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Newspapers in Genealogy and Local History Research: Access

Access

Tens of thousands of newspapers have been published in the United States. Many are available in digital databases in partial or full-run date ranges.

Start with the largest and most popular databases at the library:

Newspapers.com

  • 300 million + pages
  • 11,000 titles
  • U.S. | U.K.
  • From Home w/ NYPL Card
  • Browse by date / locale

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

  • Early-Mid 20t                            h century U.S.  
  • EX: NY Times (1851 - Current)
  • Daily News (1920 - 1987 / 1997 - Current)
  • Asbury Park Press (1974-2011)
  • Chicago Tribune (1849-1990)
  • Los Angeles Times (1881-1988)
  • Louisville Courier Journal (1830-1922)
  • Era: ProQuest Civil War Era (1840-1865)
  • Race: Historical African American Newspapers
  • Ethnicity: Chinese Newspapers Collection (1832-1953) 

America's Historical Newspapers

  • Sort by Locale and Date Range
  • 18th and 19th Century
  • Colonial and Early America
  • U.S. States | Mexico | Caribbean

In particular, researchers can search the NYPL databases homepage for specific newspaper titles:

  • Go to Articles and Databases.
  • In the right sidebar, click "Scholarly Journals" (this is misleading: the link opens to the search page for ALL serial publications).
  • Click "Full-text Journals and Scholarly E-Books (on-site in the Library)" or "(from Home)," depending in your type of access.
  • In the top left dropdown menu, select "title contains all words," which expands the searchability of your search terms.
  • Type in the name of the newspaper - if there is digital access, the results page will indicate the database and the available date range.

For New York City newspapers, see our Guide to New York City Newspapers at New York Public Library.

                            Fulton History

  • 50+ million pages
  • 1700s - 1980s
  • Metro Region / Mid-Atlantic

Center for Brooklyn History

  • Brooklyn Public Library + Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 30 Brooklyn newspapers
  • Brooklyn Daily Eagle
  • Long Island Star - first Long Island newspaper (when Queens and Brooklyn were part of "Long Island"). This title is only available onsite at the Brooklyn Public Library.

NYS Historic Newspapers

  • By County
  • 7.5 million+ pages

Library of Congress

Major NYC Publications

  • New York Post
  • Village Voice
  • NY World-Telegram (1931-1950)
  • UNINDEXED  

NYC Neighborhood Publications

  • Manhattan East (1963-1983)
  • East Village Eye (1979-1986)
  • Co-op City Times (1969-1987)
  • Gotham Life (1906-1949) 

Back when historic newspapers were only accessible in print and on microfilm, the point of entry was nonexistent unless you knew the ballpark date of a specific article you were trying to find. As a result, print indexes have been created for different newspapers and arranged according to broad searchability, or a specific type of information. Not all newspapers are indexed, with the exception of The New York Times, newspapers do not typically create their own index.

The internet has not made these indexes obsolete: inaccurate character recognition, weak search algorithms, and other technical issues sometimes make it easier to search these indexes as an alternative to the databases.

Genealogical Data

Examples

Locate a specific title in our print or microfilm collections by browsing the NYPL research catalog by journal or newspaper title - select "Journal Title" in the dropdown.  

These PDF spreadsheets provide comprehensive lists of microfilm newspaper holdings by geography:

And use these subject headings to browse the catalog:

Reference Librarians

Contact:
The Irma and Paul Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History, and Genealogy
New York Public Library
476 Fifth Avenue (W. 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue)
Room 121
New York, New York 10018