The Normal Gazette was the first newspaper in the history of Southern Illinois University. The monthly 8 page paper was printed by the Free Press Printing House of Carbondale from 1888-1889. The subscription price was .50 cents per year. After over 1,000 copies of the June 1889 were printed, Normal Gazette editor J. T. Galbraith planned to continue the publication into 1890. For unknown reasons the newspaper was discontinued.
For the next 27 years, Southern Illinois State Normal University did not have a newspaper. In 1916 Robert Brown, graduate of the class of 1913, actively promoted restarting the publication. The new paper, called the Egyptian, began as a monthly publication with a subscription price of $1 per year. The first editor was Claude E. Vick, serving from 1916-1917. Publication was suspended in 1918 because of World War I.
Publication did not resume until spring 1921. The newly created Student Council revived the Egyptian, publishing it as a weekly four-column newspaper at a $1 per year subscription price. The first editor was Guy W. McClain, serving from 1920-1921. In June 1921 the Southern Illinois State Normal University Board of Directors vested full control of the Egyptian in an elected board of directors composed of one representative from each class. The board elected the editor, associate editor, departmental editors, business manager, and faculty advisors. It also handled all matters of newspaper policy and business. In May 1923 the Egyptian became a charter member of the Illinois College Press Association, and, in January 1930, became a member of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Four years later it affiliated with the Associated Collegiate Press and began carrying the Collegiate Digest in every issue.
In 1935 the Egyptian moved its printing contract from the Carbondale Herald to the Free Press Publishing Company, and again in 1936 to the Murphysboro Independent. The printing contract was then moved from one area paper to another based on competitive bidding. In 1962 the Egyptian began printing on its own cold type by offset press. In 1963 the newspaper was published 5 days per week and was renamed to the Daily Egyptian. The paper produced its first summer issue in 1936. In 1950 it was published in a semi-weekly tabloid format, but returned to standard format 1952. The Egyptian became a laboratory for journalism students in the fall of 1947 has been the Journalism Department’s responsibility since.