Finding Microfilmed Newspapers
Many times I have asked a librarian for a microfilmed copy of a newspaper, specifying the date and place. And usually I am told that no newspaper exists for that time and place.
Don’t misunderstand; I love librarians. They have been very good to me over the years. And they are very good at finding things given a title or the name of an author. But when looking for a newspaper what we usually have is a place and, if we are fortunate, a date. What is a poor librarian to do with that?
We need to provide a little help for our librarians, and it comes from something called WorldCat, a network of library catalogs. You can read more about it here. It is also the repository for the U.S. Newspaper Program and, as such, contains information about a huge number of microfilmed newspapers.
OK, you ask, exactly how do we go about using WorldCat to find newspapers? Back to the local library; almost all provide access either directly to WorldCat or through FirstSearch. If you go into your library’s web site and find only FirstSearch you will get a page that looks like this; click on WorldCat.
Now you are into WorldCat, but be sure that you are in the Advanced Search, as shown here.