Research Guides

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.

United States Specialty Newspaper Finding Aids (National Institute)

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

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

Newspaper Indexes/Archives/Morgues (Library of Congress) provides links to morgues and to Web versions of local indexes.  Morgues are the paper clippings files created for in-house use by newspapers before newspaper production was digitized.

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

U.S. News Archives on the Web gives dates included and cost (mostly free for searching).

Subscription Databases not Available through Harvard.  Several subscription 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. Listed in United States Newspapers (FamilySearch).​

Collective Sources

"INDEX Film" indicates a printed index to a microfilm.

Names in the news (1990-1995). A subset of NewsBank (in print and microfiche)

NewsBank index (1982-1995) includes articles from newspapers from about 450 U.S. cities arranged by subject, with index. (in print and microfiche)

National Papers

Christian Science Monitor, 1954- . The Christian Science Monitor website offers selected articles since 1980.
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 38

National observer index, 1969-1977
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 179

Newsday is available in LexisNexis Academic only as a 6-month rolling backfile.

Niles' register cumulative index, 1811-1849
LOCATION: Widener: Ask for CD-ROM at Reference Desk

USA Today is available full text via Academic Search Premier (2002- ). There is also a printed index.
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 491 (1982- )

Wall Street Journal is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Wall Street Journal (1889-1994). Includes illustrations, editorials, and advertising. Also available fultext via Factiva (1980- ) and ABI Inform (1984- ); Academic Search Premier indexed 9/9/1994 -. Indexes also available in print and microfiche:
LOCATION: Baker Business: Reading Room Current issue and 5 years: Reading Room (Index Table); Backfile: Reading Room (West Balcony) (1955- )

Newspaper Sources By State

California

LA Times is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881-1988) and their own webpage (1881- Present). The LA Times is available in Nexis Uni only as a 6-month rolling backfile. Print and microfiche indexes are also available.
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 127 (1972- )

San Francisco Chronicle is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers The San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922).

San Francisco Examiner, 1995- .

California Digital Newspaper Collection, 1846- .

Colorado

Denver Post Index
LOCATION: Documents (Lamont): Microfiche S 66 (1963-1978)
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 116 (1979- )

Connecticut

Hartford Courant is available in Nexis Uni only as a 6-month rolling backfile.

Georgia

Atlanta Constitution is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945). A print index is also available:
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 117 (1971-79; 1982- )

Illinois

Chicago Tribune is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849-1988). A print index is also available:
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 125 (1972- )

Hyde Park Herald Digital Collections, 1882- (gap 1899-1918)

Louisiana

New Orleans Times-Picayune included in: ProQuest Civil War Era (1840-1865)
Print index in Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 133 (1972- )

Maine

Portland, ME. Index to Portland newspapers: 1785-1835
LOCATION: Widener: Harvard Depository

Maryland

The Baltimore Sun is available in Nexis Uni only as a 6-month rolling backfile.

Massachusetts

Boston Globe (1872-1983) is available full text in ProQuest Historical Newspapers. The ProQuest Boston Globe (1980- ) is available to Massachusetts residents. Scroll down to Boston Globe.

Boston Globe Archive (1872 - Present) offers free indexing but you must pay for full text.

Boston Globe is available full text in Factiva (1/1/1987- )

Boston Globe:
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 424 (1983- ) (Printed index)
LOCATION: Index at State Library of Massachusetts, 1962-83 (Local card file indexing Mass. people and events)

Boston Herald
LOCATION: Index at State Library of Massachusetts, 1962-83 [Indexes Mass. people and events]

Annotated Newspapers of Harbottle Dorr, Jr.  Newspaper collection of Boston merchant Harbottle Dorr, Jr. (1730-1794). Collection was begun in 1765 with the papers annotated and indexed by Dorr.  Includes the Boston Evening-Post, the Boston-Gazette, and the Boston Weekly News-Letter.

Cambridge Public Library's Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection offers online access to: Cambridge Chronicle (1846-2015), Cambridge Press (1887-1889), Cambridge Sentinel (1903-1947), Cambridge Tribune (1887-1941), together with 40,634 subject cards and 13,099 obituary cards indexing Cambridge newspapers 1950-2008.

Persons with a Cambridge Public Library card can access The Boston Metropolitan Collection which contains many local weekly community newspapers, such as the Somerville Journal, Cape Cod Times, Brookline TAB, and the Cambridge Chronicle back to 2005 

Massachusetts Online Historical Newspapers Summary

Massachusetts. Index to local news in the Hampshire gazette, 1786-1937
LOCATION: Widener: US 13108.2.10 Library has: 3 v. in 2

Massachusetts Newspapers. A Directory of Daily Publications, 1815 - 2001 lists papers and indexes.

Boston Herald newspaper morgue (late 1800s-early 1980s) at the BU Pickering Library, School of Education, Boston University, 2 Silber Way, Boston 02215; tel 617 353-3735. Half the files are arranged by subject, half by biography. The files are in storage and a search for a name or topic may be requested by emailing sederl@bu.edu.  The Herald morgue includes clippings from:

Boston Globe  --  Boston Herald  --  Boston Herald Traveller  --  Boston Post  --  Christian Science Monitor.  --  New York Times

Obituary Card File (1932-41, 1953- ) indexes obituaries (not death notices) in the Boston Globe and the Herald. Entries for 1953-2010 are available online in the Obituary Database.
LOCATION: Microtext Reading Room, Boston Public Library.

Zimmer Index (1878-1937, a few entries earlier and later) is a card file indexing articles of Massachusetts interest, including obituaries, political news, speeches and other public events, etc. Not all the papers were indexed for the whole period. The Boston GlobeBoston Herald, and Boston Post were indexed most reliably. Available at the Massachusetts State Library.

