United States Newspapers

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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[United States Newspapers|Newspapers]]''
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[United_States_Newspapers|Newspapers]]''  
  
== Time period, coverage & content of United States newspapers ==
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== Time period  ==
  
Newspaper publication in the United States began in [year] with the release of [newspaper title] in [place]. Newspapers may focus on the world, a nation, a state, or a small community, and may serve a general audience or a particular ethnic, religious, racial, or political group. Newspapers report family information within notices of births, marriages, and deaths (obituaries), and local news. They may include the following information:  
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Newspaper-like publications in the United States began shortly after the arrival of the first colonists in the 1600s, but the first continuously published newspaper in British North America is considered to be the Boston News-Letter, first published on April 24, 1704.<ref>[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boston_News-Letter Wikipedia:The Boston News-Letter]</ref>
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== Coverage and content of U.S. newspapers  ==
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Newspapers may focus on the world, a nation, a state, or a small community, and may serve a general audience or a particular ethnic, religious, racial, or political group. Newspapers report family information within notices of births, marriages, and deaths (obituaries), and local news. They may include the following information:  
  
 
*'''Birth announcements '''may contain the infant's name, birth date, and parents' names, as well as the religion of the family.  
 
*'''Birth announcements '''may contain the infant's name, birth date, and parents' names, as well as the religion of the family.  
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== Milestone in newspaper content: the mid-1800s  ==
 
== Milestone in newspaper content: the mid-1800s  ==
  
Early American newspapers were generally only a few pages and focused on international rather than local events. However, the combination of the telegraph, the railroad, the power printing press, and public hunger for news during the Civil War changed American newspapers permanently during the mid-1800s. They increased the news gathering, production, and distribution capacity of big-city papers such that these papers took over the reporting of international, national, and state news. This changed the focus of small-town papers to local events and ordinary people.<ref>Hansen, James L. "Newspapers." ''The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy.'' Rev. Ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, Eds. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1997. 413, 414.</ref>
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Early American newspapers were generally only a few pages and focused on international rather than local events. However, the combination of the telegraph, the railroad, the power printing press, and public hunger for news during the Civil War changed American newspapers permanently during the mid-1800s. They increased the news gathering, production, and distribution capacity of big-city papers such that these papers took over the reporting of international, national, and state news. This changed the focus of small-town papers to local events and ordinary people.<ref>Hansen, James L. "Newspapers." ''The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy.'' Rev. Ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, Eds. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1997. 413, 414.</ref>  
 
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== Newspapers by State ==
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{{Newspaper States}}
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== <center>Newspapers in the States</center>  ==
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<center>{{Newspaper States}}</center><center>'''Territories and Federal District'''</center><center>{{Newspapers Territories}}</center>
 
== Why use newspapers?  ==
 
== Why use newspapers?  ==
  
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*Newspapers can report marriages, deaths or accomplishments of people who no longer live in the area but who still have friends or family there.  
 
*Newspapers can report marriages, deaths or accomplishments of people who no longer live in the area but who still have friends or family there.  
 
*Newspapers may report events in the life of&nbsp;local inhabitants even when these events occurred elsewhere.
 
*Newspapers may report events in the life of&nbsp;local inhabitants even when these events occurred elsewhere.
 
== Before searching newspapers, know this  ==
 
 
*The name of the person you are looking for (including, if possible,&nbsp;maiden and married names of women).
 
*The place and an approximate date of an event.
 
  
 
== Where to get United States newspapers  ==
 
== Where to get United States newspapers  ==
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=== Web sites  ===
 
=== Web sites  ===
  
Since digitizing and storing thousands of images of newspaper pages on the Web is expensive, free online collections of digitized ''historical'' newspapers are rare. However, ''modern day'' newspapers are increasingly found for free online. Free access to "historical" databases can often be found at local libraries.
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Since digitizing and storing thousands of images of newspaper pages on the Web is expensive, free online collections of digitized ''historical'' newspapers are rare. However, ''modern day'' newspapers are increasingly found for free online. Free access to "historical" databases can often be found at local libraries.
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See also ''[https://www.familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?fq=place%3A%22United+States%22&resultListItem=2 Ancestors Season 2: Newspapers as Records]'' in the FamilySearch Learning Center.  
  
