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Atlanta Newspaper Guide

History of the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal and Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The following information is reproduced from:

"Atlanta Journal-Constitution," New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 26, 2009: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.orgPartial contents are reproduced here courtesy of New Georgia Encyclopedia.  For more information, see the NGE article and the AJC website.

Few cities in America have a daily newspaper that has published continuously for more than 100 years. Until recently, Atlanta had two—the Atlanta Constitution, first published on June 16, 1868, and the Atlanta Journal, which debuted on February 24, 1883. The longtime rivals, which had been under common ownership since March 1950, merged on November 5, 2001, and are currently published daily under a joint masthead. The Journal-Constitution is the largest daily newspaper in the Southeast, with an average daily circulation of 640,000.

The Journal and Constitution have won numerous Pulitzer Prizes and have nurtured the careers of many famous journalists, including: Henry W. Grady, whose lobbying efforts set the stage for the South's agricultural and industrial growth following a difficult Reconstruction period; Joel Chandler Harris, whose colorful Uncle Remus tales—African American folk tales written in dialect—first appeared in the Constitution; Margaret Mitchell, the author of the international best-seller Gone With the Wind; Ralph McGill, a passionate voice of reason in the early days of the civil rights movement, whose personal essays—a new journalistic form—ran on the front page of the Constitution.

Access to Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Journal, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Although both newspapers have had common ownership since 1950, the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION and ATLANTA JOURNAL did not merge their news operations until 1982, and for the next two decades the two papers continued separate publication, with the following exceptions:

  • 1950-1976:  combined edition published on Sundays
  • 1976-2001:  combined edition published on Saturdays as well as Sundays

As of November 5, 2001, the two papers finally became one daily under the name ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

ONLINE ACCESS:

Coverage: 1868-1984
This is the only place to access the Constitution online prior to 1985. Includes some issues of the "Sunday Constitution Magazine" between 1930 and 1939.
 
Coverage: 1990-
Once in database, click on “Select multiple databases” link to specifically choose the “Atlanta Journal & Constitution”. Database refers to "ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION" even prior to the 2001 merger of the two papers. Articles reproduced in HTML format; photos, graphics, some articles are excluded. The microfilm and print versions of the newspaper have ALL content.
 
Coverage: 1985-
Refers to "ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION" even prior to the 2001 merger of the two papers. Articles reproduced in HTML format; photos, graphics, some articles are excluded.  The microfilm and print versions of the newspaper have ALL content.
 
Coverage: 1986-
Refers to "ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION" even prior to the 2001 merger of the two papers. Articles reproduced in HTML format; photos, graphics, some articles are excluded.  The microfilm and print versions of the newspaper have ALL content.
 
Coverage: 1991-  
Refers to "ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION" even prior to the 2001 merger of the two papers. Articles reproduced in HTML format; photos, graphics, some articles are excluded.  The microfilm and print versions of the newspaper have ALL content.
 
Coverage: 1985-
Searching in this AJC database is free BUT there is a fee to access full text of articles.  Emory and on-site researchers have FREE access via Factiva and Lexis/Nexis Academic (see above) to all but 1985 articles indexed in The Stacks, BUT you can use this database to search for references to 1985 articles and then find the full text in our microfilm holdings. The Stacks is also a good resource for non-Emory researchers, and their staff will also perform research for a fee - see their Information Services page for details.
 
Coverage: Daily paper, 60 days of back files.
Full-color reproductions of the print daily available for browsing, BUT only 5 members of the Emory community can view silmultaneously. 

 

PRINT ACCESS:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Coverage: Current issues only (approximately past two months) - replaced by microfilm (see below)
Call number:  N/A
Location:  Newspaper Room
 
Atlanta Weekly (previously called ATLANTA JOURNAL MAGAZINE and ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION MAGAZINE)
Coverage:  1912-1982?
Call number:  AP2 .A8
Location:  Storage Library
Content notes: In 1912 the ATLANTA JOURNAL inititated the first Sunday magazine in a Southern newspaper.  The ATLANTA JOURNAL MAGAZINE published articles concerning Atlanta, Georgia and the Southeast authored by notable writers including Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell.  When the JOURNAL and CONSTITUTION initiated a combined Sunday edition in 1950, the Sunday magazine changed its name to the ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION MAGAZINE, and subsequently to the ATLANTA WEEKLY in 1980.

 

MICROFILM ACCESS:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Coverage: Nov. 5, 2001-
Call number:  MICFILM 5
Location:  Microforms Collection, Level 1
 
Atlanta Journal
Coverage: Feb. 24, 1883-Nov. 4, 2001
Call number:  MICFILM 5
Location:  Microforms Collection, Level 1
Content notes: Called EVENING JOURNAL, 1887-1889. Some weekend editions issued in combination with the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1950-2001.
 
