January 23, 2022

University of Illinois Library: Addition of Historic Agriculture Newspaper to Ag Digital Repository

From the U of I Library:

A gift from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign alumna, M. Christine Wicklein Schwartz, through the T & C Schwartz Family Foundation, has made it possible to digitize issues of Farmer’s Weekly Review (Joliet, IL) from 1929 to 2010. This collection of historic agricultural newspapers is now accessible through Farm, Field and Fireside, a digital repository created and hosted by the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library at Illinois.

Schwartz was five when her father, Andrew A. Wicklein (1920 – 1985), was appointed Will County Farm Adviser to the Farmer’s Weekly Review and the family made their new home in Joliet in 1953. During his 34-year career with the Will County Extension Service, Andy wrote a weekly column, “Extension Comments,” for the paper.

While looking for a way to share copies of his columns with her siblings and her father’s grandchildren, Schwartz discovered Farm, Field and Fireside and decided to fund the digitization of the entire run of available copies of the Review in memory of her father. Preserving this aspect of Will County history offers a unique glimpse into rural life thriving in the same neighborhood vicinity as a major metropolis—Chicago.

“The Farmer’s Weekly Review provides rich source material for our understanding of the social, commercial, and cultural lives of Illinois farmers, as well as a wealth of information on the history of farming practices, the environment, agricultural technology, farm journalism, and rural education,” said Mary Stuart, head of the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library. “The issues of Farmer’s Weekly Review digitized for this project, spanning more than 80 years, clearly document the role played by the state of Illinois in the transformation of rural life in America in the 20th century.”

Access the Digitized Content: The Farm, Field and Fireside Collection

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.