Internships Project Spring 2021: Tobacco Headlines


Project Abstract

The aim of this internship project is to create an arranged and described collection from the material in the Tobacco Headline Collection, Manuscript Series (MSS) 031, which contains the Center’s curated collection of digitized newspaper headlines on relevant, interesting, or engaging tobacco-related stories.

This project will create an arranged and described digital collection on the Center’s Omeka that will provide a cross-listed and indexed repository of the correspondence collection to supplement and enhance the Center’s headlines colledtion. Included will be a collection description and analysis penned by the intern and an oral history interview with Dr. Blum on the headlines collection which will have a historical, content and meta-analysis element that will further augment the collection.

The banner headline in the Detroit Free Press reporting on the release of the Landmark Surgeon General Report on Smoking and Health, January 12, 1964


The intern will use the Omeka browser-based content management system to upload the correspondence to a collection (031 – Tobacco Headlines).


Discussions will determine the nature of the entries to the Omeka however, the general outline of the project is to evaluate the scope of the collections and base the arrangement schema around the year the paper was published then more granularly on the month. The subject-level arrangement will be conducted using keywords or tags in the Omeka interface.

Critical analysis and input from the intern and the collection manager will decide the best route.


Metadata Entry – The intern will be responsible for entering corresponding metadata to the entries in the collection. The required fields will be as follows.

  • Title – The article headling
  • Type – Typically “Article”
  • Author – The by-line reporter, if none are listed then leave blank, and if indicated write Associated Press
  • Publication – The newspaper the article is derived from, written in Italics
  • Date – Month DD, YYY
  • Identifier – There is a particular format for this that we prefer for posting these to our exhibitions. An example is below and a more detailed tutorial will follow later on this page.

US Report Indicts Cigarets

Jean Pearson
The Detroit Free Press
January 12, 1964

Abstract – A general synopsis of the headlines on any given subject should be written. This should detail the date range, the persons involved, and the subjects/articles being discussed. This will likely be no longer than a paragraph and will look generally like this.

Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health (January 1964):

The United States Surgeon General, Luther Terry) at the direction of then President John F. Kennedy, issues a report identifying cigarettes as a serious public health hazard. This report was front page news despite efforts to supress the news, the statement by the US Federal governemnt against cigarettes and tobacco joined the early British report from the Royal College of Physcians that reached the same conclusions. However, despite this damning report smoking and its related illnesses remains a leading killer of Americans.

More instruction on this will follow as the Center continues to firm up its policy on finding aid creation.

Work Product

  • An arranged, described, indexed and searchable collection uploaded to
  • Descriptive finding aid for the Tobacco Headlines Collection.
  • An oral history conducted with Dr. Blum on the Significance and Collection Methodology of the Tobacco Headlines Collection.
  • A series of brief subject matter reviews written by the intern.


Successful completion or significant contribution to the project, with timely and accurate completion of assigned tasks, will merit satisfactory marks from the Center in regards to the Intern’s performance.


Shared resources for the project will be posted here for the intern to access, in addition to a courtesy form for the intern to track their hours for completion of the assignment if desired.