Historical Newspaper Archives
If you want to explore historical newspaper articles, the best way to find information is through the publication that originally published the newspaper. However, there are also a number of websites that allow you to search by date and location, thereby narrowing down your options and increasing your chances of finding the genealogical information for which you are looking.
Not long ago, the process of searching through newspaper archives was incredibly laborious at best, as it likely involved searching through stacks and reels of microfilm. However, thanks to the power of the Internet and the digital revolution, it is easier than ever to access millions of articles from any number of newspapers from across the country - and even across the globe!
In fact, it is quite possible to access newspaper archives in a matter of minutes through the use of keyword search tools. Although there are some newspaper archives websites that charge a fee for their services, there are just as many websites that are free of charge.
How to Search for Newspaper Archives
A great place to start is simply to perform a search on the Internet for newspaper archives from a certain time period or location. You will likely come across a number of websites that feature subscription-based services, pay-per-use services, and even free services.
What type of service you may choose to access newspaper archives will certainly depend on the information for which you are looking, as well as the time frame and location of the archives.
Benefits of Newspaper Archives in your Genealogy Research
Newspaper archives can provide us with any number of important facts, and the data can be quite compelling. Imagine uncovering details of your great-great grandparents' wedding or the information surrounding your great-great-great uncle's untimely death.
You may also simply want to get a better idea of life during a particular point in time. Reading newspaper archives from a time period that holds significance for you may allow you to get a better picture of your distant relatives' lives during that time, or it may explain the immigration or emigration of your family during that time. If your distant relative was a coal miner, for example, newspaper archives during the time he likely worked as a coal miner may shed light on some of the challenges he experienced or the changes that may have taken place in his life as a result of his occupation.
World events may have also affected your family's lives during a particular point in history. From a natural disaster to the effects of the Great Depression, for example, your relatives' lives may have been affected not only by local events, but world events as well.
In short, a thorough genealogy research is not complete without searching newspaper archives. There are literally billions of newspaper articles throughout history just waiting for you to explore! The news you may discover by looking through newspaper archives can be downright fascinating, and it can do much to provide small and large details to those life stories you want to reveal.
Other Useful Newspaper Resources Include:
IPL Newspapers Collection - The Internet Public Library provides an organized directory of U.S. newspapers searchable by state, city and sub-region.
Historical Newspapers and Indexes On The Internet - A genealogy research guide providing access to historical newspapers on the internet.
Google News Archive Search - Use Google's search engine to sift through its news archives and create timelines showing results from relevant time periods.
Newspaper Association of America - The NAA represents over 2,000 newspapers in North America and focuses on all issues impacting the newspaper industry.
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