate on its content, its relationship with other oppositional and critical initiatives and the State’s treatment of samizdat material and samizdat activists. The first part of this paper considers the extent to which Robert Darnton’s work on the illicit book trade in pre-Revolutionary France provides ways of thinking about the publication, distribution, reading and influence of samizdat texts. The second part of the paper discusses some conceptual and categorisation problems which arise in the study of samizdat and then discusses the incidence of samizdat, who read it and how illicit texts were read alongside official texts. The paper concludes with some provisional consideration of how samizdat texts and the political and friendship networks, which sustained their publication and distribution, contributed to the generalised crisis of legitimacy that enveloped Central and Eastern Europe in the 1980s.

Maraval Jackdaw (NZ, 1879)

The Maraval Jackdaw (NZ, 1879-1880)

Turnbull Libray, National Library of New Zealand

Transcribed by Graham Lewis

  • By: Morris, b 1858 Fox (Contributor) ; Oswald Henry, 1857-1939 Pinel (Contributor)
  • When: 29 Oct 1879-23 Jan 1880 (transcribed 2008)
  • Format: 1 folder(s).; Mss (photocopy) & typed transcript.; Manuscript.
  • Description: Folder comprises a photocopy of the handwritten shipboard newspaper produced during the voyage of the “Maraval” from London to Wellington (Oct 1879 – Jan 1880). The run of the Jackdaw commenced about halfway through the voyage, on 15 December 1879, and comprised five weekly issues. The Maraval Jackdaw edited by Morris Fox and O. H. Pinel reported on various incidents during the voyage, using stories, poems and pen and ink sketches. The price of each copy was one penny. Also contains a typed transcript of the shipboard newspaper with an index in two parts.

Regimental Enquirer (DE, 1864)


The Camp Berry Herald (ed. Henry F. Houstater, 1837-1862)
Houstater Family Papers, 1842-1941 ID: Mss. Acc. 2009.264, Extent: 0.6 Cubic Feet, Creator: Houstater, Henry F. (1837-1862), Arrangement: Organized into two series: Series 1: Houstater Financial Documents and Series 2: Houstater Correspondence and Writings; Newspapers; Envelopes. Date Acquired: 06/08/2009. Languages: English

Scope and Content of Materials: Papers of the Houstater Family, primarily of Henry Houstater (1837-1862) and Harriet (Hattie) Houstater (1842-1931) of New York State. Collection was held by Harriet Houstater. After her death, her sister Sarah Houstater owned it.

Collection includes the papers of Henry F. Houstater, a Democrat who enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. Also contains the papers of several Houstater family members. Henry F. Houstater’s papers (1840s-1862) include political speeches and literary manuscripts written before the Civil War. During the war, Henry wrote and received several letters and he also wrote several political essays and produced a handwritten newspaper, the Camp Barry Herald.

Other family members’ papers consist of correspondence and financial documents.

Biographical Note: Henry F. Houstater was born on 24 June, 1837 in Cambria TWP, Niagara, NY and died 29 October, 1862 in Sandy Hook, Washington, MD. He was buried at Mount View Cemetery, Pekin, Niagara, NY. His father was Jacob “Isiah” Houstater, born 4 August, 1802 and his mother Belinda Gould, born 2 February, 1809 in NY.

On September 18, 1861, he enlisted, at Lockport; mustered in as private, Battery M, 1st Regiment, Light Artillery, October 14, 1861, to serve three years. He was appointed corporal, October 14, 1861; sergeant, February 6, 1862; and died, October 29, 1862, at Sandy Hook, Maryland. Politically, he affiliated with the Democratic party. Further information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: F. Houstater.

Location: Houstater Family Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA:

India student paper

London Gazette (ENG, 1725)

World War II German Prisoner of War Camp, Stalag Luft I, Newspaper: Pow Wow (1944-45) (and satire edition, Bow Wow)



The only truthful newspaper in Germany.
To be read silently, quickly and in groups of three.

Pow Wow was the largest circulating daily underground newspaper in Germany during World War II.  Its headquarters were at Stalag Luft I. It grew from a small penciled newssheet read by hundreds into a neatly printed 2,000 word daily, eagerly perused by thousands. At its most successful period, it boasted editions in three languages and a circulation that reached seven prison camps.  Pow Wow stood for Prisoners Of War – Waiting On Winning and it claimed to be the only truthful newspaper in Germany.

The Germans knew about Pow Wow and they made strenuous efforts to eliminate it, but from March 1944 to May 1945 not one edition was missed because of enemy interference.  It served a continuous and vital kriegie need: the urgent necessity to be kept informed on what was happening outside their barbed wire isolation.

News was obtained from four main sources:  from German newspapers and magazines brought into the camp, from loudspeakers which broadcast the Nazi war communiqués and from newly arrived prisoners who brought fresh news from home.  The fourth source was  a secret radio hidden in the South/West Compound.

The best source of news was from the hidden radio  which was strong enough to pick up the BBC news. The radio had been constructed by two RAF (Royal Air Force) men, mainly from smuggled parts late in 1943.  It first operated on the camp electrical system, but it was later converted to run on batteries in order to listen to the BBC nightly broadcast when the camp electricity supply had been cut off.  The receiver was concealed within a wall panel located behind a bed in the barrack room, some of the fixing nails acting as terminals to which an aerial wire and earphone cables could be attached.  Only two almost invisible points on the wall disclosed where the radio was erected.  When these points were joined by a short length of wire, the set was automatically switched on to the correct wave-length and the chimes of London’s Big Ben preceding the nightly news.There were designated listeners who transcribed the news onto pieces of toilet paper. Lou Trouve, and American POW  and Alec Small an RCAF POW were the primary transcribers. This paper was then  hidden in a tin of dried milk that had been fitted with a false bottom.
After roll call the next morning, the notes were dictated to a typist who made a copy on a small very thin sheet of paper.  This paper was then folded and hidden in a hollow wristwatch.  The wristwatch was  worn by W/O R.R. Drummond (RAF) the official liaison officer between the  West Compound and the North  Compound during his daily trips between them. Although he was often searched, this paper was never discovered.

The actual compilation and publication of the paper occurred in Barracks 9 of the North I Compound.  Pow Wow consisted of  two columns on each side of a legal-size piece of tissue paper.  It was printed and duplicated by carbon paper on a typewriter and circulated each evening throughout the camp. When supplies of carbon paper were exhausted, new stocks were made by smoking sheets of paper over oil based lamps and sizing them with smuggled kerosene.  The “staff” generally worked until mid-afternoon until the evening paper was ready for distribution to the compounds. One copy was distributed to each barracks.  Ray Parker was the editor of POW WOW
Pow Wow scored some spectacular news scoops despite the handicaps under which it operated.  These scoops came from the German radio, and from German guards secretly listening to the Oslo or Copenhagen radio and tipping off the POWs. The crew got out an “extra” on the invasion of Normandy which preceded American news flashes by twenty minutes. And their issue announcing the fall of Paris was out two hours before any New York newspaper had it.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annette
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 02:20:01

    Hello, I’d like to submit a hand written newspaper, the Belgravian Weekly journal, written on board the ship Belgravia on its journey from England to Fremantle, W.A. with convicts in 1866.
    Catalogue record:

  2. Roy Alden Atwood, Ph.D.
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 19:21:46

    Thanks Annette. I’ve posted the title and acknowledged you on the entry. Can you send me ( an image file to include with the Belgravian entry? The link you sent connects to what looks like your private photo collection. I’ll change it or delete the image link per your wishes. Let me know. Thanks. And do the other shipboard journal entries appear to be handwritten newspapers as well?

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