Dry As Dust

A Fortean in the Archives

I've got a little list

Richfield Reaper

[Last updated: 5 June 2012]

A further slew of dusty old newspapers has been digitised and made available online, and that bit of news prompts me to cull the best of the new content and combine them with with some older links to create the beginnings of a more comprehensive list of useful resources. By useful, I mean larger major-language newspapers or multiple-title archives, mostly, that are searchable and can be accessed privately online - anything, essentially, that looked beyond the narrow purview of small-town doings and local politics for its news. Many are paysites, but of these, almost all will allow free searches, so at least you can find out if they hold enough useful material to make paying worthwhile.

This information is scattered all over the web at present, and the signal-to-noise ratio is such that it's increasingly difficult to distinguish the useless from the useful, and - in some cases - to locate the most important links. In order to avoid littering this blog with my own scattering of occasional discoveries, I also plan to add future finds to this list, and will keep this entry updated with any changes in web address as I become aware of them. If you use digital archives on a regular basis, in short, you may find it worth bookmarking this entry.

Rules of the game: portals covering more than one country are listed first. Individual titles are listed alphabetically by country.Where necessary, countries are sub-divided into mutli-title and single-title sites, by state and so on. I am listing an increasing number of sites that cannot be accessed privately but require visits to a good reference library on the basis that it's best to know what's out there. These are noted as such in the comments. To make it easier to identify the free sites that can be accessed over the net, I have placed these in bold.


Alt-Press Watch. Alternative and independent titles, 1980-present. Paysite - library access required.

Caribbean newspaper digital library. About three dozen titles, from the Abaco Account to the Windward Islands Opinion. Mostly shortish runs; numerous rarities (for which read extremely specialist interest). 

18th Century Journals 1685-1815. Four serials comprising newspapers and periodicals from the British Library, British Newspaper Library and Cambridge University Library. Paysite intended primarily for schools and uniuversities – not welcoming to private users. 

Ethnic Newswatch.  Ethnic, native and minority publications. Paysite - library access required.

Google News Archive 1700s-present. Dozens of papers, a few big, most small; some free, some links leading to paysites.

Google's list of newspapers in its archive.
Arranged alphabetically, with details of the dates available. Enormous listing, mostly English, some French, a scattering of other languages.

Internet Library of Early Journals. Mostly 18th century. Long runs of the Annual Register, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, The Gentleman’s Magazine, Notes & Queries and the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Lexis-Nexis. Major world newspapers from 1980. Also covers some magazines and offers broadcast transcripts of world news. Paysite.

Newsbank. 2,665 titles, mostly covering only the last decade. Paysite. 

News Library, 1977-present. Compiles full and partial runs of 3877 mostly US, mostly local, titles; also transcripts from a number of talk radio stations (liist here). From the Advocate of Westminster and Finksburg to Newsweek. Paysite.

NewspaperArchive.com. A huge number of mostly obscure, mostly 20th century, mostly local papers - most from the US. Paysite. Among hundreds of others, I note the Lubbock Morning Avalanche, Oakland Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune and San Antonio Light. Paysite - 3- and 12-month subscriptions. Not cheap, and the payment options are not flexible, but the coverage is so broad and varied I find it a worthwhile investment whenever I have a major project on.

World Newspaper Archive.
All right, an excercise in press-your-nose-to-the-window frustration – host ReadEx doesn't deign to sell access to mere private users – and the collection is limited to works in-copyright in the United States. But the coverage is of areas unrepresented elsewhere, and this is at least an opportunity to take notes of what's available via major research libraries. Sometimes the answer is: "Disappointingly little", but still... lots of pages, and lots and lots more to come.

The main collections are:

African newspapers 1800-1922

East European newspapers 1835-1922

Latin American newspapers 1805-1922

Latin American newspapers, series 2 1805-1922

South Asian newspapers 1805-1922



Afghanistan Digital Library. Some newspapers, more books from the period 1870-1930. Hosted by New York University. A good chance to practice your Pushtu.


Historic Australian Newspapers 1803-1954. 30+ titles covering all states. An impressive, ever-growing archive.

