Thursday, July 24, 2008

Newspaper Archive Web Sites

Historical newspaper articles can be used to find news items, announcements, and obituaries of our ancestors, and often provide unique information available in no other resource - either on line or in printed form.

Bill Dollarhide authored an excellent list of historical newspaper archives web sites available online in the January/February 2008 issue of the Everton's Genealogical Helper (which is available at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library stacks).

The list was in three parts - large mega-sites, US State or Regional sites, and International sites.

The large mega-sites included:

* - NewspaperARCHIVE is an individual or institution subscription site with over 2,800 titles of newspapers from 1759 to the present. Some holdings are available on and (also subscription sites), and some are available for online home use through public libraries (if you have a library card for the ones with the database).

* - GenealogyBank is an individual or institution subscription site with over 2,500 titles of newspapers, including Historical Newspapers 1690-1980, and America's Obituaries 1977-present with over 26 million obituaries. GenealogyBank is affiliated with NewsBank. Public libraries (with a library card) may provide home access to Newsbank.

* - ProQuest Historical Newspapers is an institution subscription site for Historical Newspapers and other collections. Public libraries (with a library card) may provide home access to some databases.

* - Ancestry is an individual and institution subscription site that includes Historical Newspapers (from NewspaperARCHIVE) and Birth, Marriage and Death Announcements, 1851-2003) from the ProQuest Historical Newspapers collections for 8 large city newspapers.

* - World Vital Records is an individual subscription site with access to the NewspaperARCHIVE collection and the Small Town Newspapers collection.

* - Accessible Archives is an individual or institution subscription site with nine historical newspapers from the eastern USA.

* - Chronicling America is a Free site at the Library of Congress, with selected newspapers from 1897 to 1910.

* - Small Town Papers is a Free site with over 250 small town newspapers.

Joe Beine has collected a number of regional and state newspaper archives, which includes all that are in the Dollarhide article, and they can be found at

Many newspaper archives in printed or microfilm format can be found in local or state historical societies, public and private libraries, or at the newspapers themselves. Some of them have partial or complete indexes. For a specific locality, a researcher should try to find the indexes and the holdings in that locality.

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