Introduction and Basic Full Text Sources


This guide is intended to help Harvard students and faculty find newspapers and newspaper articles. Recent articles (post-1980) are most easily accessible via online sources which offer full text of hundreds of newspapers.

Other full-text sources, collective indexes and indexes of individual papers are listed under the other tabs of this guide. Some indexes of limited chronological and/or geographical extent are not included. In the HOLLIS Catalog, search Subject keywords: "Newspapers indexes" to find many of these, e.g., <newspapers indexes Manitoba>. Some indexes may have been overlooked; search the HOLLIS Catalog for particular indexes.

Basic Full Text Sources

Many other full text sources are listed under the other tabs of this guide. Also see the lists of digitized newspapers below.

General Sources

LexisNexis Academic (1980s- ) is the usual first choice for finding recent newspaper articles, with full text (pictures omitted) coverage of numerous U.S. and overseas newspapers. The Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Newsday, Hartford Courant, and Morning Call have been removed from LexisNexis except for a six month rolling backfile, accessible through the Guided News search. New York Times is available from 1980; other newspapers were added gradually thereafter.


  • Try limiting your search terms (or the most important of them) to "Headline and Lead (paragraphs." If terms show up in the title of an article, or in the first couple of paragraphs, it's more likely the article will be about that topic.
  • Put "and" between major concepts you're searching for; you can also try w/s (within the same sentence), w/p (within the same paragraph), etc. This is often a good way to do more pinpointed searching.
  • Use the "Article Type" options, when appropriate: "editorials and opinions," "interviews," "film reviews," etc.
  • Search in other areas beyond the default (which is Major World Newspapers).  Sometimes, "TV & Radio Transcripts" (for example) will yield you a different kind of information or a different perspective than published news sources.

Factiva (1980s- ) offers full text (pictures omitted) of over 6,000 newspapers, magazines, wire services and trade journals. Use Internet Explorer. For details on the publications included, open Support? (upper right), select Content Watch, select Source Search. To limit to a particular newspaper enter, e.g., sn=wall street journal and "search term". Articles for which the copyright resides with the author rather than the newspaper which are not available in LexisNexis sometimes have a citation without full text in Factiva. Includes the Wall Street Journal full text, 1984- (abstracts, 6/13/1979-1983). Search Guide: Searching for News in (formerly Dow Jones Interactive)

Articles for which the copyright resides with the author rather than the newspaper will not generally be available in LexisNexis or Factiva, although Factiva sometimes provides citations. Use newspaper indexes to find articles omitted from the full text sources.

NewspaperARCHIVE offers numerous newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries.  Contains many small-city newspapers.

Largely US but includes some foreign papers:
Canada (largely 20th c.) – China (North China Herald (1850 - 1926)) – Denmark (Politiken (1884 - 1936)) – France (19th/20th c.) – Germany (European Stars and Stripes (1948 - 1999)) – Ireland (18th-20th c.) – Jamaica (19th-21st c.)  –  Japan (Japan Advertiser (1920 - 1922); Pacific Stars and Stripes (1948 - 1999)) – South Africa (Sunday Times (1904 - 1945)) – UK (17th-20th c.; bulk 18th-19th c.) – US Virgin Islands (Saint Thomas Daily News of Virgin Islands (1960))

ProQuest Historical Newspapers include illustrations, editorials, and advertising. Available papers are listed below.

General Newspapers

Search all ProQuest news sources using: Proquest News & Newspapers.  Search across all newspapers, or select a custom group of titles to search across, rather than searching just one title.

America’s Historical Newspapers (1690-1993)  (Readex) offers full text of over a thousand U.S. newspapers. Includes all papers listed in the standard History and bibliography of American newspapers, 1690-1820, by Clarence S. Brigham. Although a very rich resource, many important newspapers, especially for the later years, are not included.  Now includes several post-1922 papers; title list (In Quick Facts & Overview box on the right).

Chronicling America, enhancing access to historic American newspapers (1836-1922) (Library of Congress) offers searchable full text.  For a list of digitized newspapers for each state, choose All Digitized Newspapers 1836-1922.

Also includes the valuable U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present, in which searches for newspapers can be limited by language and ethnicity.

19th Century U.S. Newspapers offers full text of about 500 newspapers.

Gale NewsVault: 19th Century U.S. Newspapers and Liberty Magazine, 1924-1950 (US weekly magazine)

Accessible Archives includes:

  • The Civil War: A Newspaper Perspective
  • The Civil War: A Midwestern Perspective
  • Godey’s Lady’s Book (1830-1898)
  • The Liberator (1831-1865)
  • The Pennsylvania Gazette (1728-1800)
  • The Pennsylvania Newspaper Record
  • South Carolina Newspapers
  • The Virginia Gazette
More about Accessible Archives content.

Minority Papers

Research Guides:

Chronicling America, enhancing access to historic American newspapers (1836-1922) (Library of Congress) offers searchable full text. Also includes the valuable U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present, in which searches can be limited by language and ethnicity.

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection (1799-1971) in America’s Historical Newspapers. Title list (In Quick Facts & Overview box on the right). The titles marked Forthcoming are in fact available now.

Ethnic NewsWatch (1959- ) offers full-text of 90 newspapers and other periodicals (1990- ) and of 30 African American, Hispanic American, and Native American newspapers and other periodicals (1959-1989). Includes book/film/television reviews. Lists of periodicals by ethnicity. Covers:

  • African American
  • Arab American
  • Asian American
  • European American
  • Hispanic/Latino/Chicano
  • Jewish
  • Native American

ProQuest Historical Newspapers include illustrations, editorials, and advertising. African-American papers are listed below.