 
==== Historical newspapers online  ====
 
==== Historical newspapers online  ====
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*[[Digital Historical Newspapers|Digital Historical Newspapers]] (free)  
 
*[[Digital Historical Newspapers|Digital Historical Newspapers]] (free)  
 
*[http://sites.google.com/site/onlinenewspapersite/Home Online Historical Newspapers Website] (lists of both free and $)  
 
*[http://sites.google.com/site/onlinenewspapersite/Home Online Historical Newspapers Website] (lists of both free and $)  
*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_online_newspaper_archives Wikipedia] (lists both free and $)
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*[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_online_newspaper_archives Wikipedia] (lists both free and $)  
 
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*[http://www.genealogybank.com/gbnk/ genealogybank.com] ($)
Google News Archive (free) http://news.google.com/archivesearch  
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*Library of Congress - [http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ Historic American Newspapers] (free)  
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*[http://news.google.com/archivesearch Google News Archive] (free)
  
 
==== Current newspapers online  ====
 
==== Current newspapers online  ====
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*[http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/usstate/usmaryla.htm OnlineNewspapers.com] (free) links to United States newspapers online.  
 
*[http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/usstate/usmaryla.htm OnlineNewspapers.com] (free) links to United States newspapers online.  
 
*[http://www.shgresources.com/md/newspapers/ SHG Resources State Handbook and Guide] (free) links to current U.S. newspapers online.  
 
*[http://www.shgresources.com/md/newspapers/ SHG Resources State Handbook and Guide] (free) links to current U.S. newspapers online.  
*[http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/news/ RootsWeb Newspaper Index].&nbsp; &nbsp;Database contains 454372 records (48485 surnames). Selected states, counties and newspapers (as contributed).  
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*[http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/news/ RootsWeb Newspaper Index].&nbsp; &nbsp;Database contains 454,372 records (48,485 surnames). Selected states, counties and newspapers (as contributed).  
 
*[http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/contentsearch.aspx?&rt=news WorldVitalRecords.com ]has an extensive collection of online newspapers.
 
*[http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/contentsearch.aspx?&rt=news WorldVitalRecords.com ]has an extensive collection of online newspapers.
  
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==== Internet  ====
 
==== Internet  ====
  
*'''1690-present:''' The [[Library of Congress]]' Website ''[http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/home.html Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers] ''contains information about America's newspapers from 1690 to the present, including the locality each paper covered, its title, publication years, and current locations in various repositories. The database is searchable by place or title. After using this source to identify newspapers in your ancestor's locality, we recommend you use both this site's listing of repositories as well as [http://www.worldcat.org/ OCLC/WorldCat] to find repositories in your area that have the newspapers in question. ''Chronicling America'' also contains a growing collection of digitized newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, and is planned to become a comprehensive source for digitized U.S. newspapers from that time period.&nbsp; <br>
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*'''1690-present:''' The [[Library of Congress]]' Website ''[http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers] ''contains information about America's newspapers from 1690 to the present, including the locality each paper covered, its title, publication years, and current locations in various repositories. The database is searchable by place or title. After using this source to identify newspapers in your ancestor's locality, we recommend you use both this site's listing of repositories as well as [http://www.worldcat.org/ OCLC/WorldCat] to find repositories in your area that have the newspapers in question. ''Chronicling America'' also contains a growing collection of digitized newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, and is planned to become a comprehensive source for digitized U.S. newspapers from that time period.
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*'''1700-present:''' The [http://www.neh.gov/projects/usnp.html United States Newspaper Program] was a cooperative national effort among the states and the federal government to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Technical assistance was furnished by the Library of Congress. The program inventoried holdings in public libraries, county courthouses, newspaper offices, historical museums, college and university libraries, archives, and historical societies. Newspapers were entered into [http://www.worldcat.org/ OCLC/WorldCat].&nbsp; <br>
  
 
==== Books  ====
 
==== Books  ====
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*'''1690-1820:''' Brigham, Clarence Saunders. ''History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820''. Two Volumes. Worcester, Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society, 1975. (FHL book 973 A3bc.) This lists the locations of collections of newspapers published from 1690 to 1820. Most of these newspapers are available at the American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634.  
 