Australian Periodical Publications 1840-1845. Nearly 100 titles, most having only short runs, but including the Sydney Free Press and Commercial Journal (1835-41), the South Australian News (1840-52) and the Maitland Mercury (1843-55).

Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. On CD-ROM from 1992-2006 (via reference libraries) and then via Fairfax editions paysite from 2006 on. Subscribers only.

• Other Australian newspapers online include Brisbane's Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser (1903-55).


Austrian Newspapers Online. Growing collection from early C19th on.

Arbeiter Zeitung, 1945-1989.



Belgian Press. Digitising 3 million pages of all the Low Countries news that was fit to print between 1831-1950. Six titles available at time of writing.



• Canadian newspapers online include the British Colonist (Vancouver) 1858-1910;the British Columbia newspaper archives (1926-present); the official Canada Gazette, 1841-1997, the Canada Maritime newspaper archives (getting started in a small way; will include Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick); Manitoba newspaper archives 1859-present, Early Alberta newspapers (browseable but not yet text-searchable), the Halton Newspaper Index (Ontario; from 1950s), Prince George newspapers, 1909-61, and the Winnipeg Free Press (1878-present). The largest Canadian archive, for the Toronto Star, already has a separate entry below.

British Columbia Digital Library. Includes a wide listing of numerous archives, many in languages other than English.

Toronto Star 1894-present. Paysite. 


• China's English language South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) 1993-present. Subscribers ony. 



Irish Newspaper Archives Project 1700s-present. 20 titles. Paysite. Difficult to access privately.

The Irish Times 1859-present. Paysite.



French digital newspapers. Gallica - la presse quotidienne, the digital library of teh Bibliotheque Nationale, hosts a variety of 19th and 20th century French newspapers, including Le Figaro (1830-1942), Le Temps (1861-1935), Le Petit Journal (1863-1944), Le Petit Parisien (1876-1944) and La Presse (1836-1858).



• German digital newspapers include Munich's Illustrierter Sontag and Der Gerade Weg (1929-34) [in German].



•  Icelandic newspapers 1773-2001. Also covers Greeland, Faroe Islands. In Icelandic.

Ireland - see Eire


Malaysia [with Singapore]

•  Malaysian and Singaporean newspapers 1831-2006. In English. NewspaperSG, hosted by the National Library of Singapore, includes the archives of the New Straits Times 1845-1989.


New Zealand

•  New Zealand Papers Past 1839-1952. 52 titles. Much improved search function.



Izvestia digital archive 1917-2010. In Russian, of course. Paysite - library access only.

Pravda digital archive 1912-2009. Official newspaper of the Russian Communist Party. Paysite - library access only.



Singapore - see Malaysia and Singapore



Tibet Mirror. Cyclostyled. Remarkable. 67 issues from 1933-1967. In Tibetan, obviously. Digitised and hosted by Columbia University.


United Kingdom

• Multi-title portals 

British Newspapers 1800-1900.
200 local and national titles, totalling in excess of 3 million pages.
Growing constantly. Freshly available online to registered users of the
British Library. Paysite. Choose from annual subscription at £79.95, 30
day/3000 Credit Package costing £29.95 or 2 day/500 Credit Package at

Nineteenth century Scottish highland newspapers. Inverness Journal, Advertiser and a few Couriers, Scottish Highlander,  John O'Groat Journal, collectively covering 1807-1939.

• Single titles and newspaper groups

Daily Express 1900-present, Sunday Express 2000-present.
British titles, once establishment, now definitely not so. The site has
also begun to feature packages, starting with one on World War II
(1933-45), which include regional papers and specialist press. Paysite.

Daily Mail. Not yet fully archived, but runs searches back to 1993 on CD-ROM (available at the British Library) and from 2003 online.

Daily Mirror 1903-present. British popular daily. Paysite.

Daily Telegraph.  Not yet fully archived, but runs searches back to 1998.

Economist Historical archive 1843-2006. 600,000 pages' worth of material covering world affairs as well as world economies. Paysite accessible to Economist subscribers and library users.

Financial Times. From 1888. Paysite. Only accessible via libraries. 

Guardian and Observer archive 1790-present. Paysite. Supports only Internet Explorer or Netscape browsers. Searches for the period from 1999 are free.

