Fossils: Historians of Amateur Journalism
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Public Collections of Amateur Journals

A number of collections of amateur journals are available for public browsing. Listed here are collections members of The Fossils are aware of, many of which have helpful on-line descriptions. Before visiting these collections in person, contact them to ensure they will have the materials ready. Materials are often stored offsite and making them available in the library may require several days notice.

If you are aware of other amateur journal collections, please contact The Fossils and share the information. An excellent aid for finding libraries with amateur journalism content is the WorldCat search tool (and its ArchiveGrid); search for the subject "amateur journalism" or for a specific title.

Major Collections

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
The Special Collections department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison houses the Library of Amateur Journalism in Memorial Library. The LAJ has a rich history dating back to 1896. (From 1916 to 2004, it was controlled by The Fossils.) The department also has a British Amateur Journalism collection.
Address: 990 Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin, 728 State Street, Madison, WI 53706; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 608-262-3243.

The Fossils encourages financial donations to support the LAJ, the most comprehensive collection of amateur journalism publications and related material.

American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts
This research library of American history, literature, and culture includes a large Amateur Newspaper collection. They hold a collection of about 55,000 amateur journalism items, including a number donated by Truman J. Spencer in the 1940s. (Batchelder-Spencer-Cole Collection). Although they generally retain only material dated 1900 or earlier, they hold the Moitoret Family collection (donated after Victor Moitoret's death in 2005) which is eventually to be divided between the AAS and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There is an on-line finding aid.
Address: 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634; E-mail: library@americanantiquarian.org; Phone: 508-755-5221.

Library of Congress, Washington, District of Columbia
The Library of Congress has amateur journals in at least two different areas: We have prepared a summary of the Library of Congress's Amateur Journalism holdings, with links to more than 6800 images of amateur journals.
Address: 101 Independence Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20540; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 202-707-5000.

National Library of New Zealand, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand
The Robert G. Barr Collection of Amateur Journalism consists of over 1000 titles dating from 1880 to 1975.
Address: 70 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand; E-mail: information@natlib.govt.nz; Phone: +64 4-474 3000.

New-York Historical Society, New York, New York
The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library includes a collection of amateur periodicals that fills 28 boxes on 12 shelves. The collection is not cataloged, although a listing undertaken in 2010, starting from "A" and continuing part way through "S", includes 1500 titles.
Address: 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024; E-mail: info@nyhistory.org; Phone: 212-873-3400.

New York Public Library, New York, New York
The library's Amateur Periodical Collection contains about 8,000 items (3,000 titles). Bertram Adler donated 70 or so amateur journals in 1906, and another 700 titles were purchased in 1914, but the bulk of the collection was donated by Charles W. "Tryout" Smith in 1939-40. In 2013, the library received a three-year grant to catalog and digitize the collection. You can search their catalog for items related to amateur journalism. The subject "Amateur Journalism -- Periodicals" returned hundreds of items, while keyword "Amateur Press Association" returned 66. One of those items, "Index to the amateur periodicals collection," prepared by the library in 1941 and digitized in 2015, includes 82 typed pages, with up to 60 lines per page.
Address: Fifth Ave. and 42nd St., New York, NY 10018; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 917-275-6975.

Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American History , Washington, District of Columbia
The Museum of American History's collection "Kelsey Company Records and Amateur Journalism Collection, 1873-1964" includes 36 boxes of amateur journals (for example, issues of National Amateur published between 1878 and 1963) and other items related to the National Amateur Press Association and The Fossils. The Finding Aid provides an index of the contents.
Address: 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 20001; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 202-633-1000.

University of California, Berkeley, California
The Bancroft Library purchased the Hyman Bradofsky Collection in 2003. The collection consists of six boxes of pamphlets (2.5 linear feet) and twenty-five regular-sized and two oversize boxes of serials (16.2 linear feet) and contains over 7,000 items, the majority of which are nineteenth and early twentieth century American and Canadian imprints, including approximately 1,000 items printed in California. There is also a related one-box (0.4 linear feet) collection of Bradofsky's own papers, mostly relating to his own collecting. The Library has a "preliminary" (although thorough) listing of the four cartons of serials, and will forward the 140-page Word document upon request.
Address: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-6000; E-mail: bancref@library.berkeley.edu; Phone: 510-642-3781.

