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 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/.
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: http://www.archives.alabama.gov/newsmicro/search.cfm
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: http://library.state.ak.us/hist/newspaper/newspaper.html
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: http://adnp.azlibrary.gov/cdm/otherresources/
The Arkansas Newspaper Project has cataloged 3,400 titles, including the first Arkansas Gazette published in 1819. The project received $659,854 in NEH support.
University of Arkansas Libraries
Web site: http://libinfo.uark.edu/specialcollections/about/overview.asp
Among the 15,500 newspapers cataloged and the 1.5 million pages microfilmed in California are the Alpine Argus and the O Lavrador Portuguez. The holdings date from 1846 and include publications in Spanish, Chinese, Armenian, and thirty-six other languages. The project received $6,967,377 in NEH support.
Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research University of California, Riverside
Web site: http://cnp.ucr.edu
Colorado newspapers such as the Avalanche Echo, the Durango Wage Earner, and the Rocky Mountain News are among the 1.7 million pages microfilmed. The project received $345,438 in NEH support.
Colorado Historical Society
Web site: http://www.coloradohistory.org/chs_Library/research_coll_files/rc_newspapers.htm
The Connecticut Newspaper Project has microfilmed 1,094,446 pages and cataloged 7,161 titles of papers dating back to the 1755 Connecticut Gazette. The project received $1,932,416 in NEH support.
Connecticut State Library
Web site: http://www.cslib.org/cnp.htm
The project has microfilmed 700,000 pages, including the state’s first newspaper, the 1781 Delaware Gazette. The project received $405,371 in NEH support.
University of Delaware Library
Web site: http://www2.lib.udel.edu/delnews/
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The project, which has cataloged 1,600 titles, including ethnic, religious, and immigrant newspapers, received $141,529 in NEH support.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
Web site: http://dclibrary.org/washingtoniana/us-newspaper-project.html
The Florida Newspaper Project has microfilmed 785,690 pages of papers such as the Okaloosa Messenger, the Tropical Sun, and the Pelican. The project received $678,628 in NEH support.
University of Florida
Web site: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/fnp/
The Georgia Newspaper Project, in operation since 1953, microfilms 220 current newspapers on an ongoing basis and has filmed historic newspapers dating as early as the 18th century. GNP has filmed newspapers from each county in Georgia that has published a newspaper.The project received $557,550 in NEH support. A project by the Digital Library of Georgia is bringing a growing number of 19th and early 20th century titles to the Web.
Digital Library of Georgia, Georgia Newspaper Project
University of Georgia Libraries
Web site: http://www.libs.uga.edu/gnp
Hawai’i has microfilmed 260,000 pages and cataloged 476 titles such as Windward Living and the Leeward Sun Press. The project, which includes papers in English, Hawaiian, and Portugese, received $72,402 in NEH support.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Web site: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~speccoll/
Participant in NDNP: http://library.manoa.hawaii.edu/research/digicoll.html
Idaho newspapers such as The Blackfoot Optimist, The Blab, and The Fruitland Banner are among the 300,000 pages microfilmed. Holdings are indexed by city. The project received $59,040 in NEH support.
Idaho Historical Society
Web site: http://www.idahohistory.net/library_collections.html
The Illinois Newspaper Project has cataloged more than 20,500 titles and microfilmed 2,019,419 pages of Illinois newspapers. The project was a collaborative effort between two offices, which received a total of $5,176,621 in NEH support.
Project at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
Web site: http://www.library.uiuc.edu/inp/
Project at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Web site: http://www.alplm.org/library/library_depts.html#Newspaper
Participant in NDNP: http://www.library.illinois.edu/inp/
More than 900,000 pages have been microfilmed by the Indiana Historical Society in Indiana. The Indiana Newspaper Project, a 25-year project to preserve historic newspapers, includes newspapers dating back to the 1830s and is searchable online. It received $542,272 in NEH support.
Indiana Historical Society
Web site: http://www.Indianahistory.org
Participant in NDNP: Indiana State Library http://www.in.gov/library/
Iowa newspapers such as the Royal Booster, the Walnut Bureau, and the Ackley Phonograph are included in the 3.9 million pages microfilmed. The project received $695,338 in NEH support.
