Original CBI Newspaper
Comes To The Internet

    ROSELLE, NEW JERSEY - More than sixty years after its original publication, a World War II Newspaper has come to the Internet.

 CBI Roundup was published weekly by the U.S. Army Forces in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of World War II.  It contained news unique to the CBI Theater as well as news from other theaters and the home front, and sports stories and scores.  Many of the stories were written by CBI soldier-correspondents.  Between September, 1942 and April, 1946, there were 187 issues of Roundup published.

 The paper brought welcome relief to the almost constant boredom faced by soldiers in the far-off theater, 12,000 miles from home. Due to the distance involved, and the relatively few Americans assigned to CBI, it was often referred to as The Forgotten Theater, a label that continues to this day.

 The new web pages are based on the original newspaper, including stories and photos published in the original issues. Original issues of Roundup were provided by CBI Veterans and family members, including Howard Sherman, Lowell Simpson and Virgina Dyer.

 Roundup contained news stories and pictures from CBI as well as other theaters of the war. News from the home front was also included as well as two pages of timely sports stories and scores. The online pages feature mostly stories and pictures about the CBI Theater. Interesting stories from the home front and World War II in general are included.

 The CBI Roundup pages join the ever-growing number of web pages about CBI that are part of China-Burma-India - Remembering the Forgotten Theater of World War II, brought to the Internet by Carl Warren Weidenburner.  These pages, along with more created by veterans and others interested in the history of CBI, aim at erasing the Forgotten Theater label by bringing the history of CBI to the worldwide web. For more, see CBI On The Internet.

My Favorite Roundup Reader

    At right is a photo from A Tribute To My Dad showing my father in Assam, India, relaxing with a beer, but what is he reading?

Roundup of course! The image above is an upside down closeup from the picture at right.  Although the image is blurry, the distinctive masthead is visible in the close-up.  Perhaps in the picture, Dad is reading, sixty years ago, what I am typing today!

Behind the Roundup Web Pages

  The technology exists to simply scan an original and publish it to a web page. When the original (document, booklet, photo, etc.) is in good condition, this is fairly easy to accomplish. But what about when the original is yellowed, faded, and torn? The technology also captures each imperfection. The resulting page would be hard to read, no matter how large it was presented.
A photograph of the front page of the November 30, 1944 issue of Roundup. CLICK HERE to view the entire page in full screen. CLICK HERE to view a readable-sized portion of the page. CLICK HERE to view the Internet version.

  I have adapted many original publications into web pages. While each presents its own unique challenge, they all share the above mentioned shortcomings. I decided the best way to present the original is to recreate it for the computer screen while trying to retain the look and "feel" of the original.

  Imagine reading your favorite newspaper on this computer screen. Your fingers would be busier than your eyes, moving the page up and down, left and right, to read a complete story. Then there is the problem created by "Continued on page...." The newspaper is designed to be held in your hands and read. You can easily move the paper to read a story in an individual column, or open up the paper and glance at two pages at once. The headlines catch your eye and you move the paper to the story you want to read.

  The computer screen is different. While the newspaper is taller than it is wide, the computer screen is wider than it is tall. What you have then is two rectangular formats, one vertical and one horizontal. In computer "lingo" these are identified as portrait (image taller than it is wide) and landscape (image wider than it is tall). The computer screen favors the landscape format since it is wider than it is tall.

  So rather than trying to copy the original Roundup, I decided to recreate it. What I do is retype each story. I try to closely match the original headline type using fonts available on the computer. I scan the original photos from the newspaper and then use some basic software to enhance them. This basically involves removing the (yellow) color and adjusting the brightness of the image. Of course the images are grainy and rather poor, but still show what was originally intended.

  The recreated paper is more easily readable on the computer. Everything flows down from the masthead of the paper to each story and photo. Scrolling down is all that is required. there is no need to move back and forth or up and down to read an individual story in a small column.

  The stories are exactly as written by Roundup's staff or contributors. Each web page contains a bit of the history of the CBI Theater, as it was written over sixty years ago. While Roundup contained news of all theaters of the war, as well as sports and news from the home front, the web pages contain mostly stories from the CBI Theater, with a few interesting "bits" of information also published in Roundup.


  I like to call the web pages Roundup Online.  They are in fact the original newspaper brought to the Internet, or "online."  While they allow CBI Veterans to remember their service in CBI, they more importantly bring to the Worldwide Web the history of CBI, written as it happened.

Transforming Roundup Pictures Into Internet Images

  Below are three images that illustrate the process involved in transforming pictures from original Roundups into images for the Internet.
This scanned image shows what the yellowed 60+ year old original looks like today.
The color is removed creating a gray-scale (black & white) image.
Restoring the white background makes the image closely match the original, as it would have appeared 60 years ago.


  Below is a screen capture of the "finished product," a 2006 Internet version of a newspaper published over sixty years ago.


by Carl Warren Weidenburner   

Copyright ©2006 Carl W. Weidenburner.  All rights reserved.