FEDERATION OF FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETIES

FFHS - supporting family historians for over 40 years

Online Newspaper Archives

In recent years, scanned images from the historical issues of many newspapers have become available online. Their reports can clarify family relationships, establish who lived where and include diverse tales of heroism, accidents and crimes. Such information often casts unique light on the individuals involved and sometimes features their own words.

These online resources are now available for newspapers that were first published in a wide range of countries. A Wikipedia article entitled “Online Newspaper Archives” gives a global overview of their availability. The sites mentioned vary from giants covering long runs of issues that are drawn from many titles to smaller sites focussing on a single publication. 23 different sites relate to publications in the United Kingdom alone.

Online Newspaper Archives” starts with a helpful introduction and arranges the sites by country in lists that say whether they are free to use or require a payment. Only in some cases does it record each of the newspapers that are covered by a site. This is inevitable, as some sites have an enormous reach – for instance (and despite its name) “Old Fulton NY Post Cards” contains over 21,780,000 pages taken from a multitude of newspapers in New York State, complete with an index.

Many family historians have reached the stage of writing up their researches. “Online Newspaper Archives” provides guideposts to key sources for delving into everyday life in the past as well as “human interest” stories to include in our books and articles.

 

Francis Howcutt
FFHS Archives Liaison

15 April 2013

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