State Historical Society of Iowa
Web site: http://www.iowahistory.org/libraries/
The Kansas Newspaper Project has microfilmed 1.6 million pages and cataloged 10,330 titles. The project received $72,976 in NEH support. Microfilmed newspapers are available through interlibrary loan. A database of titles that are available for loan can be searched at the Web site listed below.
Kansas State Historical Society
Web site: http://www.kshs.org/library/news.htm
Participant in NDNP: http://www.kshs.org/p/kansas-digital-newspaper-program/16126
The Kentucky Yeoman and the Blue Grass Blade, True American, and the Kentucke Gazette are among 4,750 titles cataloged and the more than 1.5 million pages microfilmed by the project. The University of Kentucky Libraries received $564,523 in NEH support.
University of Kentucky
Web site: http://kdl.kyvl.org/
Participant in NDNP: http://www.uky.edu/Libraries/NDNP/
The 1794 New Orleans Moniteur de la Louisiane, the state’s first French newspaper, is among the 4.8 million pages microfilmed. The project received $303,073 in NEH support.
Louisiana Newspaper Project, Louisiana State University Libraries
Web site: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/lnp.html
Participant in NDNP: http://www.lib.lsu.edu/special/cc/dlnp/
Maine has microfilmed 356,000 pages of publications dating back to 1785 when Maine was part of Massachusetts. Titles include the Squirrel Island Squid and the Twin-Towns Screamer. The project received $435,984 in NEH support.
Maine Newspaper Project, Maine State Archives
Note: The Maine Newspaper Project Web site has been taken down by the Maine State Archives. The URL for the Maine State Archives is:
Also note that this project was to microfilm newspapers, not digitize. Use this link for Maine newspapers at Chronicling America:
Among the 2 million pages microfilmed in Maryland are the Log Cabin Advocate and Saint Mary’s Beacon. The project, which is searchable online, received $347,170 in NEH support.
Maryland State Archives
Web site: http://speccol.mdarchives.state.md.us/msa/speccol/catalog/newspapers/cfm/index.cfm
Participant in NDNP: University of Maryland http://www.lib.umd.edu/
The 1690 Publick Occurrences, America’s first newspaper, is among 8,127 titles cataloged. The project, which includes several famous abolitionist newspapers, received $770,942 in NEH support.
Massachusetts Newspaper Program, Boston Public Library
Web site: http://www.bpl.org/research/microtext/mnp.htm
The Michigan Newspaper Project has cataloged 4,446 titles and microfilmed more than 900,000 pages of newsprint, including newspapers in more than seventeen languages. The project received $1,181,258 in NEH support.
Michigan Newspaper Project at Clarke Historical Library:
Web site: http://bit.ly/1hlwLED
The project has microfilmed 4.1 million pages and contains more than three hundred editions commemorating inaugurations and town centennials. The project received $868,135 in NEH support.
Web site: http://www.mnhs.org/collections/projects/ndnp.htm
The Mississippi Newspaper Project includes newspapers from more than two hundred towns; 830,000 pages have been microfilmed. The project received $402,063 in NEH support.
Web site: http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/collection.php
The St. Louis Lightning Express, the Far West, and the Missouri Mule are among the 3,400 titles cataloged and 236,000 pages microfilmed. The project received $794,974 in NEH support. The University Libraries of the University of Missouri-Kansas City administered the Missouri State Newspaper Project. Collections of newspapers and the microfilm of the newspapers are available at the State Historical Society of Missouri.
Web site: http://www.umsystem.edu/shs/newspaper.html
Participant in NDNP: http://shs.umsystem.edu/newspaper/mdnp/index.shtml
The Montana Newspaper Project has microfilmed 320,000 pages, among them the Bitter Root Journal and the Sweetgrass Boulder Blade.The project received $126,181 in support from NEH.