Includes: Boston Advertiser  --  Boston Globe  --  Boston Herald  --  Boston Journal  --  Boston Post  --  Boston Transcript  --  Cambridge Chronicle  --  Dorchester Beacon  --  New York Post  --  New York Times  --  Somerville Journal  --  Springfield Republican  --  Worcester Telegram

The State Library of Massachusetts has a large selection of historic newspapers covering the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. This collection primarily focuses on statewide newspapers.

For obituary indexes of Massachusetts newspapers, see Finding Biographical Sources.

Michigan

Detroit Free Press is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers Detroit Free Press (1831-1922).

Detroit News
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 121 (1976- )

Minnesota

Minneapolis star and tribune index, 1971-1985
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 118

Missouri

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 136 (1980- )

New Hampshire

Index of references to American women in colonial newspapers through 1800. Covers only the New Hampshire Gazette, 1756-1770 (v. 1) and 1771-1785 (v. 2).
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC CS61.Z99 E92 x Library has: v. 1-2

New York

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online, 1841-1955

The New York Public Library had (it has been gone from their site for quite a while) a very useful diagram of NYC newspapers. Here is the Wayback version.

New York Times is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2008). Includes illustrations, editorials, and advertising. If a name or topic cannot be found by searching the online version, check the printed or microfiche index. It is also indexed in Nineteenth Century Masterfile (1863-1905) and Historical Newspapers Online (1851-1922), Academic Search Premier (1989-present). Printed and microform indexes:
LOCATION: Gutman Education: Ref Index AI21.N44 (1913- )
LOCATION: Law School: Mic Ref US 800 N (1913- )
LOCATION: Law School: MIC US 800 N Microfilm (1913- )
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 39 (1851- )
LOCATION: Widener: RR 683.15 (1851- )

Guide to the incomparable New York times index, by Grant W. Morse.
LOCATION: Law School: Mic Ref US 800 N Shelved with NYT Index.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 683. 15.7

New York tribune (1876-1906) is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Tribune (1841-1922) and is indexed in Nineteenth Century Masterfile. A print version is also available.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 683.10

New York Amsterdam News - Indexed in Academic Search Premier (7/2/1994-present); full text (9/28/1996-present)

Ohio

Cleveland. Annals of Cleveland, 1818-1876; a digest and index of the newspaper record of events and opinions. Indexes and abstracts, sequentially, several Cleveland newspapers. Further information on the Annals of Cleveland.
LOCATION: Widener: US 25831.25.20

Cleveland plain dealer index, 1931-1938
LOCATION: Widener: US 25831.25.22/23

Oregon

Oregon Spectator is indexed in Nineteenth Century Masterfile (1846-54).

Pennsylvania

Morning Call is available in LexisNexis Academic only as a 6-month rolling backfile.

Pennsylvania newspaper record, 1819-1870 (Delaware County) (Accessible Archives)

  • Delaware County American (Media, PA)
  • Delaware County Republican (Darby & Chester, PA)
  • Upland Union (Chester, PA)
  • Delaware County Democrat (Chester, PA)
  • Post Boy (Chester, PA)

Pennsylvania gazette (Accessible Archives) (1728-1800) includes full text of:

  • Universal instructor in all arts and sciences
  • Pennsylvania gazette
  • Pennsylvania gazette and weekly advertiser

South Carolina

South Carolina gazette, 1732-1758. The early South Carolina newspapers ESCN database reports: a quick reference guide to local news and advertisements found in the early South Carolina newspapers. Index sections: Individual names, Company names, Shipping and maritime (ship names), Slavery-related (mainly personal names).
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: INDEX Film NB 132

South Carolina Newspapers (Accessible Archives), 1732-1780

Texas

Houston Post
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 140 (1976- )

Texas observer index (Austin), 1954-1981
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 281

Virginia

Virginia Gazette, 1736-1780
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NB 21

Washington, D.C.

Washington Post is available full text via ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877-1995).

Other Washington Post Indexes

Washington post. Newspaper index, 1971-1981.
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 124

Washington post index, 1989- .
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 124.25

Editorials from the Washington post, 1917-1920, by Ira Elbert Bennett.
LOCATION: Widener: H 823.121

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Journal, 1976 (only)
LOCATION: Widener Newspaper Microfilm Reading Room: Index Film NC 132

Local Unpublished Newspaper Indexes and Morgues

Many state and local historical societies index newspapers in local card files, vertical files, etc. They usually will answer reference questions by letter, phone or email. Occasionally these local indexes are available via the Web.

Find historical societies in:

Directory of historical organizations in the United States and Canada.
LOCATION: Schlesinger: Ref. 973.025 A512 Library has: 14th ed.
LOCATION: Widener: RR 3621.66 Latest (WID-LC E172.A1 D7x Earlier)

Lists of local indexes are given below, but it is often better to look at the web sites, contact the likely organizations and ask if they have an index.

A guide to newspaper indexes in New England
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC AI3.Z99 N48 x, 1978

Hansen, J. L. "Research in newspapers". Pp. 413-438 in The source: a guidebook of American genealogy, by L. D. Szucs & S. H. Luebking. 3rd ed. Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2006.
--Includes bibliography of mainly local newspaper indexes, especially those indexing genealogical information.
LOCATION: Lamont REFERENCE CS49 .S65 2006

Milner, Anita Cheek. Newspaper indexes: a location and subject guide for researchers. 1977.
LOCATION: Baker Business: Z6951.M635 Library has: v.1-2.
LOCATION: Loeb Design: Z6951.M635
LOCATION: Widener: RR 681.25.5 Library has: v. 1-3
LOCATION: Documents (Lamont): Ref AI3.Z99 M55 1977x Library has: v. 1-2