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.
Resources for Pennsylvania Newspapers
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; Family History Library book 974.8 B3p; film 1320895 item 16).
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
- Penn State University Libraries digital collections Pennsylvania Civil War Era Newspaper Collection.
- NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of Pennsylvania newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries under the name Access NewspaperArchive.
- Extra! Extra! Read All About It! FREE Historic Newspapers Online: Links to free online collections of historic newspapers published in Pennsylvania.
- Access Pennsylvania Digital Repository managed for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries www.accesspadigital.org/
- USNPL: Pennsylvania - This site provides links to Pennsylvania historical newspapers and current newspaper websites.