28 Aug 2015

Partners Added to Digital Newspaper Program

Today’s post is about two new partners added to digital newspaper program.

Yesterday I put up a mammoth post on finding old newspapers that have been microfilmed or digitized by libraries and archives and are available for free.

There are two new partners who will be contributing to the National Digital Newspaper Program using grants from NEH to the State Historical Society of Wisconsin and the University of Delaware to digitize newspapers from their states.  Forty states and territories have now participated in the NDNP program, along with the District of Columbia.  NEH and the Library of Congress are now two states closer to their goal of representing every state and U.S. territory in the open access historic newspaper database Chronicling America.

Awards have also been issued to state partners in North Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Idaho, Mississippi, Connecticut, California, West Virginia, Florida, and Puerto Rico to continue digitizing and uploading newspapers to Chronicling America.  You can read more […]

28 Aug 2015

Finding Old U.S. Newspapers

Interested in finding old U.S. Newspapers by state and for free?
From 1982 to 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm newspapers published in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present.
The USNP supported projects in each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each project was conducted by a single organization within a state or territory, usually the state’s largest newspaper repository. Project’s staff inventoried holdings in public libraries, county courthouses, newspaper offices, historical museums, college and university libraries, archives, and historical societies. Catalog records were entered into WorldCat. Microfilm copies of USNP newspapers are generally available to researchers anywhere in the country through interlibrary loan.
I’ve included the dollar amount of each state project, to reinforce the reality that access to information always requires funding. The dollar amount includes funds for planning, implementation, and continuation of multi-stage projects. The list provides the approximate number of titles and newspaper pages that were cataloged and microfilmed.

I’ve also included the lead agency in each state with URLs for their newspaper project Web sites. Please note, however, that not all institutions maintain a Web site specifically for their USNP projects.

(The links are current but if you find a dead one, use the comments section to let me know.)

Work continues to digitize selected United States newspapers through the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), in partnership with the Library of Congress. To view the NDNP digital resources at the Library of Congress, go to Chronicling America at



The Alabama Coalition for the Preservation of Newspapers (CPAN) was responsible for the production of over 19.6 million pages of newspaper microfilm in the state. The Alabama Department of Archives and History serves as the repository for CPAN master microfilm produced using NEH USNP grant funds as well as the microfilm members continued to produce after the end of the project. The project received $571,563 in NEH support.

Alabama Department of Archives and History

Web site:



The project has microfilmed 100,000 pages of such papers as the Forty-Ninth Star and the Esquimaux, an 1866 newspaper for men laying Western Union’s overland line. Included are handwritten newspapers from before the U.S. purchase of Alaska. The project received $650,190 in NEH support.

Alaska State Library

Web site:



The Arizona project has microfilmed over 1,212,881 pages of newsprint from 57 towns in all 15 counties of the state. Titles preserved include the Williams News, the Arizona Record, the Copper Era, and El Sol. Holdings are searchable online by title, city, county, and subject. The project received $1,033,226 in NEH support.

Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records

Web site:


22 Aug 2015


GenDisasters is an online database of “information on the [U.S. and Canadian] historic disasters, events, and tragic accidents our ancestors endured,” as well as information about their lives and deaths.

I was working on a client’s tree and she needed more information about a family member who died in a civilian airplane accident in 1942 and I discovered GenDisasters in the course of my search. The site had a transcript of a United Press wire story, confirming the loss of this family member and providing enough detail to find more records.

What can you find at GenDisasters? Browse this database by disaster, year, or state, or you can search the content by name or other keywords. Newspaper articles and photographs about train wrecks, fires, floods, shipwrecks, plane crashes, accidents and other disasters.  Most of these articles list the dead and injured or missing. Individual accidents and deaths are included, together with well-known disasters, such as the 1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire in […]

1 Feb 2015

Illinois Online Historic Newspapers

Today’s post features links for Illinois Online Historic Newspapers to help your genealogy research. I’ve included both free and pay resources. Non-English and minority-focussed papers (like the Chicago Defender) are included. If you have additions to this list, please let me know here. And use the comments to let me know what state you’d like me to feature next.

Barrington Review (1914–1930) Free
Bloomingdale (DuPage County) Public Library obituary index includes PDFs of many obits Free
Chicago Defender; Chicago, Illinois; (1905–1975) Pay
Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey (1855–1938) Free transcriptions
Chicago Sentinel (1911–1949) Free
Chicago Sun-Times; Chicago, Illinois; (1986– ) in text Pay
Chicago Tribune; Chicago, Illinois; (1852–1984) in images and (1985– ) in text Pay
The Chicagoan magazine (1926–1935) Free
Dziennik Zwiazkowy, Chicago Polish-language newspaper (1908–1917) Free
Evanston Review Online Index (Evanston Public Library) (Obituaries, death notices and Evanston wedding/engagement announcements from current editions and articles from earlier years are continuously being added. Articles from 1925 and 1966-1972 are currently included in […]