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Portal to online newspapers, general full-text newspaper databases, print newspapers, and newspaper web sites

Why Use Newspapers?

Newspaper articles can provide a useful source of information, serving as a primary source of information about historical and current events. Some of the benefits of using newspaper articles as primary sources include:

  • seeing how people viewed an event when it happened;
  • providing multiple points of view about an issue, including a comparison of the United States and international views;
  • permitting researchers to trace the historical development of subjects over time;
  • examining issues in the context of their time (by seeing how stories about an issue relate to other stories, or by examining the type of coverage provided);
  • giving a snapshot of a time period detailing how people lived, and what they purchased, etc. which is helpful for writers, playwrights, historians, etc.

Because newspapers also contain commentaries or retrospective articles about events, they can also serve as a secondary source.

(Modified from Why Use Newspapers? - OhioState University)

Finding a Specific Newspaper

To find a specific newspaper, try the following:

1. On the library home page in the search box click the Journals tab. Type the newspaper title.

journals search box

The search will return results for titles starting with the words you typed. If you want to search for the exact tile or are not sure of the the complete title, use the E-Journals Search (link below the box).
From the drop-down menu you can select "Title contains all words" if you are not sure in what order the words appear in the title or "Title equals" (the latter would be useful for short titles like "Time" or "Times").

2. For titles not available online, click "Print Journals" under the search box for journal searches. This will take you to the library catalog. Click on the "Title" tab. Do a catalog TITLE search for the newspaper title. It is useful to limit your search to Periodicals/Serials.

catalog title search filteres to periodicals

Results list may include several entries for different versions of the title and various formats (print, microfilm, and electronic). If you are confused, ask a librarian for help. For your convenience, information about popular newspapers in our collection is provided in this guide.

Library records may include information about current print holdings and microforms, as well as links to online content. Please note that the catalog does NOT have links to ALL newspapers available online, use the e-journals search for this.

recrod screen for a newspaper title

Finding Articles If You Have a Citation

First, determine if the issue of the newspaper is available online.

Method 1. Search for the article title in quotation marks (and author's name, if the title is common) in the red search box on the home page (under the "Articles" tab).

search box with the Articles tab selected

A successful search will include a link to the article full text.

Summon result screen for a newspaper article

Method 2. Use the E-Journals search to see if the issue you need is available online. This method is more comprehensive, because it will find ALL of library electronic subscriptions. It also helps when a link in Method 1 does not work.

e-journal serch box with a newspaper title entered

In the results list find a database that covers the period when the article of interest was published.

search results for a newspaper title with links to databases

You can click "Look up Article" or go to the database. Most databases will allow you to browse to the volume and issue or search for the article.

If the article is not available online or you need to see the article as it was published with original graphics, do a catalog search for the newspaper title in the library catalog as described above. Important note: search for the newspaper title, NOT the article title.

Finding Articles on a Topic

  • Start with searching Summon. After you enter your search terms and get results, you will be able to refine you search by Content - Newspapers. You may also select a date range for the articles.

Summon search results filtered to newspapers and limited by date

Finding Article Full Text

Please note that newspaper databases come in different formats.

Digital archive databases provide scanned reproductions of original newspaper pages (the full-text and any accompanying graphics).

Full-text databases provide the complete text of newspaper articles (but not accompanying graphics).

Index only databases provide citations (references) to newspaper articles. You can use these to identify the publication date and page number details for specific articles.

Therefore you may still need to use digital or traditional microfilms to view the articles you found using an online database.

If you working with newspapers not available online, you may need to use an index, which may be available in print or on a microfilm. Ask for help at the desk or via an online form.

Remember that if we don't have access to an article you can request it through interlibrary loan (ILLiad).

(Modified from Newspapers & news services: Finding newspaper articles on a topic - University of Wollongong)

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