Digitized Historical Newspaper Archives


If you’re looking for information in historical newspaper articles, there are a few digitized archives to keep in mind for your research. Free online resources like Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, the Internet Archive’s Newspapers collection, and the Google News Archive are examples of searchable newspaper archives.  

Chronicling America, a website sponsored by The Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities, provides both a directory of U.S. newspapers published from 1690-present as well as a digitized collection of Historic American Newspapers published between 1777 and 1963. The latter includes over 19 million pages from 3,745 newspapers. From the chart that lists all digitized newspapers on the site, users can view the number of issues, identify the dates of the earliest and latest issues, browse issue dates via a calendar, and link to more information on any particular title. An Advanced Search tab allows users to search by state, newspaper, year, language, and/or keyword. There are currently 101 newspapers from Pennsylvania available, with 94 of them being in English. The site includes 2,644 issues from Philadelphia’s Evening Public Ledger published between 1914-1922, for example. Other PA titles include The Alleghanian, The Bedford Gazette, The Centre Reporter, The Evening Herald, and the Lancaster Daily Intelligencer.

Internet Archive’s Newspapers collection includes over 1 million items that have been scanned from microfilm or microfiche. The images in the collection range from the 1700s to the present. They can be sorted into “Views” - which group papers by category or by publication title - or by Title, Creator, or Date. The search function allows users to toggle between searching either Metadata or Text contents and to narrow results using several filters. The number of items in languages other than English is quite high, with over 400,000 in Chinese, nearly 130,000 in Italian, and about 23,000 in Ukrainian, for just a small sampling. Philadelphia titles include select issues of the Philadelphia City Paper, Public Record, and The Etude, a music magazine published between 1883 and 1957.       

Although the Google News Archive is no longer adding content to its site, it retains many of the digital newspaper articles that were scanned and indexed between the project’s launch in 2008 and its discontinuation in 2011. With approximately 2,000 newspapers reportedly scanned, the archive includes many North American papers with varying coverage. While some papers only have a handful of issues scanned, others have hundreds or thousands of issues included. The date range for each paper similarly varies, with a few publications starting as far back as the 1700s and many starting in the 1800s or 1900s, while others are dated in the 2000s. Papers are listed alphabetically and can be searched by keyword using the “Search Archive” button. Clicking on a particular paper allows users to view thumbnail images of different issues on a timeline. Pennsylvania papers include the Philadelphia Record (over 7,000 issues between 1881 - 1910) and several Pittsburgh newspapers. 

If you live in or work in Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia also offers a number of databases that grant access to newspapers, magazines, and journals.   

In addition to these free online resources, Jenkins members also have access to Newsbank, which has over 11,000 sources, 300+ of which are from Pennsylvania.

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