Judith Downie
Humanities Librarian
CSUSM Library
KEL 3424

Newspapers are an important form of primary document. Reports written at the time of the event frequently contain first-hand accounts and reflect popular thinking, cultural attitudes, debates and discussions of the time.

Getting Started
CSUSM Holdings (local & national)
Full text Online
Need More?
Current Newspaper Databases (new page)


Getting Started

When you consider that newsprint has an approximate shelf-life of 50 years, that explains why so many older newspapers are found on microfilm (shelf-life of 200 years.) Knowing this doesn't make microfilm easier to use, but here at CSUSM, we have indexes to the newspapers when available and have installed microfilm reader-printers that will allow you to scan and save the page you are viewing to your H drive or email page scans to yourself.

This page is devoted to historical newspaper sources. All newspapers (current or historical) that are available in full text at CSUSM in either paper, microfilm or electronic format can be located by a GENRE search in the library catalog. Just type  the word newspapers in the search box and change the type of search to genre/form. The list is returned in alphabetical order by title. If you are interested in certain types or geographic divisions of papers, you can do a subject search on 'newspapers' and look through the available subdivisions that reflect more focused topics.  Here are some examples of subject headings and sub-headings:

Historical newspaper research in the backfiles (the term for archival newspapers) is likely to require that you visit a newspaper 'morgue', the library for the area you are researching, or the local historical society. Any of these organizations may provide access to older issues. Many newspapers are not yet indexed or digitized and will require consultation with a librarian or history expert to locate pertinent materials.


CSUSM Holdings (Local and National)

We have the following titles in full text, on the 4th floor of the Kellogg Library, unless otherwise noted. For papers without extensive archives, contact information has been posted for possible archive access. For San Diego area papers not listed here, contact information can be found here.

Los Angeles Times (1881- on)
Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-2
CSUSM users can access the searchable database Los Angeles Times (1881-1985)

New York Times (1857-on)
Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-3. You can use the NYT archives search to access free full text (prior to 1923) or bring the citation information to access the article in our microfilm collection. CSUSM users have access to the online collection New York Times Historical Collection (1851-2005)

North County Times (San Marcos city edition, latest 2 months in paper only)
207 Pennsylvania Ave. Escondido, CA 92025  (760) 745-6611

San Diego Union Tribune (1871-on) Note this title has had several changes over the years.
Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-1

San Diego Voice and Viewpoint (Latest 2 months in paper only)
1729 N. Euclid Ave. San Diego, CA 92105  (619) 266-2233

Wall Street Journal (1980-on)
Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-4

Irish Times
Microfilm Collection F-144 for years 1916-1988
1992-on in Lexis Nexis database, or 1995-on in Proquest or Factiva

Historical Papers

Early American Newspapers
Microfilm Collection F-47 Click here to view the 22 titles and coverage.

Lower California Frontier: Articles from the San Diego Union, 1870, (book) edited by Florence C. Shipek in Stacks at F1246 .S2  V.2 This provides selected articles from the Union published in 1870 prior to the microfilm series.

San Francisco Call and other regional California newspapers from mostly the 1890-1910 period are available in the California Newspaper Project's California Digital Newspaper Collection (in development.) The Daily Alta California does cover 1850-1891.

Ancestry.com Historical California Newspapers
Requires registration but you can view the list of titles and date ranges available without registration.

Student Newspapers (for others in California, check the USPNL list)

  • Pride: The Student Newspaper (California State University San Marcos) Library Microfiche collection C-937 (no index). Previous names were Pioneer and You Name It. See the CSUSM Library Catalog for links to current and archived sources.
  • Daily Aztec (San Diego State University) search the archive from 1996. Previous names for the SDSU student newspaper were the Normal News, the Paper Lantern, and The Aztec and most are found in the SDSU Special Collections.
  • UCSD Guardian (University of California San Diego) has archives available online from January 2001. Older holdings (1967-) are available at the Social Sciences and Humanities Library on microfilm. Note this publication has undergone a number of title changes, starting with the Triton Times in 1967.
  • Cornell Daily Sun (Cornell University) has been digitized from 1880-on. Both searchable and browsable.


Indexes do not provide full-text to the articles, but act as a directory to tell you when an article was written addressing your research topic. Even weekly newspapers have so many different articles is one issue and cover so many topics in one issue, it is difficult to locate the desired information unless you have a specific citation. Indexes provide a faster means to your information goal as opposed to guessing at a date and browsing the issues.

Individuals in the news are normally indexed in last name, first name order and remember there might be more than one subject heading label for your event or interest.

If you have a citation with date, issue and page number(s) and cannot find the article available in full-text, the next step is to visit a library that owns the newspaper (generally in microfilm) or request the article through Interlibrary Loan.