*'''1690-1820:''' Brigham, Clarence Saunders. ''History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820''. Two Volumes. Worcester, Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society, 1975. (FHL book 973 A3bc.) This lists the locations of collections of newspapers published from 1690 to 1820. Most of these newspapers are available at the American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634.  
 
*'''1821-1936:''' Gregory, Winifred. ''American Newspapers, 1821-1936''. 1937 Reprint, New York, New York: H. W. Wilson, 1967. (FHL Ref Q book 970 B33a 1967; film 483713.) This lists newspapers published from 1821 to 1936, including those that are no longer published. It identifies where copies of the newspapers were located in 1936.  
 
*'''1821-1936:''' Gregory, Winifred. ''American Newspapers, 1821-1936''. 1937 Reprint, New York, New York: H. W. Wilson, 1967. (FHL Ref Q book 970 B33a 1967; film 483713.) This lists newspapers published from 1821 to 1936, including those that are no longer published. It identifies where copies of the newspapers were located in 1936.  
*'''1886''': ''[http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7069205M/American_newspaper_directory American Newspaper Directory]'' - a directory of US newspapers in publication in 1886. Available full-text via OpenLibrary.
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*'''1886''': ''[http://openlibrary.org/books/OL7069205M/American_newspaper_directory American Newspaper Directory]'' - a directory of US newspapers in publication in 1886. Available full-text via OpenLibrary.  
 
*'''1869-1920: '''''Geo. P. Rowell &amp; Co’s. American Newspaper Directory'' (New York, New York: Geo. P. Rowell &amp; Co., 1869-1877); ''N. W. Ayer and Son’s American Newspaper Annual'' (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: N.W. Ayer and Son's, 1880 – 1920):&nbsp;Images of these annual lists of newspapers and periodicals for all the towns and cities in the US and Canada are available online at the [http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/news_research_tools/ayersdirectory.html Library of Congress]. These books also include information on population, location in relation to a larger city, railroad line, local industries and more.  
 
*'''1869-1920: '''''Geo. P. Rowell &amp; Co’s. American Newspaper Directory'' (New York, New York: Geo. P. Rowell &amp; Co., 1869-1877); ''N. W. Ayer and Son’s American Newspaper Annual'' (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: N.W. Ayer and Son's, 1880 – 1920):&nbsp;Images of these annual lists of newspapers and periodicals for all the towns and cities in the US and Canada are available online at the [http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/news_research_tools/ayersdirectory.html Library of Congress]. These books also include information on population, location in relation to a larger city, railroad line, local industries and more.  
 
*'''1969-present: '''''Gale Directory of Publications: An Annual Guide to Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, and Related Publications''. (formerly Ayer Directory of Publications). Annual. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1969-. (FHL book 970 B34a 1987.) This lists currently published newspapers. Most newspaper publishers will not search their files for you but some will make a copy of an article if you can provide a specific date and event.
 
*'''1969-present: '''''Gale Directory of Publications: An Annual Guide to Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, and Related Publications''. (formerly Ayer Directory of Publications). Annual. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1969-. (FHL book 970 B34a 1987.) This lists currently published newspapers. Most newspaper publishers will not search their files for you but some will make a copy of an article if you can provide a specific date and event.
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*You may find a newspaper search easier after reading [[Key Terms Used in Newspapers Written in English|Key Terms Used in Newspapers Written in English]].
 
*You may find a newspaper search easier after reading [[Key Terms Used in Newspapers Written in English|Key Terms Used in Newspapers Written in English]].
  
__NOTOC__
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<br>
  
== Reference ==
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== References ==
  
<references /> {{Place|United States}}  
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<references />{{Place|United States}}  
  
 
[[Category:Record_Types_of_the_United_States]]
 
[[Category:Record_Types_of_the_United_States]]

Revision as of 15:46, 29 November 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Newspapers

Contents

Time period

Newspaper-like publications in the United States began shortly after the arrival of the first colonists in the 1600s, but the first continuously published newspaper in British North America is considered to be the Boston News-Letter, first published on April 24, 1704.[1]

Coverage and content of U.S. newspapers

Newspapers may focus on the world, a nation, a state, or a small community, and may serve a general audience or a particular ethnic, religious, racial, or political group. Newspapers report family information within notices of births, marriages, and deaths (obituaries), and local news. They may include the following information:

  • Birth announcements may contain the infant's name, birth date, and parents' names, as well as the religion of the family.
  • Wedding announcements may contain the wedding date and place; the names of the bride, groom, bride's parents, and groom's parents; and the religion of the family.
  • Death notices and obituaries may contain the name and place of residence of close family and friends of the decedent, as well as the decedent's death date and place, birth date and place, and biographical information, such as occupation, military service, religion, schools attended, parents' names, places of residence over time, and place of origin.
  • News stories, legal notices, local personal columns and advertisements may contain nearly any information imaginable, including political or criminal activity, legal and domestic disputes, real estate transactions, business information, social contacts, military service, missing persons (including runaway slaves), or information about local disasters, epidemics, or other community milestones which affected the local population. Early local columns are more like local gossip but contain rich family information.

Milestone in newspaper content: the mid-1800s

Early American newspapers were generally only a few pages and focused on international rather than local events. However, the combination of the telegraph, the railroad, the power printing press, and public hunger for news during the Civil War changed American newspapers permanently during the mid-1800s. They increased the news gathering, production, and distribution capacity of big-city papers such that these papers took over the reporting of international, national, and state news. This changed the focus of small-town papers to local events and ordinary people.[2]

Newspapers in the States

Territories and Federal District

Why use newspapers?

  • Newspapers usually predate government birth, marriage, and death records.
  • Newspapers may serve as a substitute for civil records that were destroyed.
  • Unlike most government records, newspaper articles are not limited to a form. Thus, newspapers may contain details not found in more structured records.
  • Newspapers can report marriages, deaths or accomplishments of people who no longer live in the area but who still have friends or family there.
  • Newspapers may report events in the life of local inhabitants even when these events occurred elsewhere.

Where to get United States newspapers

Listed below are resources for finding newspapers generally in the United States. However, many excellent statewide resources exist for finding newspapers of a state or county. In addition to this page, please see the state newspaper pages and the county pages on this wiki.

Your local library and interlibrary loan

Although your local library may not have a newspaper collection for the place where your ancestor lived, you may still access newspapers from distant libraries there. Many historical newspapers have been microfilmed. Local libraries often have a service called Interlibrary loan by which they can order microfilm copies of old newspapers from other libraries for a reasonable fee usually paid by the patron. Telephone your local librarian to learn which newspapers covered your ancestor's area and time period. Also ask which libraries in your area offer interlibrary loan services and what the fees are.

Web sites

Since digitizing and storing thousands of images of newspaper pages on the Web is expensive, free online collections of digitized historical newspapers are rare. However, modern day newspapers are increasingly found for free online. Free access to "historical" databases can often be found at local libraries.

See also Ancestors Season 2: Newspapers as Records in the FamilySearch Learning Center.

Historical newspapers online

Current newspapers online

On-site library collections

University libraries, state libraries, state archives, and historical and genealogical society libraries generally have strong newspaper collections for a given state. Local libraries often have a good collection for the immediate area.

Identifying and finding newspapers in an area

Internet

  • 1690-present: The Library of Congress' Website Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers contains information about America's newspapers from 1690 to the present, including the locality each paper covered, its title, publication years, and current locations in various repositories. The database is searchable by place or title. After using this source to identify newspapers in your ancestor's locality, we recommend you use both this site's listing of repositories as well as OCLC/WorldCat to find repositories in your area that have the newspapers in question. Chronicling America also contains a growing collection of digitized newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, and is planned to become a comprehensive source for digitized U.S. newspapers from that time period.
  • 1700-present: The United States Newspaper Program was a cooperative national effort among the states and the federal government to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Technical assistance was furnished by the Library of Congress. The program inventoried holdings in public libraries, county courthouses, newspaper offices, historical museums, college and university libraries, archives, and historical societies. Newspapers were entered into OCLC/WorldCat

Books

Although Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers is the most current and accessible finding aid for American newspapers, the following printed sources can also be helpful:

  • 1690-1983: Newspapers in Microform: United States, 1948-1983. Two Volumes. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1984. (FHL book 011.35 N479 1984; film 1145942.) This is a geographically-arranged list of newspapers on microform and the repositories where the microforms are available. Most of these can be borrowed through interlibrary loan.
  • 1690-1985: United States Newspaper Program National Union List, Fourth Edition. Dublin, Ohio: Online Computer Library Center, 1993. (FHL fiche 6332710-14 [set of 70].) Many states are collecting and microfilming the newspapers published in their state. This list is an inventory of newspapers that had been collected by the Library of Congress and 20 states as of 1985. An accompanying booklet by the same title contains instructions and the key to repository codes. (FHL book 973 B32u 1989.)
  • 1690-1820: Brigham, Clarence Saunders. History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820. Two Volumes. Worcester, Massachusetts: American Antiquarian Society, 1975. (FHL book 973 A3bc.) This lists the locations of collections of newspapers published from 1690 to 1820. Most of these newspapers are available at the American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634.
  • 1821-1936: Gregory, Winifred. American Newspapers, 1821-1936. 1937 Reprint, New York, New York: H. W. Wilson, 1967. (FHL Ref Q book 970 B33a 1967; film 483713.) This lists newspapers published from 1821 to 1936, including those that are no longer published. It identifies where copies of the newspapers were located in 1936.
  • 1886: American Newspaper Directory - a directory of US newspapers in publication in 1886. Available full-text via OpenLibrary.
  • 1869-1920: Geo. P. Rowell & Co’s. American Newspaper Directory (New York, New York: Geo. P. Rowell & Co., 1869-1877); N. W. Ayer and Son’s American Newspaper Annual (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: N.W. Ayer and Son's, 1880 – 1920): Images of these annual lists of newspapers and periodicals for all the towns and cities in the US and Canada are available online at the Library of Congress. These books also include information on population, location in relation to a larger city, railroad line, local industries and more.
  • 1969-present: Gale Directory of Publications: An Annual Guide to Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, and Related Publications. (formerly Ayer Directory of Publications). Annual. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1969-. (FHL book 970 B34a 1987.) This lists currently published newspapers. Most newspaper publishers will not search their files for you but some will make a copy of an article if you can provide a specific date and event.

U.S. newspapers at the Family History Library

To locate newspapers in the Family History Library's collection which pertain to a large part of Maryland, click here. The Family History Library is not actively collecting newspapers of the United States.[3]

How to search newspapers

  • Check newspapers from a week or two before or after a wedding, funeral, or wedding anniversary to find mention of out-of-town visitors and relatives.

Tips

  • Newspaper publication usually began soon after the initial settlement of a locality.
  • You may find it helpful to place a notice in a local newspaper in order to contact others who may have information about your family.
  • Search all newspapers for your ancestor's area, particularly those focusing on your ancestor's ethnicity. Ethnic papers "care" about ancestors that mainstream papers ignore.[4]
  • Don't ignore an ethnic newspaper that was published far from your ancestor, even hundreds of miles away. These papers often have a widely-circulated readership, so they tend to focus on a much wider area. For example, articles about ancestors from Illinois, Kansas, and Nebraska can be found in an ethnic newspaper published in Iowa.[5]

Web Sites

See also


References

  1. Wikipedia:The Boston News-Letter
  2. Hansen, James L. "Newspapers." The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Rev. Ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, Eds. Salt Lake City: Ancestry Inc., 1997. 413, 414.
  3. Telephone interview of Ken Nelson by Michael Ritchey. Salt Lake City, 8 December 2008. Ken is a member of the Family History Library's Collection Management team. He said that although the library would not turn down a free microfilm of a U.S. newspaper, newspaper collections are not currently part of the acquisition profile for U.S. places, and haven't been for some years.
  4. Neil, Michael John. "Ethnic Newspapers." Internet article at http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/Article.aspx?id=11282 Orem, Utah: Ancestry.com, 2 June 2006.
  5. Neil, Michael John. "Ethnic Newspapers." Internet article at http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/Article.aspx?id=11282 Orem, Utah: Ancestry.com, 2 June 2006.