The Easiest Way to Find Every Historical Newspaper in America

The fact is that all old newspapers ever published in the United States are not online. Much less than you might think.

So let’s just say for now that 15 to 30% of all U.S. newspaper pages have been digitized. Personally, I think that’s a very high number, but……

That leaves about 70-85% that are NOT online! Now, what the heck do we do? Offline research – that’s what. And the Library of Congress helps us out.

Below is a link to a QuickSheet that shows you how to find where almost all newspapers ever published in the U.S. are held – either online, in a library or archive, original newsprint, or microfilm. To obtain the two-page Quicksheet pdf for easy reference, you can view or download it by clicking on the link below.

The Easiest Way to Find Every Historical Newspaper in America

For all the previously published Quick Reference Guides, click on QuickSheets

7 replies on “The Easiest Way to Find Every Historical Newspaper in America”

Thanks for this reminder about the papers! I actually came across something in my great aunt’s genealogy papers where she’d written for an “Affidavit of Publication” that was supposedly printed for 4 weeks in a certain paper. I don’t see a reply so I’m guessing she didn’t get one. Anyway, I have found the paper on Chronicling America (not digitized, just the info) but I don’t understand the dates it’s available on microfilm. I think I’ll try your Webinar and see what I can learn! Thanks!

I’ve used the catalogue to find a specific newspaper in a library’s holdings. Then I write to the library either requesting ILL of their film or a lookup.

Could you explain what “scattered issues wanting” means in some of the descriptions of the papers on this site?

I suspect that it means that there are gaps in the dates and all issues are not online, and they are hoping that someone will have the missing issues so they can digitize them. That is my guess.

Thank you for continuing to open up new avenues to explore to find the stories hidden in our family histories. I would never known where to look

I can say for certain that not all existing papers are listed in the Directory. The Directory only lists those that responded to the NEH survey. I performed newspaper research at a small town historical society who’s newspaper titles did not show up in the directory nor did the society’s repository. So it is always worth checking your small town societies if your paper is not listed in the Directory, just as another possible source. The Directory is extensive but not complete.

Point taken. My objective with the word “Every” is to encourage people to use the Directory. It is quite helpful. Other types of newspapers that aren’t in the directory include high school and college student newspapers.

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