Sources for Historic and Contemporary Newspapers
General Newspaper Sources
- America's Historical Newspapers Full-text database of newspapers published in the United States. Includes titles from all 50 present states, in various, separately searchable, series.
- Newspapers.com World Collection Provides online access to historical newspapers, dating from the early 1700s into the early 2000s. Contains full runs and portions of runs of well-known regional and state titles to small local newspapers in the United States and other countries. Try searching for local historical papers by title, such as the South Gate Press and the South Gate Daily Press - Tribune. Note: some content is behind a paywall. Check out the Harvard Library - Guide to Newspapers and Newspaper Indexes for accessible alternatives.
- Nexis Uni Nexis Uni features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources from LexisNexis with an interface that offers quick discovery across all content types, personalization features such as Alerts and saved searches and a collaborative workspace with shared folders and annotated documents. Includes current searchable access to the most current two years of Los Angeles Times articles.
Los Angeles County Newspaper Sources
- Los Angeles Times 1886-1992 Part of ProQuest Historical Newspapers, a searchable digital archives of major newspapers including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. Search one or all at once. Scope of coverage varies.
- California Digital Newspaper Collection: This historical collection contains 678,391 issues comprising 7,757,251 pages and 45,422,768 articles.
- Los Angeles Weekly: Founded in 1978, L.A. Weekly is the nation’s mostly widely read alt-weekly. Search full archives by keyword or browse E-editions from 2016 to present.
- The Downey Patriot: The Downey Patriot is a weekly newspaper covering the city of Downey, Calif. Established in 2002, the Patriot covers issues of interest to Downey residents and stakeholders, such as city council and school board meetings, high school sports, crime, food and dining, entertainment, non-profits, health and real estate.
- The Paramount Journal: The Paramount Journal has been a local voice for the community since 1923 reporting on the news and events in Paramount. Note: Paramount was formerly Clearwater and Hynes.
- Compton Herald: The Compton Herald is a contemporary digital media publication "providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Inglewood, the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world."
- The Bulletin Weekly: The Englewood Tribune, Carson Bulletin, Wilmington Beacon, The Californian, and The South L.A. Voice are now The Bulletin Weekly.
- LA Sentinel - Compton: The Los Angeles Sentinel, established in 1933, is an African American owned and operated newspaper that puts emphasis on issues concerning the African American community and its readers. Check out their current webpage for contemporary articles, and check out the LA Sentinel on Proquest for articles dating back to the 1930s.
Demographic Data and Maps
Census and Other Data:
- U.S. Census Bureau
- SimplyAnalytics (census data from 2000 and 2010, as well as market and business data). Sign up with your Harvard email!
- ESRI Business Analyst Online This tool allows for community demographic segmentation.
- Ancestry Library Edition See the "Tips for Working with Ancestry Library Edition" of this research guide for more information.
- NHGIS provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2014. Census data on the census tract level for Baltimore, MD, is accessible on Goliath/Geo/Baltimore.
- Social Explorer (1790 - present) Presents historical census data for the United States through the use of interactive maps and reports at census tract, county, state and national level.
- PolicyMap PolicyMap is a fully web-based Geographic Information System. It captures data in visually powerful ways through custom demographic maps, tables, reports and an analysis tool called Analytics. Available data includes demographics, home sale statistics, health data, mortgage trends, school performance scores and labor data like unemployment, crime statistics and city crime rates.
- Proquest Statistical Abstract of the United States Summary statistics on the social, political and economic organization of the United States. Compiled from publications and records of various government and private agencies, it is designed to serve both as a convenient reference volume and as a guide to other statistical sources.
- Raj Chetty's Opportunity Atlas: A quick way to see what areas are doing well and poorly today.
- Digital Sanborn Maps (1867-1970) More than 660,000 large-scale maps of over 12,000 American towns and cities. This digital collection was scanned from the holdings at the Library of Congress. Users may manipulate the maps, zoom in on specific sections, and print them.
- Fire Insurance MapsProvides access to a digital collection of historical color fire insurance maps, real estate atlases, and similar land use maps for North America. High definition, color and gray-scale images display important historical details not visible on black and white map scans. Includes map research tools and search tips to make finding maps for a specific location easy. Maps include publications by Sanborn, Perris, Hexamer, Whipple, Baist, Bromley, Hopkins and others.
