A detailed account of African-American life in the Northeast during World War II, carefully preserved in the basement of the Connecticut State Library, has been uploaded for a new, modern readership.
Hunched over a lighted magnifying machine, Christine Gauvreau spent months scrolling through reels of microfilm of black-owned and operated Connecticut newspapers, preparing them to be digitized. They’re some of the latest entrants in the Chronicling America project, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress to create a national digital database of historically significant U.S. newspapers published between 1690 and 1963.
“It’s really a document from the very early civil rights movement in Hartford,” said Gauvreau, who recently finished archiving old issues of the now-defunct Connecticut Chronicle, Hartford Chronicle, Hartford-Springfield Chronicle and New England Bulletin, a family of black-owned and operated newspapers that began in 1940 and operated consecutively for about a decade.
Connecticut’s latest additions to Chronicling America mark the first African-American newspapers added to the project from a Northeast state.