Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Free Digitized Newspapers -- Four Meta-Sites

There's no such thing as a free lunch, but if you're in the right place there may be such a thing as a free digital old newspaper. I know of four places to look -- "metasites" if you will. They overlap one another a lot, but as of today no one of them has everything.

"All Digitized Newspapers, 1836-1922," in the Library of Congress's  Chronicling America: Historic Newspapers -- something here for three of the five Midwestern states (nothing for Michigan or Wisconsin).

"Historical Newspapers Online," in Penn Libraries Guide -- good coverage of all five Midwestern states, including the lovely site from Quincy Public Library in western Illinois, but they missed the maverick site Old Fulton NY Postcards!

Free Newspaper Archives in the US -- nothing here for Michigan, and they missed one of my Indiana favorites, the Digital Archives of the Allen County Public Library, a go-to place for old news of northeast Indiana and a slice of northwest Ohio.

For international as well as US resources, Wikipedia may be the best of all. Frankly, it's easier for me to check all four than it is to try to figure out which is most complete on any given day.


Google News may be becoming an orphan site, not what it used to be, but it's still there.

Of course, patching together all these sites still leaves a lot unsearched and a lot of time consumed. Pay sites Ancestry Historical Newspaper Collection USA, GenealogyBank and Newspaper Archive allow global searching which is sometimes what we need. At least they are affordable to some individuals, unlike ProQuest, for which I have recommended visiting a nearby college or university library.

Harold Henderson, "Free Digitized Newspapers -- Four Meta-Sites," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 13 February 2013 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

1 comment:

Nick said...

The Old Fulton site was there under a different name. My thinking was that most people would not associate "Old Fulton NY Postcards" with much of anything. However, I've received several comments about it missing and so I've added it to the title.

Thanks for mentioning the historical newspapers site.