Free Newspaper Archives in the US
History, Politics, War, Sports, Family Background, and Plain Old Everyday News
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:
This used to be one of the internet’s great resources but, alas, copyright concerns and publisher complaints have really limited the offerings here. But still, there are thousands of sources, not only from the U.S., but from much of the rest of the world. It’s a great place to get a feel for what sort of news items might be available, before visiting some more specialized resources to continue your research.
The Library of Congress’ digital newspaper collection used to be pretty, er, weeny, but has grown substantially in recent years and now includes more than 1,400 newspapers covering 1836-1922.
I know, I know, it’s a New York newspaper! But The NY Times is also a national paper, of sorts, so I’ve listed it here. (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, for some odd reason.
This used to be a terrific, rambling assortment of interesting and free content not available elsewhere, but lately, the site seems to mostly mirror much of the Google News archives. 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 NewspaperArchive.com. 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 but intriguing collection generally has only one or two archived newspaper pages for any given year. But it manages to cover most of the major events of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Unlike most archives, the page images are especially crisp, and photographs, in particular, are very clear. There is no text searching, but you can browse by date.
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? Ancestry.com 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|
|Public Records Searches||NewspaperArchive.com|
Other pages at this site:
|National Collections||NorthEastern United States||The South|
|The MidWest States||Western States||Special Collections|
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