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 in Lamont; find these in the HOLLIS Catalog.

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

Although the microfilm search gives most of Harvard's holdings, some newspapers are held in paper format. They can be found with a HOLLIS Advanced Search. 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 (Advanced Search) or a Subject keyword search, e.g., Seattle newspapers

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:

N.W. Ayer & Son's directory of newspapers and periodicals. Sources for foreign papers are available.

The Chronicling America U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present. Searches for newspapers can be limited by language and ethnicity.

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 (Open Limit Your Search, then Boston Library Consortium). 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 receives many titles not held by Harvard and has an extensive collection of Massachusetts and other newspapers on microfilm.