University of Michigan’s Student Newspaper
Recording History Since the 1800s
by Vanessa Prygoski
Since September of 1890, the Michigan Daily has been the official student newspaper at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Throughout the decades since then, the student staffs of the Daily have chronicled not only the goings on at the University, but also the local and global community more generally.
Until recently, one had to go to the Hatcher Graduate Library in Ann Arbor to look at back issues of the Daily on microfilm. Now, almost the entire run of the paper is available to anyone with a computer and internet connection, thanks to the Bentley Historical Library on the North Campus in Ann Arbor.
The Michigan Daily Digital Archives is located at:
Current coverage of all back issues is from 1890 to 2014.
The archive landing page has a basic keyword search box.
At the top of all the archive pages there is a blue bar with the familiar Michigan Block M with the Archive and Bentley Library names.
This bar also contains links to other archive features.
The first of these is labeled Search, and takes the user to a screen with more search options than the basic keyword search on the landing page.
There is a drop down menu that allows users to limit their search by date of publication.
The default is any date, which will search the entire archive for the keywords entered by the user.
Users can choose to limit their search to results before and after a certain publication date, as well as between specified dates.
The left side of the search screen allows users to browse the archive by decade, year, month, and day. There are also a few sample searches available to stimulate creative ideas on how best to search.
Next to the Search link in the blue bar at the top of the archive pages, is a link marked Browse. Clicking here will bring up all of the available issues of the MICHIGAN DAILY, starting with the oldest issue in the archive which is from September 30, 1891.
Again, from here there are drop down menus to limit your search by decade, year, month, and day.
These can be combined, so, for example, you could limit your search to issues of the DAILY that were published in July — in all of the years of the decade of the 1960s.
The Help link in the blue bar at the top of the archive pages has useful information on search techniques such as Boolean logic, as well as how to use the page viewer feature and how to download pages and entire digital back issues of the Daily.
While the Michigan Daily initially focused mostly on activities on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan, it quickly expanded to cover events across the state, nation, and world.
An extra issue from November 22, 1963 carried the tragic news of President John F. Kennedy’s death. Five years later, the Daily would report on two additional assassinations of prominent public figures-Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Kennedy’s brother Robert.
The progressive social movements of the 1960s, 1970s and beyond have been extensively covered by the Michigan Daily.
Tom Hayden, one of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society, was editor of the paper in the early 1960s.
White Panther/Rainbow People’s Party founder John Sinclair (a 1964 Flint campus graduate) both wrote for the Daily as well as being a frequent subject of articles in the paper.
The African-American civil rights and Black Power movements, second and third wave feminism, countercultures such as the hippies, the LGBTQ+ movement and more have all been written about in the Michigan Daily.
Varsity sports on the Ann Arbor campus have always been well covered by the Daily, from Fielding Yost’s Point A Minute football teams of the early 1900s, through the Bo Schembechler era, and on to today’s teams led by coaches such as Carol Hutchins of the women’s softball team and Jim Harbaugh, current head football coach.
On page three of the February 8, 1955 Daily is a short news article reporting on the Board of Regents vote to “establish a senior college of the University in Flint.”
This, of course, is what evolved into the present day University of Michigan-Flint campus.
News from both the Flint and Dearborn campuses regularly appear in the Daily.
The Michigan Daily Digital Archive is a very valuable historical resource, and is available free for all to use.