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American Historical Newspapers Online: National Newspaper Collections

A guide to locating digitized American newspapers for the period prior to the advent of electronic newspapers (before 1995).

National and International Collections

Licensed Databases of Newspapers

ProQuest historical newspapers. Cornell restricted resource Full-text and full-image articles from fifteen major national newspapers including such titles as:
Baltimore Sun (1837-1990)
Boston Globe (1872-1984)
Chicago Defender (1909-1975)
Chicago Tribune (1849-1991)
Chinese Newspapers Collection (1832-1953)
Globe and Mail (1844-2012)
Hartford Courant (1764-1990)
Los Angeles Times (1881-1991)
New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
New York Times (1851-2011)
New York Tribune / Herald Tribune (1841-1962)
Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002)
Times of India (1838-2005)
Wall Street Journal (1889-1997)
Washington Post (1877-1998)

America's Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876 (formerly Early American Newspapers). Cornell restricted resource Web-based archive of Americana that features images and full-text content from many historical newspapers.

Access Newspaper Archive Cornell restricted resource, a service provided by NewspaperARCHIVE.com, offers 2,868 titles from all states as well as some of the foreign editions of Stars and Stripes and some Canadian newspapers.  Many of these titles only have a single year digitized; others exist in long runs.  A subset of these papers is available for free through WorldVitalRecords.com, and some individual free titles are included in the Regions tab of this guide.

HarpWeek Cornell restricted resource offers full-text access to Harper's Weekly, America's leading 19th century illustrated newspaper.  The Library has licensed access to the issues from 1857-1912.  The Library also has a CD-ROM of the Civil War era issues.

American Periodicals Series Online, 1741-1900, Cornell restricted resource while primarily devoted to periodicals, does contain some newspapers, such as The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison's paper.  Individual titles are listed in the Cornell catalog.

Ancestry includes among its genealogical resources 63 newspapers and other periodicals including Stars and Stripes and the LeRoy Gazette newspaper in  LeRoy, New York, from 1826-1993.

Free collections of newspapers

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.  Various time periods and places. 

Paper of record. Historical archive of full-page newspaper images dating from the 1700's. Included are newspapers from Australia, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and United States of America. Many of these titles date from the early 1800s to the mid 1900s.  This free resource has been acquired by and added to the Google News Archive.

Small Town Newspapers: 250 small town newspapers, many of which can be searched and browsed for free.  Some are also available through Footnote.com, a membership database.

Google News Archive can also be a source for articles from newspapers.  While searching is free, it appears that most of the older material in the archive is only available via subscriptions.  This may change, however, as Google's Newspaper Archive Partners Program develops.

Useful Tips

Elephind logoElephind is a search engine that searches across many newspapers from four different countries.  If it indexes papers of interest to you, it could be a quick solution.

 


 

Many newspapers are now offering direct searches of their archives and paid access to their digital backfiles.  Here are some examples:


Many states offer online access to newspapers to residents of that state.  Connecticut's iCONN service, for example, provides residents access to digitized backfiles of the Hartford Courant from 1744 to 1922. 


While there are millions of pages of digitized newspapers, millions more exist only in print or on microfilm.  Where are the Newspapers? provides guidance on locating copies of papers in the Cornell University Library.