Newspaper Archives

Newspapers can be an excellent source of information that goes way beyond vital statistics. Obituaries and the society pages can add personal details to our ancestors’ lives. Then there are legal notices, ship arrivals and even advertising to provide even more clues to help our searches. Here’s a look at some useful newspaper resources to help you in your search.

Chronicling America is an historic newspaper archive sponsored by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is free to use and contains a growing number of newspapers covering the period from 1836–1922. You can download pages in either PDF or JPG formats. The help page has details on searching, downloading and even citing their records.

Wikipedia has a list of online newspaper archives from around the world. This includes both free and fee-based sources. The list is in alphabetical order by country and each item includes a link to the resource, date ranges for the archive and whether it is free or pay. There is a table of contents sidebar on the right side of the page. is a subscription service providing access to more than 3,400 U.S. newspapers with dates going back to the 1700s. Subscriptions are $7.95 monthly or $79.95 annually with a 7-day free trial. Subscribers can print and/or download all or part of a page image and even save a page or clipping to your family tree. To learn more, visit the Help Center.

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