In the early 20th century, exploits of Mata Hari, a female German spy, captivated newspaper audiences. This guide provides access to material related to "Mata Hari" 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.
A famous, beautiful dancer, Mata Hari is prominent in European society and enjoys many admirers. When her secret life as a German spy is discovered, however, the game she loves proves fatal. 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.
June 25, 1905
Reports of Mata Hari’s unique, exotic dancing in Paris.
June 27, 1908
Mata Hari reappears in limelight after mysterious disappearance.
July 25, 1917
Mata Hari is sentenced to execution by firing squad. She is accused of being a spy for Germany.
September 28, 1917
Final appeal fails; Mata Hari is sentenced to death.
October 15, 1917
Mata Hari executed at sunrise by firing squad.
Mata Hari’s autobiography runs in installments for seven weeks in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
July 17, 1922
An old lover of Hari’s is discovered seeking solace in Spanish monastery.