University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

American Popular Entertainment

The American Popular Entertainment Collection is a project of the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The collection is a repository of digital facsimiles of newspapers and trade journals published for the entertainment industry in the U.S. between 1853 and 1922.

Using digital imaging technology, we have converted microfilmed originals into preservation-quality image files. Equipped with Olive software's Active Paper Archive platform, the American Popular Entertainment collection delivers access versions of the image files through a user-friendly interface. You can browse the newspapers by date or search by keyword across articles, advertisements, and photo captions, and you can print, download, and e-mail individual articles. The collection is available for free to anyone with an internet connection!

The main focus of the American Popular Entertainment collection is vaudeville. Other forms of popular entertainment in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as variety entertainment, burlesque, and to some extent motion pictures, are also represented in these publications.