In 2022, EPL began a project called Digitally Desegregating Evanston: Rediscovering and Reclaiming a Shared Past. EPL began the process of digitizing its collection of the entire Evanston Review from 1872 through today, and the Newsette, the most important Black weekly paper in Evanston, which began in 1941 and was released periodically through the 1980’s. Previously, these two collections, one focused on the white community and one on the black community, had been managed by different organizations. EPL housed the Evanston Review collection, while Shorefront housed the Newsette collection.
Both collections will be digitized, scanned, indexed, and keyword-searchable (OCR). EPL programs, such as discussion groups, genealogy workshops, and art projects/creating displays, will introduce these collections to the public. The goal of this project is to create a complete picture of Evanston’s history by having a digital collection of both mainstream papers and Black papers, giving equal importance to all. In addition to providing a powerful instrument for personal and family enrichment, this platform offers an integrated, one-search platform for supporting Evanston’s anti-racism work and helping dismantle systemic racism in the city.