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Newspapers are an important source for vital records, etc., during the period before Pennsylvania began keeping civil vital records.



Pennsylvania's first newspaper was the American Weekly Mercury published in Philadelphia in 1719. Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette began in 1728.

Pennsylvania presses published German-language newspapers as early as the eighteenth century:

  • Stoudt, John Joseph, The German Press in Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan. 1935):76-90. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  • Reading Adler, Reading Eagle, 28 May 1868; "About Der Readinger Adler (Reading, Pa.)," Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Resources for Pennsylvania Newspapers


  • The U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present is a national directory from the Library of Congress of over 140,000 newspaper titles. The directory provides a list of libraries from around the country that have the newspapers in their collections
  • Rauco, Louis F.; State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Newspapers and Selected Out-of-State Newspapers (S.I.:s.n., 1984] WorldCat 14273189 FHL Collection Includes list of newspapers held by the State Library of Pennsylvania.
  • Salisbury, Ruth Salisbury, Pennsylvania Newspapers, a Bibliography and Union List (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Library Association, 1969. FHL book 974.8 A3s. A listing of all newspapers ever known to have been published, with locations.
  • Pennsylvania Historical Survey, Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration, A Checklist of Pennsylvania Newspapers, Philadelphia County (Harrisburg, Pa.; Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1944) FHL fiche 6101596; book 974.811 B33. An inventory for Philadelphia County.

Libraries and Archives

The State Library of Pennsylvania has the largest newspaper collection. An inventory of these is Louis F. Rauco, Pennsylvania Newspapers and Selected Out-of-State Newspapers ([S. l.: s. n.], 1984. FHL film 1320895 item 16; book 974.8 B3p

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a major collection, especially of Philadelphia newspapers (1790-present).

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a large collection, especially of Pittsburgh newspapers. It also has a card index to marriages and deaths listed in the newspapers in their collection.

Digital Issues Online

Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives
Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project, four publications cover 1895-2010, free.

Family History Library

  • Excerpts of genealogical interest abstracted from Pennsylvania newspapers : in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 198-?) FHL film 1405338–1405340
  • Presbyterian Historical Society (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Presbyterian Newspaper, v. 49, 1879 (SLC, Utah, 1966) FHL film 504271–504272
  • Wright, Frederick Edward; Martha Reamy, Carlisle gazette and the western repository of knowledge; Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, Abstracts of south central Pennsylvania newspapers : items from the Carlisle Gazette and the York Advertiser pertaining to the lives of persons living in south central PennsylvaniaAt various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.84 B38a
  • Rice, Phillip A., Jean A. Dellock, Schuylkill Roots, researchers, Circuit and Circuit Riders (Apollo, Pennsylvania : Closson Press, c1996) FHL 974.8 K2ri v. 1,2
  • Graeff, Arthur, Larry M. Neff, Selections from Arthur Graeff's Scholla (Breinigsville, Pennsylvania:Pennsylania German Society, c. 1971) FHL book 974.8 B4pgp v. 5

To access newspaper resources available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:



  • Hildeburn, Charles R. "An Index to the Obituary Notices published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, from 1728-1791," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 10 (1886):334-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  • Smith, Gary V., Corry Weekly Herald (Corry, Pennsylvania), Index to 3000 death notices covering northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York extracted from the Corry Weekly Herald (Corry, Pennsylvania) (Montgomery, Alabama :G.V. Smith, c1992) FHL film 1697903 item 1; book 974.899/C1 V4s index
  • Quaker Necrology (Boston, Massachusetts:G.K. Hall, 1961) FHL film 823643 items 1-2; book 973 V23q This two-volume set represents some 59,000 death notices indexed on cards at Haverford College Library from 1922-1960. The entries were originally recorded in four periodicals: Friends' Weekly Intelligencer, The Friends' Review. The American Friend, and The Friends Review.

To access obituary resources available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:


Web Sites



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  • This page was last modified on 30 January 2015, at 04:40.
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