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The Evanston Public Library will provide a new online history resource aimed at expanding the public’s knowledge of local and African American history. The Chicago Defender, one of the most respected and well–known black news sources, chronicles decades of events and stories relevant to Chicago and Evanston’s African American community. Now, Evanston residents have direct access to the early and mid-century Chicago Defender issues online.

“The Chicago Defender has been the voice of African American Chicago for over 100 years,” says Lesley Williams, head of Adult Services. “The Archives is an invaluable primary resource for students, genealogists, and anyone interested in seeing the African American perspective on local and national historical events. We are thrilled to be able to provide the Archives to our Evanston Library cardholders.”

The complete full text of this legendary paper, from 1910-1975, including every obituary, photo, advertisement and article, is available to any Evanston resident with a library card. To access the Chicago Defender Historical Archives from any home computer or mobile device, follow these three simple steps:

Step 1: Go to www.epl.org/search
Step 2: Select “Magazines/Newspapers/Journals” on the left hand side of the page, or “A- Z Electronic Resources”
Step 3: Scroll down to ‘Chicago Defender Historical Archive’

For any questions, please email klanigan@cityofevanston.org or call the Reference Desk at 847/448-8630.