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This guide is designed to help you find research and resources in the field of History.

Why Use Newspapers?

Newspaper articles and advertisements are useful primary sources because they provide a day in the life information about the past. Questions you might answer by using historic newspapers include:

  • Does the context of the news reflect the popular opinion of that time period?
  • Are any voices omitted, such as those of marginalized groups?
  • How did people view an event when it happened? Did coverage change in the days following?
  • What information can you extract about the day-to-day life of the average reader?

Search tip:

Remember, before online access, newspapers were often printed once per day (with larger papers having an afternoon or evening edition.) Try searching the day after an event occurred. For example, you'll find more newspaper articles about Pearl Harbor published on December 8, 1941 rather than December 7, 1941. 

Newspaper Archives

Many historical newspapers and magazines are available in free, digitized formats online. 

  • Chronicling America
    • A Library of Congress website with regional newspapers dating from 1789 to the 1960s.
  • Florida Digital Newspaper Library
    • A University of Florida digital collection with historic Florida newspapers dating from the 1780s to the present.
  • Making America
    • A Cornell University Library collection of 19th century magazines and journals.
  • World Digital Library
    • A Library of Congress and UNESCO website with multilingual primary sources, including newspapers, from many countries and cultures.

Search Tips

Did you know that language changes? While searching historic newspapers and magazines, use the terminology common to the time period you are studying.

Modern Term Historic Term
World War I Great War, World Crisis
Oklahoma Indian Territory
African American Negro, Colored

Google Books

Google Newspaper Archives and Google Books provide free access to hundreds of historical newspapers and magazines from around the world. Using these collection is not straightforward, they are hidden in your search results and the sources cannot be downloaded.

Browse by Publication Title

If you're searching for a specific publication, you can browse the collection by publication title. Once you find the title on the main page, such as The American Journal, you can browse the issues in a timeline format.  

Browse by newspaper title at:

Browse by magazine title at:

Search by Research Topic

With a few easy steps, you can manipulate a Google search to find primary sources about your specific research topic. The example below shows how to find magazine primary sources related to wartime rationing in the 1940's.

1. Start on the Google Search homepage and complete a search using keywords. Limit the results to Books.

Limit your Google Search to Books


2. Using the limiters near the top of the page, change "Any document" to "Magazines" or "Newspapers."

Use any document limiter to magazines or newspapers


3. Finally, use the "Any time" limiter to search specific dates.

Use any time limiter to specific dates