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Finding historical U.S. newspapers at Princeton


  • Newspapers, a reference guide. Richard A. Schwarzlose. New York: Greenwood Press, c1987.
    Firestone Library (F) Z6951 .S35 1987
    More than a bibliography, Schwarzlose's guide contains historiographic essays on newspapers, journalists, the role of the newspaper in society, freedom of the press, and the technology used to produce newspapers.
  • Guide to sources in American journalism history. Edited and compiled by Lucy Shelton Caswell. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.
    Annex A Z6951 .G83 1989
    Includes a state-by-state guide to archival collections for individual journalists and newspapers.
  • Newspapers at the Library of Congress
    Various LC guides to their newspaper collections and to research using newspapers.
  • For a good brief essay on the U.S. Newspaper Program, see Gary Charbonneau's article in Guide to sources in American journalism history, Lucy Shelton Caswell. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.
  • A strategy for finding lists of newspapers by state: search the library catalog for Subject American newspapers [State] Bibliography

Biographical directories of journalists and publishers

  • American National Biography
    Articles on many newspaper editors and journalists.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
    Online version of (among many others) the five volumes in this series on American newspaper journalists & publishers (1690-1990). Search Authors by Type for genre = "journalism"
  • Biographical dictionary of American journalism. Edited by Joseph P. McKerns. New York: Greenwood Press, 1989.
    Firestone Library (F) PN4871 .B56 1989
  • Encyclopedia of twentieth-century journalists. William H. Taft. New York: Garland, 1986.
    Firestone Library (F) PN4871 .T34 1986
  • Journalists of the United States: biographical sketches of print and broadcast news shapers from the late 17th century to the present. Robert B. Downs and Jane B. Downs. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1991.

Newspaper indexes

Before the advent of full text digital newspapers, in most cases the only way to find newspaper coverage of a particular topic was to skim the paper for a range of dates. However, indexes have been compiled for some major papers, including the New York Times. For newspapers that have not been digitized, an index can be an invaluable help in locating coverage of interest.

  • Historical Index to the New York Times (1851-1922)
    Also available in print in Microforms Services (FilmB): AI21.N44
    Plus useful additional indexes to obituaries and personal names, also in Microforms Services. The index to the New York Times is so famous that there is a guide to it:
    Guide to the incomparable New York times index. Grant W. Morse. New York : Fleet Academic Editions, c1980.
    Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB) AI21.N453 M67
  • Bell & Howell newspaper indexes
    Indexes published in microform or print for several important U.S. papers, including:
    • Boston Globe
      Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB) AI21.B68 B6 Location Has: 1983-2003 (plus half of 1982)
    • Chicago Tribune
      Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB) AI21.C45 C47 Location Has: 1979-1981, 1983-2003
    • Christian Science Monitor
      Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB) AI21.C462 B44 Location Has: 1984-present
    • Los Angeles Times
      Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB) AI21.L65 N49 Location Has: 1972-present
    • New Orleans Times-Picayune (1976-1980)
      Firestone Library (F) AI21.T66 B44a Location Has: 1972-1978, 1984-2002
    • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
      Firestone AI21.S79 B44 Location Has: 1987-2003
    • Washington Post
      Firestone Library (F) AI21.W33 W3 Location Has: 1971-1981; Firestone Microforms Services (FilmB) AI21.W33 W32 Location has: 1979-88; (FilmB) AI21.W33 W322 Location has: 1989-2013
  • Newspaper indexes: a location and subject guide for researchers. Anita Cheek Milner. Metuchen, N.J. : Scarecrow Press, 1977-1982.
    Firestone Z6951 .M635
  • Most papers kept a working index and clipping file called a "morgue." The morgue for a paper that has ceased publication can sometimes be found at an archive or local history society -- for example, the Urban Archive at Temple University has the morgue for the Philadelphia Bulletin. The morgues for several important New York papers are now at the Center for American History at the University of Texas (Austin), at New York Newsmedia Morgues. This page also provides useful guidance about using newspaper morgues for research.