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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Farm, Field and Fireside

A subject guide for use with the Farm, Field and Fireside collection of farm newspapers and periodicals.


Several publications featured in the Farm, Field and Fireside collection regularly published serialized fiction, most notably The Farmer's Wife and Prairie Farmer. The serialized fiction published in farm periodicals was primarily romantic fiction, also known as "sentimental" or "women's fiction".

The kinds of documents you will find include, but are not limited to:

Search Strategies

The newspapers in Farm, Field and Fireside contain a variety of serial fiction pieces and other literary pieces that span genres and audiences. The best two publications to start browsing through are The Farmer's Wife and The Prairie Farmer, which each contain distinct sections for literature and culture.

For a general database search, start with simple keywords such as "literature"; "folk tale" (format as "folk" AND "tale");"fiction"; "books"; "story." 

Then try Boolean searches that combine the key terms:  "literature" OR "story"; literature OR fiction; serial AND story; author AND story; books AND fiction.

You can also search for specific authors such as "Harriet Beecher Stowe"; "Lydia Maria Child"; "John Greenleaf Whittier".  If you're searching for a specific genre of short fiction, combine core keywords with thematic terms and key ideas such as "romance" AND "folk" AND "tale"; "romance" AND "story"; "adventure" AND "story"; "children" AND "adventure."