Web site: http://montanahistoricalsociety.org
Participant in NDNP: http://montanandnp.pbworks.com/w/page/4740606/Montana-Digital-Newspaper-Project
The project has microfilmed 300,000 pages and includes temperance publications, ethnic newspapers, and women’s rights newspapers. The project received $729,366 in NEH support.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Web site: http://cdrh.unl.edu/nebnewspapers/
This project was conducted in cooperation with:
Nebraska State Historical Society
Web site: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/lib-arch/whadoin/newspapr.htm
Participant in NDNP: http://nebnewspapers.unl.edu/
The Nevada Newspaper Project has cataloged 975 titles such as the Sagebrush Stockman, the Snowbound, and the Battle Mountain Scout. The project received $114,360 in NEH support.
Web site: http://knowledgecenter.unr.edu/help/web_reference/guides/newsmicro/Default.aspx
More than one million pages have been microfilmed in New Hampshire, encompassing more than 1,644 titles published from 1756 to 1993. The project received $764,572 in NEH support. The library of Dartmouth College administered the New Hampshire State Newspaper Project. Collections of newspapers and the microfilm of the newspapers are available at the New Hampshire State Library.
Web site: http://www.nh.gov/nhsl/nhais/newspaper_project.html
The New Jersey Newspaper Project has microfilmed 3.15 million pages dating back to 1777. The project received $879,901 in support from NEH.
Web site: http://www.state.nj.us/state/archives/
The Horse Fly and the Los Cerrillos Rustler are two of the 1,599 titles cataloged; 500,000 pages have been microfilmed. The project, which is searchable online, received $655,790 in NEH support.
Web site: http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm4/index_NewMexicoNewspapers.php
Participant in NDNP: http://elibrary.unm.edu/
The New-York Gazette, first published in 1725, is among the 4.27 million pages microfilmed. The project, which includes the original 1897New York Sun article “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa-Claus,” received $6,051,746 in NEH support.
New York State Newspaper Project
Web site: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/
Participant in NDNP: New York Public Library http://www.nypl.org/collections/preservation-division/digital-preservation-development
North Carolina has microfilmed 3 million pages of newspapers such as the North Carolina Gazette, first published in 1751. The project, which includes papers from ninety-nine out of one hundred counties, received $1,334,095 in NEH support.
North Carolina State Archives and State Library of North Carolina
Web site: http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/reference/newspapers.html
Participant in NDNP: http://www.lib.unc.edu/
The project has microfilmed 3.3 million pages of papers, including the Farmers Ralroad, the Wyndmere Missile, and the Gladstone Rustler, a cowboy publication. The project received $205,809 in NEH support.
State Historical Society of North Dakota
Web site: http://history.nd.gov/archives/whatnewspapers.html
The project has cataloged 4,500 titles and microfilmed 3.3 million pages. Holdings are searchable online by title, city, and county. The project has received $1,484,884 in NEH support.
Ohio Historical Society
Web site: http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/database/news.html
Participant in NDNP: http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/ondp/index.php?title=Main_Page
The project has microfilmed 370,500 pages and includes the 1844 Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in the state, published in English and Cherokee. The project received $852,307 in NEH support.
Oklahoma History Center
Web site: http://www.okhistory.org/research/collections/newspapers.html
Participant in NDNP: http://gateway.okhistory.org/
The project has microfilmed 651,873 pages, among them the Bumblebee and the Weekly Bedrock Democrat. The project received $1,090,573 in NEH support.
University of Oregon Libraries
Participant in NDNP: http://library.uoregon.edu/diglib/odnp/index.html
The 1719 American Weekly Mercury, the first newspaper published in Pennsylvania, is among the 3.32 million pages microfilmed. The project received $1,903,196 in NEH support.
Pennsylvania State Library
Web site: www.education.state.pa.us
Participant in NDNP: Pennsylvania State University
History of the development of the USNP project available at: https://sites.psu.edu/ourstorycentralpausnewspaperproject/
The Puerto Rico Newspaper Project is microfilming 1.5 million pages and cataloging 650 titles. The project received $164,271 in NEH support.
University of Puerto Rico
Web site: http://biblioteca.uprrp.edu/cpr.htm
The 1732 Rhode Island Gazette, the state’s first newspaper, is among the 450,000 pages that have been microfilmed. The project has received $370,877 in NEH support.
