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Many countries throughout the world have recognized that a significant part of their national culture and history is recorded in newspapers. Unfortunately, many of the historic newspapers of the world were published on cheap paper and are rapidly deteriorating. In order to stem the loss of this valuable historical resource, there are a significant number of local and national programs to digitize newspapers and publish the images online.
These collections of digitized newspapers are very valuable to genealogists because of the breadth of the articles that include information about individuals and families. Historical newspaper articles reveal information about people that may not be otherwise recorded. Some of the types of information that may be found include articles about births, marriages, death notices, obituaries, social events, sporting events, church activities and affiliations, occupations, legal notices, land sales, taxation, military service, businesses, and advertisements. Local newspapers may also contain stories that include details about families that may not be found in any other source.
List of Sources
This is sample listing of digital newspaper websites which are historical in nature rather than current newspapers who have digital pages. In many of the sources, articles are searchable by a single word or phrase. Check each website for a help section that will help you use the newspapers on the site.
No list of websites can be comprehensive. New sites come online regularly. It is always a good practice to do a web search on the terms, "digital newspapers" for additional sources.
National and Local Newspaper Projects
This is a sample of the ongoing projects around the world.
Online Historical Newspapers Website Have you ever wished you could find links to all the online historical newspapers in one place? A place where they were listed by county and city so you could find the newspapers your ancestors read? This is the purpose of the Online Historical Newspapers Website. It is meant to be used as an aid to genealogists, historians, and other researchers. These links include both free sites and subscription database websites.
For an extensive list of archives see Wikipedia:List of online newspaper archives.
- Austrian Newspapers Online(Free)
- Digitale Krantenarchief - D.A.D.D. vzw / Stadsarchief Aalst Belgian Newspapers 1836-1992 (Free)
The Bulgarian National Library has digitized and opened to the public its complete collection of Bulgarian newspapers since before the Liberation up to the end of World War II. See "Продължаващи издания" (Continuing publications). Free
America's Historic Newspapers Welcome to Chronicling America, enhancing access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1897-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).
The British Columbia Digital Library lists over 40 websites of Historical Newspapers including: Alberta, Canada; Australia; Austria; British Columbia, Canada; Finland; New Zealand; Norway; Ontario, Canada; United States and others. United States links include: Barrington, Illinois; Bloomington, Illinois; Brooklyn, New York; Los Angeles, California; Hawaii (click on The British Columbia Digital Library link above, go down to Hawaii links); and others.
California Digital Newspaper Collection has over 100,000 pages of California newspapers from 1900-1910: the San Francisco Call, the Amador Ledger, the Imperial Valley Press, and the Los Angeles Herald. Plans are to digitize another 100,000 pages of the years 1880-1910.
Colorado's Historic Newspaper Collection has selected newspapers from 1859-1923. This site uses a map to select the region or use browse all or search all tabs.
Northern New York Historical Newspapers provides indexed access to selected historical newspapers from Clinton County, 1811-2006; Essex County, 1844-2007; Franklin County, 1842-2002; Jefferson 1886-1918; Lewis County, 1860-1940; Oswego County, 1916-2002; and St. Lawrence County, 1861-2007. These are in PDF format from digitized microfilms. Some newspaper titles which were on microfilm were too poor to copy.
The National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) is a partnership between the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) and the Library of Congress. Provides grants to digitize historical newspapers. The program's aim is to provide greater access to US newspapers. The goal is to digitize significant historical newspapers from all states and U.S. territories published between 1836 and 1922. It will be maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and be freely accessible via the Internet.
NewsBank has many newspapers online GenealogyBank.com - the largest online newspaper archive for family history research, with over 1.5billion names from 1600 to present day. Free search but paid subscription for copies.
Central and South America
The Hemeroteca Digital "Fray Francisco de Paula Castañeda" provides searchable online access to digitized copies of newspapers from Province of Santa Fe (1911–1979). Free