Illustrated London News 1842-2003. Complete archive of the famous weekly, best-known for its worldwide illustrated coverage. Paysite - library access only.

The Independent. Now searches back to 1992.

International Times 1996-1994. London-based alternative newspaper, famous in the 60s. Single page pdfs and a lmited search function.

Notes and Queries.
The venerable British antiquarian journal, founded in 1849, has, over
the years, covered an astonishing array of Fortean phenomena. Paysite.
About half the copies of Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries for 1900-1921 are available on a free site. The Guardian's watered-down version – a weekly column
in the daily paper, established 1989 and still going strong – is far
more ephemeral, vastly more lighthearted, but also occsaionally useful.

The Scotsman 1817-1950. Paysite.

The Sun. British tabloid. Free archive goes back to about 2005.

Sunday Times 1822-2006. Paysite.

The Times 1785-present. Paysite. Searches for the period from 2000 are free.

United States  

• Multi-state portals

America's historical newspapers, 1690-1876. Several hundred titles representing most of the East Coast states. Major titles (those with 2,000+ issues digitised) are: Connecticut Gazette, Middlesex Gazette, Connecticut Courant, American Mercury, Baltimore Patriot, Boston Daily Advertiser, Boston Evening Post, Boston Gazette, Boston News Letter, Columbian Centinel, [Boston] Independent Chronicle, Massachusetts Repository, New Bedford Mercury, Newburyport Herald, Pittsfield Sun, Salem Gazette, Massachusetts Spy, Farmer's Cabinet, New Hampshire Patriot, New Hampshire Gazette, New Jersey Journal, American Citizen, Columbian, New York Daily Advertiser, New York Evening Post, Merchantile Advertiser, National Advertiser, New-York Gazette, Spectator, Gazette of the United States, Pennsylvania Packet, Philadelphia Gazette, Poulson's American Daily, Newport Mercury, Providence Gazette, Rhode Island American, City Gazette [SC], Spooner's Vermont Journal, Alexandria Gazette, Richmond Enquirer. Paysite - library access required.

Chronicling America 1880-1910. About 50 out-of-copyright titles hosted by the Library of Congress. Major papers include the New York Tribune, New York Sun, the legendary Charles Chapin's brilliant but 'yellow' Evening World, and the San Francisco Call. Further decades and many more papers will follow.

Making of America. 22 19th century journals, including Scientific American, Putnam's, Scribner's and Harper's, hosted by Cornell University. The same site has links to 260+ C19th monographs.

United States newspapers 1690-1980. Patchy coverage of all US states on a genealogical website. Can also be searched state by state or paper by paper. A list of titles archived and dates covered is available. Paysite.

• National newspapers

Christian Science Monitor 1908-80. Paysite.

A full archive of the American newsweekly for the whole of its run,
1923-present.Used to be free, now available only to subscribers.

Wall Street Journal 1889-1989. Paysite - library access required.

• Alaska

Tundra Times 1962-1997. By and for the Inuit community.

• Arizona

Casa Grande Newspaper Project 1912-present. 

• California

California Digital Newspapers 1849-1911. Includes LA Herald, Daily Alta California and San Francisco Call

Los Angeles Times 1881-present. Paysite.

Sacramento Bee 1984-present. Paysite.

San Francisco Chronicle 1995-present.

• Colorado

Colorado Historic Newspapers 1859-1930. About 50 small-town Colorado newspapers, including four from Denver. 

• Connecticut

Hartford Courant 1764-present. Paysite. America's oldest surviving newspaper. 

• District of Columbia

Washington Post 1877-present. Paysite.

• Florida

Florida Digital Newspaper Library.
1762-present. Since there were essentially no Florida papers prior to
the 1820s, includes out-of-state content relevant to Florida. 

Miami Herald 1911-1922 and 1981-present. Paysites.

South Florida Sun Sentinel 1985-present. Paysite.

• Georgia

Atlanta Constitition 1868-1945. Paysite.

Columbus Enquirer 1828-1890.

Georgia Historic Newspapers 1750-1925. Three local papers. 

Macon Telegraph 1826-1908.

Midgeville Digital Newspapers. Three small Georgia titles. 