- TopoView This United States Geological Survey tool highlights one of the USGS's most important and useful products, the topographic map.
- Harvard Map Library Visit the Map Library to look at historic maps, or fire insurance plans!
- Harvard Geospatial Library The Harvard Geospatial Library is a catalog and repository for geospatial data files. When opened using appropriate software, these files (also called layers) show geographic features, such as roads, countries, or tax lots, along with descriptive information about those features, such as road name, country population, or tax lot value. HGL holds thousands of data layers at a variety of scales and also contains scanned images of paper maps from a range of time periods. The data can also be downloaded for use locally using a desktop GIS.
- Harvard Map Collection Digital Maps Resources range from 16th century globes to modern maps and geographic information systems (GIS) layers. A selection of our materials has been digitally imaged and is offered both as true picture images and georeferenced copies. This Virtual Collection includes those maps and atlases that are available through the Harvard Image Delivery Service. Those maps that have been georeferenced are available through the Harvard Geospatial Library. Therefore, many of the maps listed will have two records, one for the image that is true to the original and the other a georeferenced image.
- David Rumsey Map Collection
- The Los Angeles Times’ neighborhood map of Los Angeles County: with individual maps and statistics for 158 cities and unincorporated places and 114 neighborhoods within the city of Los Angeles.
- Public Works, Los Angeles County. Land Records Viewer
- LA County Assessor Map
- Library of Congress – 1950 map of LA County – our area in the plates 32-35 area
- USGS maps
- Built LA - Building Age 1890-2008
- Digital Collections of Los Angeles Public Library
- Library of Congress Atlases of LA
Additional Mapping Tools
Aerial Photos and Images
- Earth Explorer EarthExplorer (EE) provides online search, browse display, metadata export, and data download for earth science data from the archives of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Tips for Working with Ancestry Library Edition
Ancestry.com is a useful tool for accessing census schedules. Unfortunately for researchers of cities, it was designed primarily for genealogists, and therefore is much easier to search by name of resident rather than location of residence. In order to research your neighborhood of interest:
- Find a range of addresses and intersections representative of your neighborhood of interest (use Google Maps, etc.).
- Go to Ancestry Library Edition
- Navigate to US Census Collection, then year of choice.
- Navigate to your state and county of interest, and note how the city is divided up (wards, enumeration districts, etc.).
- Use Obtain EDs in One Step (http://stevemorse.org/census/unified.html) to find correct enumeration district and ward by street intersection.
- Go back to Ancestry and find the ward or enumeration district of interest. You may have to flip through many pages to find your location of interest.
Locating City Directories
Digital Collections & Other Resources
LA Digital Collections
- Water and Power Associates: Informing the Public about Critical Water and Energy Issues facing Los Angeles and California
- Maps & Air Photos: Historical Maps (UC Berkeley Library)
- University of Southern California Digital Collections
- California State University Dominguez Hills Digital Collections
Redlining in LA
Selected Indexes to Journal Articles
Most useful databases:
- Avery Index of Architectural Periodicals The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals database offers a comprehensive listing of journal articles on architecture and design, including bibliographic descriptions on subjects such as the history and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, historic preservation, and interior design and decoration.
- Urban Studies Abstracts Electronic index and abstracts to the literature in the area of urban studies, including urban affairs, community development, and urban history. The backfile of this index has been digitized, providing coverage back to 1973.
- Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) a multidisciplinary database that includes citations and abstracts from over 4,700 scholarly publications (journals, magazines and newspapers). Full text is available for more than 3,600 of the publications and is searchable.
- America: History and Life America: History and Life is the primary bibliographic reference to the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present, covering over 2,000 journals published worldwide. In addition to all key English-language historical journals, America: History and Life coverage includes selected historical journals from major countries, state, and local history journals, and a targeted selection of journals in the social sciences and humanities. In addition to articles, the database includes book and media reviews and citations to abstracts of dissertations.
There are various ways to get in touch with library staff...
- Schedule a one-on one or small group research consultation with a librarian
- Schedule a one-on-one or small group consultation with a Mapping TA
- Submit a research (or other) question through Ask a Design Librarian
- Attend a Library Workshop to learn more about data, GIS, research strategies, archives, and more
- Schedule a Writing Services tutoring session
- Email Nicole Santiago, Research, Teaching and Writing Services Librarian
- Email Bruce Boucek, GIS, Data, and Research Librarian
We look forward to hearing from you!