Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Growth and Decline of US Newspapers 1690-2011

Stanford University's Rural West Initiative is an effort to create conversations and propose solutions to the challenges that exist in rural areas of the western United States. The Rural West Initiative publishes articles, videos, and other multimedia materials in an attempt to build those conversations. One of their recent features is an interactive map of the growth and decline of newspapers in the United States. You can use the timeline at the top of the map to see how many many newspapers there were in an area at a given time. Click one of the placemarks in the map to find a link to more information about each newspaper.

Applications for Education
When I first saw this map I thought, "cool map, might be neat for showing students how mass communication has changed over the last 300+ years." Then I did a little more link chasing and realized that each newspaper mentioned in the map is linked to the Library of Congress website where you can find out which libraries in the US have copies of those newspapers. In this regard the Growth of Newspapers map could be used as a research tool to locate primary sources.

H/T to Google Maps Mania