Newspapers from the rise and fall of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s: A Civil Society Investment Fund Project



View the organizations and libraries that have committed funds to Newspapers of the Ku Klux Klan here.


Please contact Peggy Glahn to make a funding commitment. Contribution rates are determined by library type. See the table in the Funding Tiers section below to determine your institution’s contribution level.


From its birth immediately following the Civil War to its re-awakening inspired by the film Birth of a Nation in 1915 through today’s fractured organizations using the Klan’s name, the Ku Klux Klan has occupied a persistent place in American society.  To understand today’s version of American nationalism, we need to go back to the 1920s when the Klan re-emerged as a slick and successful recruiting and marketing engine that appealed to the fears and aspirations of middle-aged, middle-income, white protestant men in the middle of America.  At its peak in 1924, Klan paid membership exceeded 4,000,000 and its national newspaper, the Imperial Night-Hawk, had a circulation larger than the New York Times.

The goal of this project is to assemble a comprehensive and hopefully complete collection of KKK newspapers into a fully-searchable open access database.  The collection features national Klan publications (for example: the Imperial Night-Hawk and the Kourier) as well as regional and local Klan produced papers (i.e., Sgt. Dalton’s Weekly, Jayhawker American, and the Minnesota Fiery Cross).  The collection will also include a smaller set of papers sympathetic to the Klan (i.e., The Good Citizen and The Fellowship Forum) and a few important anti-Klan publications (Tolerance and The Record). A complete title list may be found here.

The collection will be hosted on the Reveal Digital platform, which will provide controlled access to funding libraries until the collection moves to open access.  The platform provides page image-based access with full-text searching, hit-term highlighting, searchable article-level metadata, and browsing by title and issue.

A PDF summary of this project prospectus may be downloaded here.


Libraries who make their first-year contribution to the Diversity & Dissent Investment Fund will be asked to contribute an additional amount shown below to enable this project to start immediately. For non-ARL libraries, funding tiers are determined by the highest degree awarded in History.

Library Type One-Time Payment
2 yr colleges and smaller publics $2,960
Bachelors $3,700
Masters and large publics $4,440
Other Doctorate $5,920
ARLs $7,400


Original images will be stored as uncompressed 300 dpi 24-bit color TIFF images, conforming to the TIFF 6.0 specification. Images will be cropped to the page edge.

Derivative images will be 300 dpi JPEGs, compressed 20% for online delivery.

Issue and article level metadata will be provided in a METS/ALTO format with article-level OCR.



Hate In America Pie




Below is the projected high-level project plan. Outreach for funding, content selection, sourcing and platform development will begin in Q1, 2017. Funding libraries will have access to material as soon as the first batch is loaded to the platform, which is anticipated in Q3 2017. The collection will be made open access immediately upon attainment of the cost recovery goal, which is forecasted to occur no later than Q4 2018 (but may be significantly earlier).
Project Plan Graph_A


The following libraries have agreed to provide source material for scanning. We expect to add several more libraries and archives to this list over the course of the project.
* Michigan State University
* University of Texas, Austin
* Wisconsin Historical Society, Library-Archives Division


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