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Newspapers: Historical Newspapers

Guide to finding regional, national, international and historical newspaper sources.

Although many of our newspaper databases contain backfiles of articles, most only go back 10 or 20 years. If you need older newspaper sources, you may want to try one of our historical newspaper databases.

Historical Newspaper Databases

Newspapers as Primary sources

Newspaper articles can provide a useful source of information, serving as a primary source of information about historical and current events. Some of the benefits of using newspaper articles as primary sources include:

  • Seeing how people viewed an event when it happened;
  • Providing multiple points of view about an issue, including a comparison of the United States and international views;
  • Permitting researchers to trace the historical development of subjects over time;
  • Examining issues in the context of their time (by seeing how stories about an issue relate to other stories, or by examining the type of coverage provided);
  • Giving a snapshot of a time period detailing how people lived, and what they purchased which is helpful for writers, playwrights, historians, etc.

But remember, because newspapers also contain commentaries or retrospective articles about events, they can also serve as a secondary source, depending on the article. 


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