University of California, Riverside, California
The library's Special Collections department includes a few NAPA titles, but their treasure is the Terry Carr Fanzine Collection, which contains over 74,000 items. You can search the Fanzine Collections Database by title or editor.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
The Special Collections Department has Zine and Amateur Press Collections, including the following related to amateur journalism: Address: 100 Main Library (LIB), 125 West Washington St., Iowa City, IA 52242-1420; E-mail: lib-spec@uiowa.edu or use on-line form; Phone: 319-335-5921.

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
The Special & Digital Collections' Amateur Printing Associations Collection (93 boxes) is likely the extensive collection of amateur papers donated by William F. Haywood in the 1990s. A search of their holdings for "Amateur journalism -- United States -- Periodicals" turns up two additional items: The Boxwooder and National Amateur.
Address: 4202 E. Fowler Ave. LIB122, Tampa, FL 33620; E-mail: visit their contact page; Phone: 813-974-2731.

University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
The American Heritage Center has five collections related to amateur journalism: Address: 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071; E-mail: ahcref@uwyo.edu; Phone: 307-766-1121.

Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio
In 1918, Warren J. Brodie donated his collection of approximately 15,000 papers to the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Address: 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106; E-mail: info@wrhs.org; Phone: 216-721-5722.

Other Collections

The remaining collections are either smaller than the collections listed above, or The Fossils does not yet have information about their extent.
Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts
Holdings include "National Amateur Press Association printing archive, 1937-1946," consisting of 39 items sent to Charles A. Austin.
Address: 10½ Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108; E-mail: reference@bostonathenaeum.org; Phone: 617-227-0270.

Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, New York
Within the Louis C. Wills papers are items related to amateur journalism.
Address: 128 Pierrepont Street Brooklyn, NY 11201; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 718-222-4111.

Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois
Holdings include 1 folder of United Amateur Press Association material (call no. PN4826.U5 Z OVERSIZE).
Address: 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614; E-mail: Use on-line form; Phone: 312-642-4600.

Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut
A search of the library catalog returns numerous items related to amateur journalism. One, Glover Snow collection, 1884-1955, includes amateur journals Snow published 1908-1916 as well as documents related to the Kelsey Company, long-time manufacturer of table-top printing presses.
Address: One Elizabeth St., Hartford, CT 06105; E-mail: research_center@chs.org; Phone: 860-236-5621.

The Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Amateur Newspaper Collection includes 131 publications (225 issues) from sixteen states, mostly from the 1870s. You can view on-line images of several newspapers in the collection.
Address: 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107; E-mail: cking@librarycompany.org; Phone: 215-546-3181.

The Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts
A search of the MHS Online Catalog (Abigail) using Subject "Amateur Journalism" turned up six collections that include amateur journals: Address: 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 617-536-1608.

McArthur Public Library, Biddeford, Maine
The Walter Perkins Amateur Newspaper Collection includes over 130 papers from 25 states and Canada, collected by Walter E. Perkins who at age 14 published his own paper The Snow Flake. You can view on-line images of 28 items.
Address: 270 Main St., Biddeford, ME 04005; Phone: 207-284-4181.

Milwaukee County Historical Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Among the society's holdings is Frederick Heath, 1848-1961, which includes publications from UAPA and NAPA.
Address: 910 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee, WI 53203-1591; E-mail: info@milwaukeehistory.net; Phone: 414-273-8288.

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
A search for the subject "Amateur journalism--Newspapers" in the Northwestern University Libraries Catalog shows over 100 titles of amateur journals published in the 1880s held at the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections.
Location: Level 3, Deering Library, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208; E-mail: special.collections@northwestern; Phone: 847-491-3635.

