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

Special Collections


Some newspaper archives focus on particular themes more than geography. There are some very intriguing slices of history here.

Slavery and Abolition Newspaper Archives

Freedom’s Journal, 1827-1829, the nation’s first African-American newspaper, published out of New York City. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society, the archives can be viewed as well as searched issue by issue, but there is no overall search function.

The Friend of Man, 1836-1842, Central New York. An anti-slavery newspaper, housed at Cornell University.

You can find more newspaper archives on slavery and black history at NewspaperArchive, a subscription service.

The Civil War Newspaper Archives

Philadelphia Inquirer Civil War Archive, 1860-1865 The Civil War, from a Northern point of view.

Pennsylvania Civil War Newspaper Archives, 1831-1877. More primary materials from Civil War history. Archive includes eight papers from Gettysburgh. Full page images and full text search.

The New South newspaper archives, 1862-1866, published in Port Royal and Beaufort, SC. The War Between the States, as seen from the Confederate point of view in south Carolina. Archive is full-text searchable.

You can find more newspaper archives on  the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln at NewspaperArchive, a subscription service.

World War I Newspaper Archives

The Stars and Stripes from WWI, 1918-1919. Here’s a front row seat at at one of the major events of the 20th century. The American Soldier’s newspaper for World War I.

You can find more World War I newspaper archives at NewspaperArchive, a subscription service.

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

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World War II Newspaper Archives

New Walla Wallop, 1944-1946. From the Army Air Base in Walla Walla, the official World War II base newspaper.

You can find more World War II newspaper archives at NewspaperArchive, a subscription service.

Miscellaneous Newspaper Archives

Early America, 1750-1790. Only three pages on view here, one of the from Ben Franklin’s Gazette.

Chronicling America, 1900-1910, from the Library of Congress. A very scant collection of various papers…come on, LoC…you can do better than this!

The Labor Press Project. Numerous examples of socialist and labor newspapers and journals, with titles like The Agitator. Not searchable, and not a deep resource, but there are many items here not available elsewhere. Site has a Pacific NW focus, and mostly early 20th century.

Dziennik Zwiazkowy, a Polish language newspaper from Chicago, 1908-1917.
Ancestry.com-archives
Pittsburgh, PA Jewish Newspaper Project, 1895-Present. Includes The Jewish Criterion (1895-1962), The American Jewish Outlook (1934-1962), and The Jewish Chronicle (1962-Present).

Diario de Noticias/Alvaro Diaria, 1919-1973 (in Portugese). From the Claire T. Carney Library at University of Massachusetts. For the Portugese-American community in New Bedford, this is an important archive, with a complex search interface.

 The Farm, Field and Fireside Collection at the University of Illinois, 1841-1939. What a terrific collection. A century of rural newspapers, mostly weeklies, geared towards farmers. Newspapers include Better Farming, Farmers Voice, Illinois Farmer, Prarie Farmer, and even the Farmer’s Wife.

The Southern Israelite, 1929-1958 and 1984-1986. Printed in Georgia (Atlanta and Augusta), this newspaper is a reflection of the Jewish community in the South, during a time when Hitler was coming to power, European Jewery was disintegrating, the Holocaust took place, and the state of Israel came into being. What a time of history! This newspaper is a fascinating historical resource.

New The University of Florida’s  Judaica Newspaper Collection  includes about 40 other titles in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and other languages. The papers are from around the world, including a few from Florida. Be sure to click the Text Search tab for full-text searching.

Other Special Collections

Another source of millions of pages of newspaper archives can be found at NewspaperArchive. This is not a free service, but it’s a great resource, just the same.

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

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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 

Other pages at this site:

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