Rhode Island Historical Society Library
Web site: http://www.rihs.org/
The first newspaper in the Royal colony of South Carolina appeared when Thomas Whitemarsh produced the South-Carolina Gazette in 1732. In the 19th century, ethnic newspapers served the German and Irish communities and today’s Hispanic communities are reached by papers with Hispanic titles. The project has microfilmed 990,332 pages with $397,893 in NEH support.
University of South Carolina
Web site: http://www.sc.edu/library/socar/books.html#newspapers
Participant in NDNP: http://library.sc.edu/digital/newspaper/index.html
The project has cataloged 1,000 titles and includes articles dating back to 1859, thirty years before statehood. The project received $245,273 in NEH support.
South Dakota State Historical Society
South Dakota State Archives
Web site: http://history.sd.gov/forms/NewspaperArchive.aspx
The Tennessee Newspaper Project has cataloged 10,300 newspapers with publication dates from the 18th to the 21st century. Interesting titles include the Bolivar Palladium from the early 1800s, Carthage Casket from the mid 1800s, Mountain Ears from the 1930s, and the Gas Bag from the 1940s. The project received $1,477,872 in NEH support.
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Web site: http://www.lib.utk.edu/tnp/
Among the 1,194,041 pages microfilmed are the Blooming Grove Rustler and the Evening News and Dinner Horn. The project, which includes the newspapers of Jewish, Czech, and German settlers, received $1,401,998 in NEH support.
University of Texas
Web site: http://www.cah.utexas.edu/newspapers/tnp.html
Participant in NDNP: University of North Texas http://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/TDNP/
US VIRGIN ISLANDS
The US Virgin Islands Newspaper Project has cataloged fifty-seven titles with $16,275 in NEH support.
Von Scholten Collection
Web site: http://virginislandspace.org/Division%20of%20Libraries/libraryresources.html
The Earnest Worker, Beehive News, and Utah Scandinav are among the 1,263 titles cataloged by the Utah Newspaper Project. The project received $112,595 in NEH support.
University of Utah
Web site: http://www.lib.utah.edu/digital/unews/news_project.html
Participant in NDNP: http://digitalnewspapers.org/
The 267,000 pages of microfilmed holdings include Vermont’s first newspaper, the Vermont Gazette, or Green Mountain Post Boy, which was printed in 1781 by Judah Padock Spooner and Timothy Green in Westminster on the historic Dresden Press (the first official printing press of the state of Vermont). Newspapers for Italian, French-Canadian, Slavic, and other immigrant groups working in the state’s quarries, lumberyards, and textile factories are also represented. The project received $427,894 in NEH support.
University of Vermont
Vermont Department of Libraries
Web site: http://library.uvm.edu/vtnp/vtnp.html
The first Virginia Gazette, printed in 1736, and the Richmond Planet, an African American newspaper from the Reconstruction period, are among 477,000 pages microfilmed. The program received $3,417,158 in NEH support.
Library of Virginia
Web site: http://www.lva.lib.va.us/whatwedo/vnp/index.htm
Participant in NDNP: http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/virginia_newspapers
The Washington State Newspaper Project has microfilmed 1.5 million pages and cataloged 2,200 titles with $432,363 in NEH support.
Washington State Library
Web site: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/library/newspapers_wsl.aspx
Participant in NDNP: http://www.sos.wa.gov/library/
Among the 460,000 microfilmed pages and 1,180 cataloged titles are the Wheeling Intelligencer, the Point Pleasant Register, the Spirit of Jefferson-Farmers Advocate, and the Charleston Gazette. The project received $171,294 in NEH support.
West Virginia University Libraries
Web site: http://www.libraries.wvu.edu/wvcollection/newspapers.htm
The project includes Native American and African American newspapers, as well as underground newspapers from the 1960s. Two thousand titles have been cataloged. The project received $130,472 in NEH support.
Wisconsin Historical Society
Web site: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/libraryarchives/collections/news.asp
The Wyoming Newspaper Project has microfilmed 219,000 pages and cataloged 445 titles with $266,192 in NEH support.
University of Wyoming Libraries
Web site: http://www-lib.uwyo.edu/
Happy researching finding old U.S. newspapers by state.