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Diane

Using Newspapers in Research

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Photo Credit: Diane Nielson

There are a multitude of resources available for searching old newspapers. Three of the top ones I can immediately think of are Newspapers.com, NewspaperArchive.com and GenealogyBank.com. What do each of these have in common? For one, they are all paid subscriptions.They also all advertise access to millions of records, all have searchable interfaces, and all have abilities to download/clip/save. Additionally, each site provides the ability to browse by state and then paper (although in different ways) to see what is available before you make a decision about subscribing. I like to view the states and cities of interest to ensure that a date range would be beneficial in my research. GenealogyBank advertises that it is the "Largest Obituary Archive Online", NewspaperArchive advertises "5.6 billion names", and Newspapers.com advertises "6,100+ newspapers from the 1700s-2000s". For questions regarding the legalities of "you and whoever owns the thing you want to see or copy or use reach a deal", check out the Legal Genealogist's great and informative Blog about these three newspapers archives on this topic.

For free options, check out:

  • Library of Congress has a "US Newspaper Directory, 1690-present". My suggestion would be to use the Advanced Search feature.
  • Google news has a seemingly endless list. There does not seem to be an ability to search by location for a listing of available newspapers. But still a wonderful resource and you can filter alphabetically.
  • Elephind.com has "3,402,813 Newspapers" - Interface is not great, it is just a long list of newspapers available but there is also an ability to search. Be patient in your scrolling (if that is what you do) as your first (and incorrect) reaction could be that this is a site purely of papers from Australia.
  • If you belong to a library or academic institution, you may also be able to access ProQuest for free.

Check out Wikipedia for a list of newspapers. If you're lucky, the one you want will have an online presence, doubly lucky will be if it is free!

The Legal Genealogist also created a great Blog on copyright and newspaper articles. Another good resource read.

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    • Ronald

      Winter is coming

      12/08/2017

      No, not the Game of Thrones.  I wish though.   Just thought that my primary genealogy season is usually the winter and early Spring.  Not sure what time you have available, but this works for me.
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      04/23/2017

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