In Digitized Newspaper Collections

ProQuest Historical Newspapers  

Search across the contents of major U.S. dailies, including the New York TimesWashington Post,  Los Angeles TimesBaltimore SunBoston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia InquirerSt. Louis Post and Dispatch, and the Wall Street Journal. 

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers  (Library of Congress)

An ongoing, long-term effort to digitize state and local newspapers published between 1777 and 1963.  As well as searching contents, you can also access from here the US Newspaper Directory 1690-present, which comprehensively identifies publications and provides information on where to access them. 

Ethnic American Newspapers from the Balch Collection, 1799-1971

Search across the contents of 130 ethnic newspapers published in the U.S. in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. Created in partnership with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Hispanic American Newspaper Collections, 1808-1980

Created in cooperation with the University of Houston, this new digital resource represents the single largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries. The distinctive collection features hundreds of titles, including many published bilingually in Spanish and English. 

A Harvard Library database of close to 15,000 newspapers, mainly from the U.S., many on the local level.  The database is offered in partnership with


A Harvard Library database that allows you to broadly search the contents of state, local, and regional newspapers from 1607 through the 20th century. Smaller news outlets sometimes give a different perspective than major dailies and sometimes a fuller treatment of issues "close to home."

In Magazine Collections

Reader's Guide Retrospective, 1890-1980

Though not everything you find will be in full-text, RGR allows you to canvass popular and general interest magazines across a 90 year span. 

American Periodicals Series Online

D​igitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine to America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; the collection includes popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and more.

In Specially Designed Databases

Voices from Ellis Island: An Oral History of American Immigration  (ProQuest History Vault)

Transcripts of lengthy interviews, conducted during 1984 and 1985 with 185 individuals who either immigrated through, or worked at, Ellis Island during the peak of mass migration to the United States. The National Park Service produced these oral histories, in cooperation with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. Themes include, among other things, leaving ones home country, assimilation, life on/experience at Ellis island.  This database is also included in Immigration Records of the INS, 1880-1930.

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 

Approximately 2,900 documents, compiled and transcribed by more than 300 writers from 24 states, working on the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program that was part of the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936 to 1940. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents vary in form from narratives to dialogues to reports to case histories. They chronicle vivid life stories of Americans who lived at the turn of the century, and include many immigrant narratives.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories

A collection of approximately 100,000 pages of information,  providing a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada between 1800 and 1950.

Migration to New Worlds

Explores the movement and memories of peoples who let Great Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and Asia for the New World and Australasia.  The oral history component includes : 1) interviews from the Tenement Museum, describing the experiences of European immigrants living in New York early twentieth century; 2) interviews from the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21; 3) the Minnesota Finnish Heritage Project; 4) the Italians in Dobbs Ferry oral collection.

Immigrations, Migrations, and Refugees: Global Perspectives 1941-1996

Translated radio and television broadcasts, newspapers, periodicals, government documents and books providing global insight on immigration in the mid-to-late 20th century. The materials were collected by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)—a government agency which became part of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1947-- and disseminated among government officials and decision makers. The reports begin with the refugee flows during World War II and cover all crises through 1996.  No U.S. newspapers or broadcasts are included in this database.

The Gilded Age

In addition to an extensive selection of key treatises that reflect the social and cultural ferment of the late nineteenth century, The Gilded Age offers a wealth of rare materials, including songs, letters, photographs, cartoons, government documents, and ephemera, some of which might bear on a race or immigration-themed topic you're studying. 

In Official Government Records

Ancestry Library Edition  (Harvard subscription)

Extensive collection of vital records, directories, censuses, military records, and other material from the United States and Canada, intended for genealogical research. Also includes fully-indexed, full-text images of United States federal census returns, 1790-1940.

Immigration Records of the INS,1880-1930 (ProQuest History Vault)

Includes the investigations made during the massive immigration wave at the turn of the 20th century. The files cover Asian immigration, especially Japanese and Chinese migration, to California, Hawaii, and other states; Mexican immigration to the U.S. from 1906-1930; and European immigration.

ProQuest Congressional

A source for legislation, hearings, witness testimony, reports, and more.

U.S. Serial Congressional Serial Set, 1817-1994

The U.S. Congressional Serial Set is an incomparably rich, yet in the past a largely untapped collection of primary source material detailing all aspects of American history. has proven invaluable to the research of U.S. political, social, cultural, military and ethnic history, as well as international relations, exploration expeditions across the country and throughout the world, genealogy, commerce, industrial development and much more. Its contents come not only from the U.S. Congress, but also include key Executive Department publications and publication series.

Via Finding Aids, Archival Records, and Catalogs


RELATED: Finding Your Way Through Finding Aids:Archives 101 (Dorothy Berry/Houghton Library)