Utopian Communities (1841-1922): Topics in Chronicling America
America saw a rise in utopianism in the 19th century as some sought to live in communities with certain ideals. This guide provides access to materials related to "Utopian Communities" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Although the word “utopia” is often associated with science fiction, utopian communities were a common fixture in nineteenth century America. Incorporating unique religious and social ideals, these communities grew rapidly during the nineteenth century before declining in the early twentieth century. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Brook Farm, a communal joint stock company, opens in Massachusetts.
The Oneida Community, a communal religious organization practicing free love and complex marriage, opens in New York.
Valcour Community, a free-love community, is established on an island in Lake Champlain.
The Oneida Community abandons complex marriage.
The City of Shalam, a utopian community near El Paso, reaches a population of 3,000.