Dave Nord taught journalism history at Indiana University for many years. For class use, he gradually collected dozens of original historic newspapers spanning three centuries of American history. For this presentation, he’s bringing a sampling of this collection to illustrate both change and continuity in the newspaper as a material product of manufacturing. If you have never handled an 18th-century or 19th-century newspaper before, this is your chance.
Nord is a professor emeritus of journalism and adjunct professor emeritus of history at Indiana University. He is the author of Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth of Mass Media in America and Communities of Journalism: A History of American Newspapers and Their Readers. He’s a former interim editor and associate editor of the Journal of American History. In retirement, he’s been exploring the history of Monroe County and southern Indiana. A recent project is Mapping Monroe County, Indiana: An Annotated Bibliography, 1815–1941, which is available as a pamphlet at the Monroe County History Center’s bookstore and as a downloadable PDF with clickable links through the online catalogs of the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana State Library and Indiana University Bloomington.
The Monroe County History Center is offering Nord’s presentation in conjuction with its exhibit Breaking the News: The Past and Uncertain Future of Local Print Journalism. The exhibit follows the 199-year history of Monroe County’s local newspaper industry and highlights the papers, the people and the technology that made it possible. Visitors will learn about the first paper printed in 1824 and the foundations of print journalism in the county; see the overarching timeline of newspapers in the area; take a deep dive into the 20th-century golden age of Bloomington’s Herald-Times and other area daily papers; and consider the changing news landscape that has led to local print journalism’s uncertain future.
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This program received support from an Indiana Humanities Action Grant funded by the Indiana Newspaper in Education Foundation.