Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

History: Historic Newspapers

"The past is never dead. It's not even past." --William Faulkner

Newspapers in Historic Research

News pieces can represent a fascinating view of history. In addition to tracking facts, events, and personalities, they may be a window to societal norms and attitudes. 

First iterations of newspaper articles are frequently inadvertently fraught with errors. Others are examples of early "false news," with intentionally misleading, inflammatory, or just plain incorrect content. Use newspapers with caution and appropriate accompanying research. 

You'll see that some collections don't say they include "newspapers," but instead refer to the early names of news-sharing publications, including broadsheets, broadsides, tabloids, corantos, gazettes or gazetteers, news-sheets, and newsbooks.

When searching newspapers or any primary resource in collections without controlled vocabulary (usually free sites,) keep in mind you may need to use common words of the time, including words that may be deemed offensive now.

Historic News Discovery Strategies

Know the name of a newspaper you'd like to browse?

Search the title through Auraria Library or Prospector holdings.

Search the Web to see if all or part of the title has been digitized, or to find leads on unearthing that content.

Have the citation information for a news article you need?

If Auraria Library doesn't own the title, use the Library's interlibrary loan service to acquire a copy of the article.

Know the geographic area you're interested in, but not the name of the newspaper? 

Search the name of the state and the word "newspapers" on the Web to discover what could be available. Adding the word "historic" may be useful.

Or, contact the area's local library, or similar public organization, and ask.

Contemporary Newspapers

Here are major library collections with contemporary news coverage.  Most begin in the latter 20th Century and are updated through present.

News by Time Period

Twentieth Century
Nineteenth Century
Eighteenth Century
Seventeenth Century