You can now search (for free) a few Civil War-era Kansas newspapers online at the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website, chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. The Kansas Historical Society digitized the papers with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). This is the first of 12 batches that will become available by June of 2011.
This batch of 6,829 pages includes the following Kansas newspapers: The Oskaloosa Independent(issues from July 1860-December 1865); White Cloud Kansas Chief (issues from September 1860-July 1872); Weekly Kansas Chief (published in Troy, issues from July 1872-May 1883); Marysville Big Blue Union (issues from March 1862-May 1866); and Smoky Hill and RepublicanUnion (published in Junction City, issues from September 1861-November 1864).
These particular newspapers were chosen because of their coverage of state and national events leading up to Kansas’ statehood and ultimately, the Civil War. Kansas will commemorate its 150th anniversary of statehood January 29, 2011. The next group of Kansas newspapers is expected to be uploaded to the Chronicling America website in September. In all, the Historical Society will digitize 100,000 pages of Kansas newspapers during this project.