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Jewish Newspapers at the New York Public Library: Newspapers Available Online

Masthead of La Amerika, available through JPress

FAQs about electronic resources

Are any newspapers from NYPL's collections available online?

Yes! The curator of the Dorot Jewish collections, Lyudmila Sholokhova, wrote a blog post highlighting newspapers from NYPL's collections that have been digitized as part of the National Library of Israel's Historical Jewish Press ("JPress") project. This free online resource contains an exceptional collection of historical Jewish newspapers from around the world. Because it is keyword searchable, it is much easier to use than microfilm for many research projects. If a newspaper from NYPL has been digitized as part of JPress, what you will find online is exactly the same as what we have on microfilm.

How can I tell if a specific newspaper is available online?

The most comprehensive source for this information is the Union List of Digitized Jewish Historic Newspapers, Periodicals and E-Journals. If there is no red symbol in the "Depository" column, the periodical should be freely available online and you should not need a library card to access it. If there is a red symbol, indicating that the resource is found in a subscription database, the next step is to see if the Library offers access.

To do this, visit the "Find E-Journals and Scholarly E-books by Title in Databases" section of our Articles & Databases page. The link that says "on-site in the Library" will provide a fuller view of the Library's subscriptions because many of our databases are not accessible from home. If you do use the "from home" link, keep in mind that you will not see resources that are only available on-site. Type in the title of the newspaper you are hoping to find and the search results (see screenshot below) will indicate which dates are available and in which databases.

Screenshot showing the availability of the Jewish Advocate

If a resource is only available on-site at the Library, do I need to come to the Dorot Jewish Division?

No. Most databases that provide only on-site access can be accessed at any NYPL location, such as your local branch library. The Articles & Databases page should indicate where you can access a certain database. 

I don't have a computer. Where can I use historical newspaper databases?

You are welcome to use the two database computers located in our reading room, room 111. You can also use the database computers upstairs in room 315 (Main Reading Room) or at your local library branch.

I don't live in New York. Can I sign up for an NYPL card to access your subscription databases?

No. While visitors from outside of New York can apply for temporary digital cards in advance of their visit, this card will only allow you to place holds on physical library materials to use during your visit. Your local library may be able to provide access to the database you need.

The digitized version I found in a database is missing the issue I need, or is missing pages. Will the microfilm copy have it?

It depends. In some cases, what you'll find online is actually scanned from the microfilm you'll find in the Library. In other cases, the database scans were created separately from the microfilm reels and may lack issues that are on microfilm (or vice versa). Dorot Division staff may be able to determine which is the case, but frequently there is no way to know other than checking to see for yourself.

The photographs or cartoons in this digitized newspaper are not sufficient for my research purposes. Will the microfilm be clearer? 

Maybe. In some cases, the digitized newspaper you're viewing online was scanned from the exact same microfilm you would view at the Library and a blurry or too-dark image will appear the same way on microfilm. Our microfilm scanners allow you to adjust brightness and focus, which may help you get a clearer image. But if the database you are using allows downloads, you may want to try downloading the page in question and using a photo editing tool to adjust it before trying the microfilm.

I searched in a database for a name or event and didn't find any relevant results. Does that mean there's nothing there?

Not necessarily. If you are searching in the Yiddish or Hebrew press, it's possible that the newspaper used a different spelling convention than the one that we would use today. Even if you are using the same spelling as the original source, however, sometimes searching digitized newspapers in non-Roman alphabets can be challenging. A lack of results in a keyword search does not necessarily mean that the digitized newspaper does not discuss your topic. Also, not finding something in a specific database does not mean it isn't mentioned elsewhere.

If you are researching an event, try browsing by date instead of doing a keyword search. Databases like the Historical Jewish Press make this easy to do.

Electronic Resources Libguide

The Dorot Jewish Division maintains a research guide on Electronic Resources on Jewish Studies at the Dorot Jewish Division. The below sections on free websites and subscription databases are copied from that guide. Please visit the guide for more lists, including lists of digitized newspapers by language.

The globe icons below indicate that a resource is available freely online without a library card. The house icons indicate that a resource is available from home with a library card, while the lion symbol means that the resource must be used at an NYPL location. Please note that the availability of online resources is subject to change -- check for the most up-to-date availability.

Free Websites

Subscription Databases