Atlanta Constitution
Coverage: June 17, 1868-Nov. 4, 2001
Call number:  MICFILM 4
Location:  Microforms Collection, Level 1
Content notes: Some weekend editions issued in combination with the ATLANTA JOURNAL, 1950-2001.
 
Atlanta Weekly
Coverage: 1912-1982?
Call number:  MICFILM 4 and MICFILM 5
Location:  Microforms Collection, Level 1
Content notes: Issues of the ATLANTA JOURNAL MAGAZINE and the ATLANTA CONSTITUION MAGAZINE MAY have been filmed with ATLANTA JOURNAL and the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.
 
 
 

Using Newspapers in Print and Microfilm Formats

How do you search for information in newspapers that are only available in print or microfilm format?  The short answer - it's often not easy!   Your options are usually limited to:

Finding newspaper references in footnotes or bibliographies from other sources,

Ascertaining the probable date(s) when an event or topic would have been covered and browse the newspaper page by page for that time period, OR

Using newspaper subject indexes.  These may be available in print, microform, or online formats, and they provide REFERENCES (NOT full text) with title, date, section, and page number information to articles on a specific subject.  Use this information to locate articles in the chronologically arranged microfilm or print version of the newspaper.  Subject indexes are scant for Atlanta newspapers.  Indexing available for selected portions of the ATLANTA JOURNAL, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, and ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION are described in the following box.

Indexing for Newspaper Content Not Searchable Online

ATLANTA CONSTITUTION INDEXES:

  Only limited subject access to select content exists for the CONSTITUTION for 1955-1980

Atlanta Constitution Card Index
Coverage:  1925-1954  
Call number:  MICFILM 1668
Location:  Microfilm Collection, Level 1
Details:  Card file index prepared by the State of Georgia Library and subsequently reproduced on microfilm.  Difficult to use due to lack of standardized subject headings; search under ALL possible terms for your subject.
 
Atlanta Constitution: A Georgia Index.
Coverage:  1971-1979
Call Number:  AI21 .A87 A84A
Location:  Reference Collection, Level 2
Details: Print index compiled by the Georgia State University Library, it covers ONLY articles relating to Georgia.
 
[Card file index at Georgia State]
Coverage:  1980-March 1982
Call number:  N/A
Location:  Must be used onsite at Georgia State University Library (NOT available at Emory) 
Details:  Created by the Reference Department at the Georgia State University Library.
 

ATLANTA JOURNAL INDEXES:

  No subject access exists for the JOURNAL for 1883-1943 and 1980-1982

Atlanta Journal Card Index
Coverage:  1944-1979
Call Number:  MICFICHE 1550
Location:  Microfilm Collection, Level 1
Details: This was a card file index maintained in the library of Atlanta Newspapers, Inc. and subsequently reproduced on microfiche.
 

INDEXES COVERING BOTH NEWSPAPERS:

Coverage:  1950-1960
Call Number:  Z1361 .N39 M2
Location:  Reference Collection, Level 2 (additional copy available in Manuscript, Archives & Rare Book Library (MARBL), Level 10
Details: First of two print indexes compiled by by Annie McPheeters, a librarian at the Atlanta Public Library, that list select newspaper articles relating to Atlanta's racial environment during the modern civil rights era.  Lists articles from the following newspapers: ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, ATLANTA DAILY WORLD (African American newspaper), and ATLANTA INQUIRER (African American newspaper that began publication in 1960).
 
Negro Progress in Atlanta, 1961-1970
Call Number:  Z1361 .N39 M21
Location:  Reference Collection, Level 2
Details: Second of two print indexes compiled by by Annie McPheeters, a librarian at the Atlanta Public Library, that list select newspaper articles relating to Atlanta's racial environment during the modern civil rights era.  Lists articles from the following newspapers: ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, ATLANTA DAILY WORLD (African American newspaper), and ATLANTA INQUIRER (African American newspaper). 
 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Index
Coverage:  1982-
Call Number:  AI21 .A5
Location:  Reference Collection, Level 2
Details: Title varies slightly.  Print index to content of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION and ATLANTA JOURNAL through Nov. 4, 2001 and the combined ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION from Nov. 5, 2001 to present.

 

INDEX TO ATLANTA WEEKLY (previously called ATLANTA JOURNAL MAGAZINE and ATLANTA JOURNAL AND CONSTITUTION MAGAZINE)

[Atlanta Weekly Card Index]
Coverage:  1932-1980
Call Number:  N/A
Location:  Staff Office Area, Level 2
Details:  A card file index for this special Sunday supplement.  Consult a Reference staff member about using this index.

Need more info about the Atlanta Journal & Constitution?

See the resources listed in the More Information box on the About Atlanta Newspapers page of this guide.

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