Savannah Morning News 1990-2000 (paysite); 1998-present (free).

• Illinois

Chicago Defender 1905-75. Paysite requiring library access.

Chicago Tribune 1852-present. Paysite. 

Illinois Digital Archives. Multiple resources including The Flora Journal-Record 1883-1926. Cumbersome search function.

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection. At present essentially just the Urbana Daily Courier 1903-1935.

• Indiana

Indianapolis Star 1903-1922, 1991-present. Paysite.

• Iowa

Adams County Free Press 1876-2000.

Buffalo Center Globe and Tribune 1894-2007. Excludes papers published from 1898-1910. Hosted by NewspaperArchive; hence a paysite.

Cedar Rapids Newspaper Project 1857-present. About 50 papers, most from from Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.

Sioux County Newspaper Archives 1872-present. More than 20 smalltown titles.

• Kansas

Kansas City Star 1991-present. Paysite. 

• Louisiana

New Orleans Bee/L’Abeille
de la Nouvelle-Orléans
, 1827-1925. English/French 1827-72;
French-only after 1872. No search function – you must already know the
issue you want, or face a protracted manual search. But it's free. 

• Maryland

Baltimore Sun 1837-1945 and 1990-present. Paysite.

• Massachusetts

Boston Globe 1872-1926. Paysite.

• Michigan

Detroit Free Press 1831-1922, 1999-present. Paysite. 

• Minnesota

Minneapolis Star Tribune 1986-present. Paysite.

Winona Newspaper Project 1855-1946. The Winona Daily Republican - and, to a much leser extent, its sister titles – was a small-town Wisconsin daily that carried huge amounts of wire news.

• Nebraska

Omaha World Herald 1884-1921. Paysite.

• New Jersey

Atlantic County Digitized Newspapers 1860-1923. About 20 titles, mostly with short runs. 

• New York State - multi-title portals

Historic Suffolk Newspapers 1839-present. Coverage of Long Island.

New York Historical Newspapers - small town upstate titles. Warning: barely-adequate title-by-title search, and no general search function.

Old New York State Newspapers, 1817-2007.
A bit of an oddity, this one: the "Old Fulton NY Post Card Website"
boasts more than 10 million pages of vintage newspapers on an ugly but
perfectly functional site with a pretty good search engine. The site
extracts single page pdfs from its database, and it can be difficult to
track pages back to the paper they came from if the text doesn't happen
to carry the necessary information. The site FAQ contains the tip you
need to sort this out.

• New York State - single-title sites

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1841-1902

New York Times 1855-present.
Paysite, but pre-1923 coverage is now free. For those wondering why the
date 1922 and 1923 appear so frequently in this list, '23 is the date
before which copyright no longer applies in the US. 

• Ohio

Cincinnati Enquirer from 1841-present. Paysite.

• Oklahoma

Daily Oklahoman 1901-present. Paysite.

• Oregon

Portland Oregonian 1851-1987.

• Pennsylvania

Lancaster County Digitization Project 1816-2005. Lots of papers, clumsy searching.

Pennsylvania Gazette 1728-1800. Paysite - library access required.

Philadelphia Inquirer 1829-1922. Hosted on a genealogy site. Paysite.

Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. 1829-1922 1978-present.

• Rhode Island

Providence Journal 1983-present. Rhode Island paper

• Texas

Dallas Morning News 1885-1977. Paysite.

• Utah

Utah Digital Newspapers 1892-1947. Five titles including the Deseret News, 1905-10 and Salt Lake Herald, 1908-10. Most useful is the Ogden Standard Examiner, a newspaper that carried extensive wire coverage of other parts of the US.

• Washington State

Washington State Historical Newsapers 1852-92. 21 mixed, smaller titles.

Pacific Northwest Regional Newspaper and Periodical Index. Newspaper and periodical citations plus other material from the region. 116,000 citations digitised from a project dating to 1936, still being extended.

• Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 1884-2007.

• Wyoming

Wyoming Newspaper Project. Well over a hundred small papers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Other places keep lists like this one, and since I don't often have time to scour the world's net links for new additions  to this archive, you may find news of new sources I have yet to stumble across in one or more of these:

Full list of other sites worldwide, maintained at Wikipedia.

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