Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Online Historical Newspaper sites

The latest issue of Family Tree Magazine has an article about online historical newspaper web sites, with a summary of costs, extent, etc. This is really helpful to me.

I went browsing at the magazine web site and discovered that this page provides the index to the current issue. There are some "web extras" for the major articles, so I clicked those also - content that is not in the magazine itself, including more of the interview with Steve Morse.

You can also download all of the web links in the current magazine articles in a PDF document. This can be extremely useful - you can click the web links with the PDF document open. There are 6 pages of links!

Back to the Newspaper Archives - there are these web sites available for you to use (most for a subscription fee, of course):

1) Ancestry.com Historical Newspaper Collection - at http://www.ancestry.com/search/rectype/periodicals/news/. There are 16 million pages from more than 1,000 newspapers in the US, UK and Canada. You can search the full text with key words, but not strings of words. You need an Ancestry subscription ($155.40 for US Deluxe) to access the pages.

2) Accessible Archives - at http://www.accessible.com/about.htm. This includes selected newspapers, including African-American newspapers, from the 18th and 19th centuries. They also have a section for county histories. It appears that it uses advanced search capabilities. The subscription cost is $59.95 per year.

3) Newspaper Archive - at http://www.newspaperarchive.com/. This is advertised as the largest online newspaper collection, with over 2,400 titles dating back to 1759. The subscription cost is $71.40 per year, but a subscribing library may offer it for free. I think that Ancestry.com uses this archive, so if you have an Ancestry subscription, check it out first.

4) GenealogyBank - at http://www.genealogybank.com/. There are more than 500,000 issues from over 1,300 newspapers dating back to 1690. There are also obituaries since 1977, 17,000 historical books, and more. The subscription price is $19.95 per month, but the web page currently shows a deal for 66% off.

5) ProQuest Historical Newspapers - at http://www.proquest.com/products_pq/hnp/. This site provides access to 9 major historical newspapers. The access must be through a subscribing library.

6) Small Town Newspapers - at http://www.smalltownpapers.com/. This site has free access to the archives of over 250 small town newspapers. If your town is here, go for it!

Before you invest in a subscription, you should check with the local libraries in your area and determine which, if any, newspaper archives they subscribe to. You may have to go to the library to access the archives, but some libraries permit home access using a library card.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks for the link to the PDF. I'll be checking out those links for awhile. In my state, Colorado, we have a state-run digitization program (one of several). I'm sending the main site for the project because it has links to other statewide projects besides Colorado's. http://www.cdpheritage.org/collection/chnc.cfm
I'm fairly certain that these are all free library-related projects.

I like Colorado's because it has the actual images and provides OCR searching (inaccurate as heck, but better than nothing).

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