All or several of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers can be searched at once from the ProQuest Databases page: from any of the individual ProQuest Historical Newspapers pages, hit the "Searching; 1 database" link, scroll down to the ProQuest Historical Newspapers section and select the ones you want.

Accessible Archives includes African American Newspapers (1827-1902)
--More about Accessible Archives content.

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998 includes 270 newspapers from 36 states. It is a subset of America's Historical Newspapers (Readex).

Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980 offers Spanish-language and bilingual newspapers. Based on the “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project.”   It is a subset of America's Historical Newspapers (Readex).

Swedish American Newspapers

Newspaper Digitization Projects

There are numerous local digitization projects. Even where payment is required for full text, searching is often free.

Try searching for your title in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

PastPages offers front pages from news sites. Pages are archived hourly.

Newspaper Research Links offers state/province lists of digitized newspaper projects

The Catalog of Digital Historical Newspapers  (NewspaperCat) for newspapers published in the United States and the Caribbean.

Google News Archive: Alphabetical list.


Subscription Databases not Available through Harvard

These databases may have material not accessible via the Harvard-subscribed or free sources.  They are intended for private users so the subscription costs are modest.

Finding Newspapers at Harvard and Elsewhere

Finding Newspapers at Harvard and Elsewhere

Most of Harvard's newspaper collection is on microfilm housed in the Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room (Widener 1st floor behind main stairs). A particular paper, or papers available for a particular city and time, are most expeditiously found via the Widener Collection of Newspapers on Microfilm Search. Some newspapers, largely with call numbers beginning Film S or Microfiche W, are housed in the Government Documents/Microforms Collection on the first floor of Lamont; find these in the HOLLIS Catalog.

African-American Newspapers and Microfilms. List of holdings in Widener. Includes geographical and alphabetical listings.

Harvard-Yenching Newspaper Collection Search

Although the microfilm search gives most of Harvard's holdings, some newspapers are held in paper format. They can be found with a HOLLIS search using the Journal Titles option. Keyword title searches are useful, as newspapers frequently change their name, adding or dropping "daily," etc. Each record for a newspaper normally includes notes on prior and succeeding names. One may also perform a Place of Publication search (Expanded Search only) or a Subject keyword search, e.g., <Seattle newspapers>. HOLLIS searches using the Journal Titles option can be limited to Format: Newspapers. In the Command Search you may search for newspaper format by city or country with searches of the form:

by city
wil=boston and wqs=n

by country, e.g., using the country code for Russia
wlo=ru and wqs=n

Typically the Country Code is the first two letters of the country name, but there are exceptions. See Country Codes: Part III: Regional Sequence.

For an exhaustive search, try all the above methods.

Many current newspapers are received by various Harvard libraries, especially Widener's Periodicals Reading Room. Widener's newspapers are kept for a month or two only, after which they are replaced by microfilm in the Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room (Widener 1st floor behind main stairs).

If Harvard Doesn't Have It:

To obtain a list of the newspapers published in a particular city in a particular year, use the N.W. Ayer & Son's directory of newspapers and periodicals. Sources for foreign papers are available.

Look in WorldCat, searching Publisher location in Advanced search. Search a word out of the title. Herald may be better than Morning Herald as the details of newspaper titles often change. Limit type to Serial Publications. Submit a request via Interlibrary Loan for the microfilm. Put the OCLC number (bottom of WorldCat record) on the loan Request form in the OCLC Number field. This usually takes about 10 days or 2 weeks. When the microfilm arrives it will be held for you in the Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room.

To find newspapers held by other Boston area libraries, use the Boston Library Consortium catalog search. It is best to confirm holdings and format by searching the catalog and contacting the reference dept. of the holding library.

The Boston Public Library Newspaper Room receives many titles not held by Harvard. The Boston Public Library Microtext Department has an extensive collection of Massachusetts and other newspapers on microfilm.

Using Secondary Sources

Pertinent newspapers for a topic or event can often be found by perusing the secondary literature.  In HOLLIS Classic, search the phrases  "Press coverage" and "In mass Media" and any other appropriate Subject terms.

Rwanda and genocide and ( "press coverage" or "in mass media" )

This can also be done in the periodical indexes. Try "press coverage", and then observe the proper Subject terms in the database Subject system. To find periodical indexes, go to Find E-Resources, select the Subject tab, scroll down to your subject, select Resource Type: Indexes to periodical articles. Or view research guides on your subject.


The race beat: the press, the civil rights struggle, and the awakening of a nation, by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff. New York : Knopf, 2006, viii, 518 p.
Race relations -- Press coverage -- United States.
African Americans -- Press coverage -- History -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.

Voices in the hills of Rwanda: African press accountability of the 1994 pogrom, by: Alozie, Emmanuel C. International Communication Gazette. Nov2010, Vol. 72 Issue 7, p589-617.
Subjects: RWANDA; KENYA; NIGERIA; GENOCIDE in mass media; RWANDA -- History -- Civil War, 1994; FRAMES (Social sciences); AFRICAN newspapers

Finding Paper Format Newspapers

Try the nearest public library or historical society.

Chronicling America - U.S. Newspaper Directory

American Newspaper Repository, now at Duke.

Additional Information

Newspaper indexes that are not listed in this guide, including many not held by Harvard, are listed in:

Morgues (U.S.).

Printed U.S. Newspaper Indexes in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room, Library of Congress.

Web sites of hundreds of newspapers are accessible through NewsLink. The British Library maintains a list of newspaper-related research guides. Newspapers on the Web sometimes offer only articles from one or two day's issues; others have archives extending back several years.

The United States Newspaper Program site offers abundant state-by-state information on microfilmed and, in some cases, digitally accessible newspapers.

Other research guides include: