Skip to main content

ETHN 201: Historical Methods and Archives: Historical Newspaper Collections


Here are a number of historical United States newspapers the library has online and/or in microfilm. The links in this guide lead either directly to digital newspapers and collections, or to library catalog records for individual newspapers on microfilm. 

Online newspapers can be viewed from any library or UCSD computer. For UCSD students and staff they can also be viewed from off campus if you set your computer for remote access.  Microfilm can be viewed on reader/printers in the Current Periodicals, Newspapers and Microform area in the West Wing of Geisel Library.

Why use microfilm? Many of the historical newspaper databases include full images of every page. But for more recent years, most newspapers are available only in the form of text, not including photos, graphics, advertising, or the look and feel of an actual newspaper. Microfilm, whether using microfilm readers or viewed on computers, includes an image of every page.

Newspaper Collections

Most of these collections were build on microfilm preserved in historical archives. Coverage of newspapers can range from complete runs of many decades to scattered holdings of a few years or less. From within these larger collections, you can search across many newspapers or search and browse within individual newspapers.

Online: Licensed Collections

19th Century U.S. Newspapers
Full-text content and images from numerous newspapers from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the U.S. The collection encompasses the entire 19th century.

Accessible Archives
African American Newspapers: The 19th Century
: Freedom's Journal (1827-30); Colored American (1837-1841); North Star (1847-51); National Era (1847-50); Provincial Freeman (1854-55); Frederick Douglass Paper (1851-52). Some years incomplete.
Civil War: a Newspaper Perspective (1860-1865):  major articles from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

America's Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876  
Collection of 700 English-language papers from cities in the 24 states east of the Mississippi.  Most of them are before 1860. 
Also includes Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980, and California Historical Newspapers, 1752-1922.  Coverage varies from a few issues to many years. Based on the earlier microfilm series, Early American Newspapers.

African American Newspapers, 1822-1998
Newspapers in the 19th and early-mid 20th centuries; some later. Many titles include only a few years; others much longer. When complete will have 270 papers from 35 states. Can be searched with America's Historical Newspapers, Hispanic American Newspapers.

California's Historical Newspapers, 1850-1922
Digital archive of 23 California newspapers (10 of them forthcoming), 1850-1900. One newspaper until 1922. Some include brief runs of 1-3 years, others cover much longer spans.

California Digital Newspaper Collection, 1845-1911
200,000 pages of California newspapers spanning the years 1849-191l: the Alta California, 1849-1891; the San Francisco Call, 1893-1910; the Amador Ledger, 1900-1911; the Imperial Valley Press, 1901-1911; the Sacramento Record-Union, 1859-1890; and the Los Angeles Herald, 1905-1907.

Hispanic American Newspapers, 1808-1980
Nearly 300 Spanish-language newspapers from 13 states (including California) published in the 19th and 20th centuries. Search, browse and view article and page images.

Japanese-American Relocation Camp Newspapers, 1942-1945.
Online collection of 25 newspapers published in the Relocation Camps in several U.S. states during World War II.

Proquest Historical Newspapers
Cover to cover article text & page images of Chicago Tribune (1849-1986), Los Angeles Times (1881-1986), New York Times (1851-2006), New York Tribune (1844-1922), San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922), Washington Post (1877-1992), Wall Street Journal (1889-1991) Use Publications tab to browse/search individual papers.

Proquest Black Historical Newspapers
Cover-to-cover article and page images of Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Chicago Defender (1910-1975), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993). Use Publications tab to browse/search individual papers.


Online: Open Access Collections

The results of digitizing projects around the United States, these are freely available to anyone in the world.

Atlanta Historical Newspaper Archive: The Archive spans the years 1857-1922 and includes 14 papers; dates of coverage vary. Other newspapers are available through the Digital Library of Georgia.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers 
Search and browse more than 150 papers from 14 states  (including California) and the District of Columbia. Most cover only a few years in the late 19th or early 20th centuries, but some are more extensive. You can also search a directory (including library microfilm holdings) for almost every known U.S. newspapers published from 1690-present.

Microfilm Collections

Early American Newspaper Series, 1740-1820
This is a collection of newspapers issued in the United States Between 1704 and 1820. Almost 700 separate newspapers listed in the catalog, some with links to the Americas Historical Newspapers database Get it at the library