The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.


This project was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

  • This is a project of the Newberry Library. Douglas Knox served as project director through November 2011.
  • Initial XML transcription by PanGeo Partners.
  • Back-end development contributed by TextMethod, Inc.
  • Interface design and programming contributed by Eric Todd Knudtson

The Newberry Library's Scholl Center for American History and Culture provided a home for the project, with support of the Dr. Scholl Foundation. Douglas Knox served as project director through November 2011. Staff of the Chicago Metro History Education Center, particularly Lisa Oppenheim, were strong early advocates of this project, as was Toby Higbie when he led the Scholl Center. Glenn Humphreys of the Chicago Public Library and Alice Schreyer and Dan Meyer of the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center provided early encouragement. Jennifer Fry contributed to planning during an internship.

Lizabeth Cohen, Kathleen Neils Conzen, Alice Fahs, Donna Gabaccia, Daniel Greene, James Grossman, and Jan Reiff provided scholarly support for the project. James Grossman, Daniel Greene, and Hjordis Halvorson ensured the project had indispensable institutional support.

The project depends on the work of technical partners who have been willing to pay careful attention to unusual characteristics of the Press Survey. Bill Dwyer, Mike Hightower, and Bina Trivedi of PanGeo Partners, Inc. understood what the project needed in an initial XML transcription and worked hard and well to see it through. Sandor Weisz and Joe Germuska of Methodtree, Inc., established a solid initial base for web development. Matt Dorn and Eric Knudtson picked up the project with enthusiasm and dedication, and came up with creative solutions to a number of challenges.

The approach to markup makes relatively simple use of version P5 of the TEI Guidelines. This project benefited from the decades of experience of the TEI community in thinking about representational issues and workflows in digital projects concerned with the scholarly use of textual evidence. Julia Flanders and Syd Bauman of Brown University taught an advanced workshop in text encoding that was well timed to help the project, and Syd, Julia, and Laura Mandell helped especially to think through questions about how to model the subject codes and other metadata. Ed Fishwick helped identify and correct incomplete transcriptions with a careful eye. During a productive internship late in the project Dan Tracy contributed a TEI transcription of the original code book instructing the editors in the selection of material.

Additional thanks are due to Michael Ang, Brodie Austin, James Burke, Chris Cantwell, Ginger Frere, Crystal Johnson, Betsy Kruger, Chris Lamberti, Josh Lupkin, Matt Rutherford, Jack Simpson, Cheryl Tunstill, Frank Valadez, and Angela Waarala.