Today’s lets talk about searching the U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present.
Chronicling America at the Library of Congress gets lots of good press from me and other genealogists. This resource provides access to digitized U.S. newspapers over 320+ years.
An Overlooked Resource
The U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present is part of the Chronicling America site. But for some reason it’s not very prominently featured by the Library of Congress.
Look at the example above of the main page. My eye always goes to the wonderful digitized front pages of newspapers just waiting to be read. What can be overlooked is the link in the upper right (red box added) for searching the U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690-Present. (Personally, I’ve always thought Google was a big success because of its clean uncluttered search page. Something to consider for Chronicling America’s page, LC?
Finding Available Historic Newspapers
Searching the U.S. Newspaper Directory, you’ll find entries for all existing copies of newspapers in U.S. repositories. This directory helps you identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access these newspapers. Not all of them are digitized yet. But the directory tells you which newspapers exist and where they’re located. At this writing, there are 155,290 different newspapers in this database.
Searching the U.S. Newspaper Directory
As seen above, you can limited your search to particular place and/or time. To locate specific titles, use keyword search. When searching the U.S. Newspaper Directory, structure your query using these categories alone or in combination:
- Time period
- Ethnic newspapers
- Labor newspapers
- Material type
- Library of Congress Catalog Number (LCCN)
Search results list specific newspapers with individual entries containing:
- Place of publication
- Geographic coverage
- Dates of publication
- LCCN (Library of Congress Catalog Number)
- OCLC (Online Computer Library Center Number)
- Preceding Titles
- Succeeding Titles
Armed with specific titles, dates, and places for newspapers, search the holdings of commercial providers like Newspapers.com and GenealogyBank.com before you subscribe.
[…] newspapers can crush brick walls. You can always search the Library of Congress U.S. Newspaper Directory to find local papers. But the newspapers section of city directories offers very specific, […]