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).
Digital Issues Online
- Penn State University Libraries digital collections Pennsylvania Civil War Era Newspaper Collection.
- Pennsylvania digitized newspapers on:Chronicling America Historic American Newspapers.
- NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of Pennsylvania newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries under the name Access NewspaperArchive.
- First several years of The American Weekly Mercury is available for free online (1719-1723).
- Accessible Archives ($) has The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728-1800).
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It! FREE Historic Newspapers Online: Links to free online collections of historic newspapers published in Pennsylvania.
- 1792-1904 - General Advertiser (Philadelphia, Pa.) is available online at Google News - 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
- Miller, Daniel, Early German Newspapers FHL film 982161 item 3
- Manning, Barbara, Genealogical Abstracts from Newspapers of the German Reformed Church, 1830-1839 (Bowie, Maryland : Heritage Books, 1992) At various libraries; FHL book 974.8 K28m
- Manning, Barbara, Genealogical Abstracts from Newspapers of the German Reformed Church, 1840-1843 (Bowie, Maryland : Heritage Books, 1995) At various libraries; FHL book 973 K28m
- Clippings From the Pennsylvania Dutchman, 1949-Apr. 1953 FHL film 1035723 item 13; book 974.8 F2p
- 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 Family History Library Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:
- PENNSYLVANIA - NEWSPAPERS
- PENNSYLVANIA, [COUNTY] - NEWSPAPERS
- PENNSYLVANIA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - NEWSPAPERS
- 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
To access obituary resources available through the Family History Library Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:
- PENNSYLVANIA - OBITUARIES
- PENNSYLVANIA, [COUNTY] - OBITUARIES
- PENNSYLVANIA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - OBITUARIES
- Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository managed for the Office of Commonwealth Librarieswww.accesspadigital.org/
- USNPL:Pennsylvania - This site provides links to Pennsylvania historical newspapers and current newspaper websites.
- Chronicling America
- Newspaper Archives ($)
- Genealogy Bank ($)