Ayer's Directory of Newspapers
While this does not index publication content, this is a valuable tool is researching publication titles, circulation numbers and more about newspapers and periodicals published in the US from 1869-1919. As stated in the introductory matter, the PDF files are large (50+ mg) but offer a search function. Be aware that the scanning has not been proof-read and words like 'German' may appear to the computer as 'Crerman' in some cases.

Google News Archive
With Google's typical wide-net search, you can search over 200 years of newspapers ranging from the Washington Post, NY Times, LA Times, to the Guardian Unlimited and BBC as well as some online sources. Much of the content access is fee-based.  A nice addition is the 'timeline' feature which provides 2 of the articles for that time period. Click on the date or year in the left column to expand into more articles from that period.

News Archives
Lists maintained by the Special Library Association for US and foreign newspaper archives. Some are free-access while others are fee-based access, but most indexes are free.

United States

California Newspaper Project Public Access Catalog
A catalog of newspaper titles and publication dates from around the nation. This will not provide information on content, but which libraries own copies. Specific articles may be requested through Interlibrary Loan.

Los Angeles Times (1972- on)
Paper index located in the REFERENCE area at AI21.L65 L67. Index updates received monthly.
Online index Los Angeles Times (1881-1985)) database.

Fairfax County Public Library Historical Newspaper Index
Although full text must be ordered (at a fee) from this site, the resources indexed are a valuable collection of material from the 18th, 19th and 20th century Virginia newspapers.

New York Times (1857-on)
Paper index for 1960-on located in the REFERENCE area at AI21 .N44. Updates received monthly. 
Microfiche index for 1851-1959 found at C-503
Online Article Index for 1996-on (will not provide access to full text unless you purchase, but we have the microfilm for access.)
Online Article Archive for 1851-1995 (will not provide access to full text for materials published 1923-on, but we have the microfilm for access.)
CSUSM researchers have access to the New York Times Historical Collection (1851-2005)database.

Northwestern California Newspaperss
Indexing of newspapers from Humboldt, Del Norte and Klamath Counties from the 1850s to the present. Additional essay material on Northern California newspapers is also available.

San Diego Union Tribune (1871-on) Note this title has had several changes over the years.
ProQuest Direct
. For earlier periods, if the event was of enough importance, you should be able to check the Los Angeles Times or New York Times indexes to narrow the publication dates.

Texas Newspapers Collection
Online index to a large number of Texas newspapers. The main index must be downloaded for access. Fees are charged for copies of specific articles.

U.S. Newspaper Project
A Federally-funded project for each state and affiliated territory to microfilm its newspaper holdings. Some projects are working on indexes or fully-searchable images. Different projects are at different stages of completion, check the website provided under each participating institution for what is available. Good examples are Georgia and Illinois. The Illinois project provides a search page that can be used for all the projects. Some projects have full text and are listed in the full text section.

Wall Street Journal (1980-on)
Paper Index for 1980-on is located in the REFERENCE area at HG1 .W26


Belfast Newsletter Index 1737-1800
An index to the early years of the oldest continually-published English-language newspaper.

Saskatchewan News Index 1884-2000
Index to newspapers from the region. A limited number of full-text articles are also available.


Full Text Online

Research Databases (that offer full text or index historical newspapers)
Note some databases do not offer full text of the articles. Use the Check SFX for Availability button to check our other resources for full text.

Accessible Archives
A good source for 19th Century American History; includes newspapers on the Civil War and African Americans.

Ethnic NewsWatch
Full-text ethnic newspapers, searchable in English or Spanish. A limited number of titles are available with archives from the 1960's and 70's. Use the date limiter in the search function to see if articles are available for your time period and topic.

Lexis Nexis Academic
Provides access to a wide range of news, business, legal, and reference information. Some newspapers are available as far back as the 1970's. Check the date range information in 'Sources'.

Los Angeles Times (1881-1985)

New York Times Historical Collection (1851-2005)

ProQuest Newspapers
Includes coverage of over 300 major U.S. and international newspapers, such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune. Some go as far back as 1983..

Times (London) Digital Archives 1785-1985
Provides access to the complete digital edition of The Times (London). The entire newspaper is captured, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching.

US Newspapers Historical Collections

American Memory from the Library of Congress
Provides digitized (frequently transcribed in text as well) pages from some newspapers as well as many other types of historical documents and records. Since the collection is divided by topic area, use the general search to look for your topic and the word 'newspaper'.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1841-1902) 
(developed by the Brooklyn Public Library.)

California Digital Newspaper Project
Part of the Chronicling America Project (next item), this provides access to the historical California newspapers. Be aware that the digitization is ongoing and not all areas and time periods are complete. The search page also provides a link to browse the list of titles and dates available.