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
The Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections Collection of National Amateur Press Association mailings 1889-2006 (call number Mss 239) in 3 boxes and 21 cartons, or 22.5 cubic feet.
Address: 30 Park Place, Athens, OH 45701; Phone: 740-593-2699.

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
The Cary Graphic Arts Collection at The Wallace Center has an Amateur Newspaper Collection with over 1,300 issues of 500 titles covering the mid-1870s to the mid-1880s. A finding aid (PDF file) includes more information, including a listing of the newspapers.
Address: 90 Lomb Drive, Rochester, New York 14623-5604; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 585-475-3961.

San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, California
The main library holds several collections of amateur journals.
Address: 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco CA 94102-4733; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 415-557-4400.

Smith College, Northhampton, Massachusetts.
The Nielson Library holds the John Green Oliver Scrapbook 1874-1883, containing publications and memorabilia related to amateur journalism, in the Mortimer Rare Book Room Collections.
Address: 7 Neilson Drive, Northampton, MA 01063; E-mail: neilref@smith.edu; Phone: 413-585-2910.

Stanford University, Stanford, California
A search of the holdings of Stanford University libraries using Socrates: Stanford's Online Catalog turned up two collections that contain amateur journals: Location: Field Reading Room, Cecil H. Green Library, Stanford University, Stanford, California; E-mail: speccollref@stanford.edu; Phone: 650-725-1022.

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The Al Andrews Amateur Journalism collection contains a number of fanzines and related materials principally to science fiction fantasy subjects; 35 linear feet.
Address: W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library, P.O. Box 870266, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0266; E-mail: archives@ua.edu; Phone: 205-348-0500.

University of California, Irvine, California
The Frank M. Cushing Collection contains a number of amateur journals.
Address: Langson Library 5th floor, P.O. Box 19557, Irvine, CA 92623-9557; E-mail: spcoll@uci.edu; Phone: 949-824-3947.

University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
The Eugene Richardson Printing Ephemera Collection includes amateur journals.
Address: 184 UCB, 1720 Pleasant Street, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0184; E-mail: reflib@colorado.edu; Phone: 303-492-8705.

University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
The Spencer Library holds National Amateur Press Association bundles dating from 1980, plus many NAPA publications going back to 1977.
Address: Kenneth Spencer Research Library, 1450 Poplar Lane, Lawrence, Kansas 66045; E-mail: ksrlref@ku.edu; Phone: 785-864-8983.

University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
A search for "Amateur Journalism" shows the Fisher Library holds copies of American Amateur Journalist (1937 - 1958) and The National Amateur (1878 - present).
Address: Fisher Library, Eastern Avenue F03, Camperdown Campus, University of Sydney, NSW 2006; E-mail: fisher.library@sydney.edu.au; Phone: +61 2 +61 2 9351 2993.

University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio
The library holds issues of The National Amateur dating from 1968.
Address: William S. Carlson Library, 2801 W. Bancroft, Toledo, OH 43606-3390; Phone: 419-530-2324.

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
The Special Collections department holds several collections of amateur publications: Location: Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, 160 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903; Address: P.O. Box 400110, Charlottesville, VA 22904; E-mail: library@virginia.edu; Phone: 434-243-1776.

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
A search of the library catalog for "amateur journalism" returns over 80 items.
Address: 295 S 1500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0860; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 801-581-8558.

Worcester Historical Museum,
The Whipple Collection includes amateur publications, among other items.
Address: 30 Elm Street, Worcester, MA 01609; E-mail: info@worcesterhistory.net; Phone: 508-753-8278.

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
A search of the library catalog for "Amateur Periodicals" returns over 360 items from 1845 to 1906.
E-mail: askyale@gmail.com; Phone: 203-432-1775.

Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio
The William F. Maag, Jr., library holds the last 12 issues of The National Amateur.
Address: William F. Maag, Jr. Library, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555; E-mail: use on-line form; Phone: 330-941-3686.