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Amateur newspaper collection
Collection of 131 amateur newspapers (225 issues) from sixteen states. Holdings range from single issues up to eight issues. Most of the newspapers were purchased, and the collection has increased through donations. The collection is open to new additions., Many newspapers discuss amateur journalism and amateur journalism societies., "The advent of the small, toy press, moreover, ushered in the golden age of amateur publishing during the 1870s. Because subscription lists were large and because exchanging papers was an important element in amateur journalism, the hobby spread from the Northeast across the nation, creating a mass culture for adolescents who shared the experience of reading the same stories and debating the same issues. ... Although many of the papers of the 1840s and 1850s generally imitated their adult counterparts by reprinting selections from other periodicals, the juvenile papers of the 1870s were firmly committed to original work. Bereft of stylistic sophistication--metaphor, symbol, character development, and, sometimes, plot--the amateur papers and miniature novels provided a forum for young people's thinking as they used a toy to mark the longer time between childhood and adulthood. Because they were novice writers, the authors often copied or, more precisely, plagiarized plots and characters created by their favorite adult authors: Captain Mayne Reid, Horatio Alger and, especially, Oliver Optic. Nevertheless, in their so-called adaptations of adult work, the amateur editors made significant alterations in characterization and plotting to suit their own perceptions." From Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society: viewed March 27, 2012.