Chronicling America from the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities
This partnership has the admirable goal of digitizing newspapers from all 50 states for 1836-1922. At this point in its development, only selected states (CA, DC, FL, KY, NY, UT and VA) are available and not for the complete date range. Publication and topical information is available for papers published since 1690-present in a separate section.

Colorado's Historic Newspaper Collection
A digitization project to provide access to a wide variety of newspapers. Offering keyword and title access, view the "Newspapers Currently Available at CHNC" to see titles and dates available.

Stars and Stripes
US Army newspaper for WWI soldiers in France. Covers the dates February  8, 1918 through June 13,1919. This title has been continued to present day, but this is the only digitized historical collection to date. 

Digital History: Historic Newspaper Articles
A small collection of high interest articles from a variety of US papers, searchable by topic or keyword. The collection starts with the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision in 1857 through Princess Diana's death in 1997.

Georgia Historic Newspapers
Full page images of a number of Georgia newspapers. Searchable dates are 1750 through 1925 in different titles.

Hawaiian Newspapers
These papers are in the Hawaiian language and range from the mid-19th through early 20th centuries.

Historic Missouri Newspaper Project
A digitization project to provide access to a wide variety of newspapers. The "Search" tab allows keyword searching and the title pull-down allows you to see titles available.

Historical Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A limited, but growing, collection of digitized articles. Currently available are articles from December 1941-January 1942 concerning Pearl Harbor and following events.

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection
Issues of the Daily Illini (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign student paper) and Urbana Daily Courier for the early 20th century are digitized. More to come.

Utah Digital Newspapers
From the University of Utah, a large number of digitized articles with search capability in either all papers or a specific page.

Valley of the Shadow
Newspapers of the Civil War period (1859-1870) published in Virginia. Be patient, these are slow to load.

Vista Press (Vista and local area, California)
The range covered is 1926-1973. Each issue must be browsed individually there is no search function and the pdf search feature does not work.

Wyoming Newspaper Project
A digitization project to provide access to a wide variety of newspapers. Browse by city, county or publication title as well as keyword search.

Foreign Newspapers

International News Historical Archives
Extensive list by region of newspapers from around the world.

British Library Online Collection
Selected images from five major British newspapers from the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.

Alberta Newspaper Collection (Canada)
Digitized microfilm of Canadian newspapers from 1885-2001. Not searchable, but can limit by city and date ranges. 

Australian Periodical Publications 1845-1850
Digitized newspapers and magazines browsable by title and date or keyword searchable in the table of contents for journals. One title, the Colonial Literary Journal and Weekly Miscellany of Useful Information (6/1844-3/1845) has been fully digitized.

Niupepa: Maori Newspapers (English version)
Digitized images or text of newspapers written for a Maori (New Zealand) audience from 1842-1932.

Papers Past (New Zealand)
19th Century New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. There is no search capability, but click on "Browse Publications" to see titles available and date ranges. When you click on a title, a calendar of available dates appears, click on the desired date to view articles available. Requires download of specific software to view the pages.

Tiden: Nordic Newspaper Digital Library
Full text images of newspapers from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland from 18th through 20th centuries. Follow the 'Newspaper Archives' to links for each national collection. Note the Norwegian collection is NOT available in English and the Swedish collection requires an ID (user) and password (user).

Special Interest Newspapers

Argus Digital Collection
The Illinois Wesleyan University student newspaper for 1894-on.

Hollywood Reporter Archive
Must pay a subscription fee to access much of the full text, but the archive will narrow the search to a date of publication. Note the default search is for the past 3 months.

Indian Country Today Archive
Over six years of articles from one of the larger Native American news sources.

Silent Worker
A national newspaper for the deaf from February 1888 through September 1929.

Miscellaneous Collections (not recommended for first level research)

History Buff.com
a very small set of articles, generally to do with US History. Difficult to maneuver through.

Newspaper Archive.com
It is necessary to register (free) for access to the index or text of any articles. A list is available for titles and dates covered through the "Browse Papers" tab.

The Olden Times: Historic Newspapers Online
A collection of selected articles primarily designed for the genealogy researcher, but offers some categories of use to the history researcher. Be aware the site page opens to a very wide width so be sure you have looked at the entire screen. No search engine available for the site.

Small Town Newspapers
Must register to search or access the content of a variety of local publications. Check the "List All Papers" link to see if there is a paper for your geographic area.


Need More?

New materials are constantly being added to our holdings, those of local libraries, and on the internet. Ask for help in navigating the constantly changing landscape.

Judith Downie, Humanities Librarian
(760) 750-4374 OR come by my office (KEL 3424), I am available if my door is open (most of the time).