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Back of the Yards Newspaper Collection

Identifier: spe-n00090

Scope and Contents

This collection contains newspaper issues and clippings from 1950-2004 of Back of the Yards Journal, issues of Journal News from 2004-2015, issues of City NewsHound from 2005-2015 and photographs from these papers that likely correspond to articles in these publications. Some photographic portraits may have been used on multiple occasions.


  • Creation: circa 1930s-2015
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1969 - 2015


Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff at Chicago Public Library Special Collections to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.

Biographical / Historical

The Back of the Yards Journal was established in 1932 by John Haffner and Aaron Hurwitz under the name, Town of Lake Journal, as the area was called before annexation to Chicago in 1889. In 1939, the paper changed its name to help publicize the newly formed Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) of which Haffner and Hurwitz were charter members. The newspaper served Chicago residents located in the Southwest community area of New City just south and west of the Union Stock Yards from 39th to 55th Streets between Halsted and the railroad tracks along Leavitt Street. The shifting nature of this community was originally the product of successive generations of working-class and immigrant peoples, (namely Germans, Irish, Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Mexicans) who sought work in adjacent meat packing plants and other industries. By the 1950s, the area’s businesses and industry were in decline and the Union Stock Yard officially closed in 1971.

As neighborhood demographics changed, the Back of the Yards Journal newspaper struggled to remain relevant. The Journal's focus shifted to include neighborhoods west of Back of the Yards. With encouragement from the BYNC, Back of the Yards Journal tried a bilingual approach in 1991 with the circulation of the Spanish language newspaper titled El Periódico Back of the Yards. This publication continued through July 8, 1998. On August 18, 2004, the Back of the Yards Journal’s name changed to Journal News. This step was taken to reflect its shift into community coverage of Brighton Park, Archer Heights, McKinley Park, and Bridgeport neighborhoods.

In 2005, Susan Malone left her position as Editor-In-Chief of the Journal News after 26 years of service. In this same year, Malone and entrepreneur Harry J. Galinski began publication of a brand new community newspaper, City NewsHound. The NewsHound served the neighborhoods of Garfield Ridge and Clearing on Chicago's southwest side. In 2006, Patrick J. Salmon (publisher of Journal News) asked Malone to publish the Journal News from the City NewsHound offices. In 2007, upon Salmon’s retirement, Malone and her Neighborhood Newspaper Group acquired the Journal News which continued its established circulation to the west of the City NewsHound.

The Journal News underwent many changes as the years went on. Different circulation areas were tested, which resulted in some areas being dropped and some new areas being added. The Journal News and City NewsHound continued to cover the news of their circulation area, but shared many new features and columns.

On July 2, 2015, the Southwest Community Publishing Company purchased the assets of Neighborhood Newspaper Group, publisher of Journal News and City NewsHound. Following this acquisition, the Journal News became known as Archer Journal News and the City NewsHound merged with the Clear-Ridge Reporter.

Co-written with Susan Malone, 2019.


35 Linear Feet (in 50 boxes, includes 970 photographs)

Language of Materials



The Back of the Yards Newspaper Collection contains issues and clippings of Back of the Yards Journal, the paper that worked closely with the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC), along with Journal News, City NewsHound and a selection of corresponding photographs. Collectively, these newspapers served Chicago’s New City, Brighton Park, Archer Heights, McKinley Park, Bridgeport, Gage Park and Clearing neighborhoods and emphasized local stories not covered by Chicago’s larger publications.


The Back of the Yards Newspaper Collection is organized into four series:

Series 1: Back of the Yards Journal, 1950-2004 (bulk dates: 1969-2004)

Series 2: Journal News, 2004-2015

Series 3: City NewsHound, 2005-2015

Series 4: Photographs and Production Materials, circa 1930s-2008, undated

Physical Location

Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least 24-hours prior to your research visit to coordinate access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Susan Malone in 2016

Related Materials

• Austin Newspapers Collection

• Back of the Yards Community Collection

• Chicago African American and Latino Newspapers Microfilm Collection

• Englewood Newspaper Collection

• South Chicago Newspapers Collection

• South Shore Newspapers Collection

• West Side Newspaper Collection

Guide to the Back of the Yards Newspaper Collection
Debra Orellana and Michelle McCoy, updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Michelle McCoy, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Unit at Harold Washington Library Center Repository

Harold Washington Library Center, 9th Floor
Chicago Public Library
400 S. State Street
Chicago IL 60605 United States
(312) 747-4875