Free Newspaper Archives in the US

Explore 250 Years of US Newspaper Archives, Free of Charge
History, Politics, War, Sports, Family Background, and Plain Old Everyday News

National Collections

Most of the free newspaper archives that are available are pretty local in nature, covering a particular town, county or state. But a few have a broader national or regional scope:

Google News

This used to be one of the internet’s great resources but, alas, publisher and copyright complaints have really limited the offerings. To make things worse, access has gotten real hit or miss. But still, there are thousands of sources dating back to the 1700’s, covering both the U.S. and the rest of the world, so give it your best shot.

Chronicling America, Library of  Congress

This terrific digital newspaper collection now includes more than 2,000 newspapers (11 million pages!) covering 1836-1922, with newspapers from almost every state.

New York Times Archives

I know, I know, it’s a New York newspaper! But The NY Times is also a national paper, of sorts. (It’s also listed with Northeast newspapers, in case you’re worried). Archives from the time the newspaper began publishing in 1851 to 1922 are free of charge, as are articles published after 1987. Everything in between (1923 to 1986) you have to pay for. Newspapers

A real hodge-podge of a collection, and likely to change rapidly, but there are papers here from all over the US (and the rest of the world) and covering a broad swathe of history. Worth a good explore.


Seems to mirror some of Google News archives content, but still…worth a look. It includes newspaper archives from all over the country, and like the name says, mostly from small towns and cities. Mostly 20th century coverage, but there is a fair amount of material going back the 1800’s. If only they had a decent search interface…!

Millions of pages of newspaper archives can be found at This is not a free service, but it’s a great resource, just the same. When you can’t find it anywhere else, they’re likely to have it.


This small intriguing collection generally has only one or two archived newspaper pages for each year. But it manages to cover most of the major events of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The page images are unusually crisp and photographs are very clear. There is no text searching, but you can browse by date.

Centennial Newspaper Exhibition, 1876

For newspaper buffs, this is a book worth noting…a complete listing of every paper published in the United States at the time of publication, along with circulation and demographic statistics. The entire book can be downloaded, free of charge. Thanks to U Mich for making this available.

Another commercial (that is, fee-based) resource with a very deep collection. Not free, but worth checking out for it’s massive content.


Did you know? has a deep newspaper archive that can be searched for free (but there’s a fee for full access).


More historical archives and research materials can be found at these excellent resources:

Genealogy Tools European Historical Newspapers
International Historical Newspapers Court Record Searches 

Other pages at this site:

National Collections NorthEastern United States The South
The MidWest States Western States Special Collections

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