Listen to part of a conversation between a student and her history professor.
So I definitely want to write my term paper on American journalism in the 18th century.
That old copy of the New York Daily Gazette you showed us, the one printed from the library’s microfilm.
Just seeing a newspaper that was published in 1789...that was really cool!
Yes, reading old newspapers can be a powerful experience, especially to a budding historian like yourself.
As a resource for scholars and researchers, I don’t think any form of publication really captures the day-to-day life of a community better than a local newspaper.
Yeah, I mean, I knew that the number of newspapers exploded in the 18th century,
but I figured they all deteriorated before the technology was invented to preserve them, or you know, make copies.
Well, actually, before the mid-1800s, newspapers were printed on fairly sturdy paper made from cotton fibers.
Those that survived are in surprisingly good shape.
Are there many more copies of the Gazette on microfilm?
Yeah, we’ve got a great microfilm library on campus, you’ll find it invaluable, I’m sure, as you research your paper.
Um, but also talk to the librarians because they are creating an online archive of their microfilm collection.
I’m not sure of the project’s status, but if it’s done, it’ll probably save you time.
So, um, 18th-century journalism, you must realize that that topic is too broad for this assignment.
I do. So one idea I had was like looking at an important world event like maybe the French revolution of 1789, since we just finished a unit on it.