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Colorized photograph from Atuagagdliutut (H. J. Rink).

In 1861, Heinrich Rink, the Danish Administrator for the Godthab (Nuuk)
District of Greenland, decided to start up a newspaper ("journal") for
the colony. Working with a native Greenlander pressman, and using the
new orthography developed for the Inuit language by the linguist Samuel
Kleinschmidt, they began publishing a newspaper that was widely distributed
in Greenland. The newspaper, Atuagagdliutut, ("Something for Reading")
became very popular with the Greenlanders.

The newspaper included news, but also featured pieces written by
Greenlanders from all over the colony. Submissions to the paper ranged
from Inuit tales and legends to frank discussions of various problems
confronting the Greenlanders and what might possibly be done to solve

Atuagagdliutut was also one of the world's first newspapers to feature
photographs. Rink, an avid photographer, was able to make plates of
the photographs and put them into the paper. Some of these photographs
were colorized by painting the plates, in a way analogous to how old black
and white movies are converted to color today. Printing color is more difficult
than printing standard black and white, but the pressman succeeded well at
his task and the photos were so prized that they were often cut out and used
as decorations in Greenlander homes.

The newspaper was to go through various incarnations over the years, and
survived until well into the twentieth century.


Rink, Heinrich J.

1877 [1974] Danish Greenland: Its People and Its Products.
Translated by H. J. Rink. McGill-Queen's University Press: Montreal.


Danish Polar Center. Catalog #31180.