Subject Collections: Historical Newspapers

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Although some larger newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times) have online indexes going back decades, most newspapers have indexes going back to the 1990s, maybe the 1980s. In today’s stop on our tour of subject focused collections of state agency databases, we find a number of states have prepared indexes of local newspapers, magazines and newsletters:

Historical Newspaper and Magazine Indexes – Databases that index articles in older newspapers, journals and magazine that contain historical information. These databases will usually lead one to microfilmed items that may be obtainable through Interlibrary Loan.

In most cases, these indexes aren’t crawled by Google and other major search engines, so if you’re looking for local coverage of historic happenings in your state, one of these databases is a good bet. Some of the indexes include:

Alaska Newspapers Index – Indexing for a number of Fairbanks Newspapers from 1900-1975 and for the Juneau Empire for 1992-1999. Searchable by headline and year for all newspapers. Juneau Empire may also be searched by reporter or abstract.

Florida Biography & Citation Index contains references to biographical information on notable Floridians in the books, periodicals, vertical files, newspapers and maps of the State Library’s Florida Collection. Some of the resources indexed are rare, but many are current periodicals that might be found in local libraries. The records in this index are a subset of the State Library of Florida’s library catalog and are searched through the Library Online Catalog. To search for just the Florida Biography/Citation Index citations, click on the “Power Search” option (under the search box), and then on the search form, choose Florida Biography & Citation Index from the “Location” dropdown box. On the results of your search, you will see a list of the records with a call number in the format FLCITE(374332.1). Click on the “Details” button to see the record. On the detailed record click on the “Catalog Record” tab to see the list of citations for that record.

Oklahoma Periodicals Index – Oklahoma Periodicals Index is a searchable online index about people, places, history, culture, wildlife, and natural history in the state of Oklahoma. The index consists of four key periodicals: The Chronicles of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Today, Outdoor Oklahoma, and Persimmon Hill. Index is produced by Oklahoma State University.

Please check out the page and let us know if you’ve heard of a similar resource in another state.

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