** 2021 Update**
I have been an historical newspaper research addict for a long time. In the past several years I have decided to ratchet up my interest and share what I have learned through newspaper research-related blog articles, huge link lists, as well as video tutorials.
For all my articles about newspaper research, just navigate to the Newspapers Page of this site and browse. There are plenty of articles to read.
And please check out the Bonus section below for access to the most comprehensive list of links to free online historical newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.
What I would like to relate now is my list of the best free sites to find historical articles about your ancestors in newspapers. These are the first ones that I would use if I were starting out. They have been chosen not because of their interface – because some are better than others and some are not ideal. These are presented in no particular order. And remember that these are Free sites only and you do Not have to go to a library to access them.
- Elephind – over 200 million items (newspaper pages/articles) and 4,345 titles from several countries. You can search multiple collections all at once.
- Library of Congress – Chronicling America – over 17.6 million pages and 3,300 titles from 48 states. Easy interface and growing constantly, although the growth is quite slow.
- Old Fulton NY Post Cards – 50 million pages of New York State (and many other states) historical newspapers
- Advantage Archives Collections – 735 collections from 44 states. The latest list can be found at 85 Million Historic U.S. Newspaper Pages Now Available from Advantage Archives
- Trove – over 23.8 million pages from Australia
- Google News Archive *** – over 2,500 newspapers from the U.S. and Canada – gets an asterisk. You can still get to all of these newspapers, but the search function is pretty much restricted to newspapers since 1970. And although these are the rules, some pre-1970 pages might sneak in. This is really too bad, since this is quite a large collection of otherwise non-digitized smaller newspapers.
There used to be several sites that listed links to online newspaper titles that regularly updated their lists. Sadly, none remain that are active, except for one. Gone are the very good lists from Bowling Green State University and the University of Pennsylvania. Still existing, but rarely updated are the lists from Wikipedia, ICON, and Xooxle.
But one remains that actively updates, every 4 months for the U.S. and every 6 months for Canada. Initiated in 2013, it is right here:
The Ancestor Hunt – Newspaper Research Links – over 39,000 free newspaper titles and links for the U.S. and Canada. (Note: includes all the titles from Chronicling America, Fulton, Advantage Archives and Google).
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!