How can I locate old newspapers?

Hundreds of old newspapers have been digitized and are available online, some are free and some are fee-based. Many of those that have not been digitized may be available on microfilm -- or even still in print, through various libraries and archives. It is also possible to find transcripts of vital records from some old newspapers, perhaps many that no longer exist, in local genealogy society publications.

Finding out what newspapers are available and where, is the challenge, but the best place to begin the search is online. Sites that publish historical newspaper collections, typically, provide lists of their holdings. Some websites have created lists of available newspapers by state and/or by country, with links to those that are online -- Wikepedia: List of online newspaper archives is one example. Penn State University has also created a Historical Newspapers Online list for the U. S. Cyndi's List - Newspapers, is another resource, providing links to a wide variety of newspaper-related websites.

Historical newspapers can also be found using an Internet search engine. One can search by title, if the title is known; or by location, adding the search terms "historical newspapers," or "digital collections." Library, archive, and historical society websites are also excellent resources for finding newspapers, including university libraries and state archives. Local genealogical societies are good resources as well: it is their business to know the genealogical resources available for their area.

The Family History Library, of course, has a many newspapers available on microfilm that can be ordered for a small fee through local Family History Centers. The Family History Library Card Catalog is available online, and can be searched by place and category within place, or by keyword or subject.

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