Monday, August 6, 2012

ProQuest Historical Newspapers(TM) in Academic Libraries

Genealogy is local, but we're not. Often we need access to newspapers in distant places. Some digitized titles are available by subscription. Some subscriptions are not available or affordable to individuals. ProQuest is one such, and in my experience libraries tend to subscribe to it just for their own localities if at all.

Here's where academic libraries can help the determined researcher, even if he or she is not formally affiliated there. Those libraries that allow the public (most, in my experience) have not only scholarly article databases like JStor, they may also subscribe to an interesting variety of ProQuest Historical Newspapers (TM), which has impressive runs of 38 titles. Those of particular Midwestern import in the ProQuest fold are the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Defender, Cleveland Call and Post, Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier Journal, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Public computers at one Midwestern university library recently had about half of the 38 titles listed at the above link. These were not for printing out or emailing, however, so be prepared to take notes the old-fashioned way. In actual use the titles are not consistent, so a continuous run of an Atlanta paper, for instance, actually involves several titles, not all of them alphabetized under "A."

UPDATE POSTED MONDAY MORNING: Over on the Transitional Genealogists Forum, Michele Lewis just posted word of a useful low-budget resource for those seeking on-line newspapers, on Wikipedia. And of course, being Wikipedia, it's a resource we can all contribute to.

Harold Henderson, "ProQuest Historical Newspapers(TM) in Academic Libraries," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 6 August 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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