Newspapers as Primary Sources

Newspapers are one of the best primary source collections for many topics, but should not be considered scholarly or impartial.
These serve as a reflection of popular thinking and exhibit strong biases based on editorial policies.

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 search in the library catalog.

Format

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, dropbox, zotero, or email page scans to yourself. As we can, we are adding newspapers in digital form to our collections and those will be found in the database collections.

Searching

You can search specific titles of major newspapers from the database list (New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Times (London), and the San Diego Union each have individual archival collections.)

For a more general search, type your research topic (keep it simple) in the Articles+ search box and limit the results to "newspaper articles". This is going to return articles published from a variety of time periods and publications, but you have tools to narrow your results to the left of the results list.

What newspapers do we have?

It is best to have a newspaper title, but if you do not, you can try the word newspaper with a city name, topic or ask the librarian for help!

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:

Research in other historical newspaper requires access to backfiles (the term used for older issues) and likely you need to go to a newspaper 'morgue' for hard copies. These may be at a library or a local historical society located in the area you are researching. Many newspapers are not yet indexed or digitized and will require consultation with a librarian or history expert to locate pertinent materials.

CSUSM Holdings of notable titles Print/microfilm/electronic

We have the following titles, with hard copies and microfilm on the 4th floor of the Kellogg Library. For papers without extensive archives, contact information has been posted for possible archival access.

Los Angeles Times (1881- on)
Archival Collection Online: Los Angeles Times (1881-1988)
Print: Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-2
Current issues: ProQuest Direct

New York Times (1851-on)
Archival Collection Online: New York Times Historical Collection (1851-2008)
Print: Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-3. NON-CSUSM users--You can use the NYT archives search to access free full text (prior to 1923) or use the citation information to access the article in our microfilm collection.
Current issues: ProQuest Direct

San Diego Union Tribune (1871-on) Note this title has changed several times over the years.
Archival Collection Online: 1872-1983  San Diego Union Newspaper Archive 
Print: Latest in paper, older issues in the Microfilm Collection F-1
Current issues: from February 2, 1992 in ProQuest Direct

See also: Lower California Frontier: Articles from the San Diego Union, 1870, (book) edited by Florence C. Shipek located in 4th floor Stacks at F1246 .S2  V.2 This provides selected articles from the Union published in 1870 prior to the microfilm series.

North County Times (San Marcos city edition)
Print: Latest 2 months in paper
Business Office: 207 Pennsylvania Ave. Escondido, CA 92025    (760) 745-6611  

San Diego Voice and Viewpoint 
Print: Latest 2 months in paper
Business Office: 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
Current issues: from 1984-on in ProQuest Direct

Irish Times
Microfilm Collection F-144 for years 1916-1988 (some gaps)
1995-on in ProQuest Direct or Factiva

Times (London)
Archival Collection Online: Times (London) digital archive 1785-1985

Collections (multiple titles in one resource)

Early American Newspapers
Microfilm Collection F-47

America's Historical Newspapers, (1690-1998

Ethnic NewsWatch 1992-current

America's Historical Newspapers (includes subsets that may be searched individually)


Online with free full text

Older California newspapers are available in the  California Digital Newspaper Collection. Titles include The Californian (first California newspaper in 1846) and regional titles. 

Chronicling America at the Library of Congress is the clearing house for the National Digital Newspaper Program. The California Digital Newspaper Project is a part of this nation-wide effort.

Penn State's Historical Newspapers Online is a very comprehensive and detailed listing of full-text historical US newspapers.

News Archives for US papers is an assortment of papers and sources for browsing

Elephind provides a list of a number of large free access digitized newspaper collections.

Foreign Newspaper Archives (examples)

Mexico Hemeroteca Nacional Digital de Mexico 1722-2006 (note, not all are available open access and all materials are in Spanish)

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

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

Australia TROVE: Digitised Newspapers and More

Focused Interest Archives (examples)

Union List of Digitized Jewish Historic Newspapers, Periodical and E-journals 1811-2018 with the bulk of titles early 20th Century,  many titles are in German or other non-English languages and some titles listed are accessed only through subscription.

Catholic News Archive 1831-1978

Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection -- Japanese Diaspora Initiative 1891-1938, titles in English and Japanese, published in Hawai'i and the Americas. 


Full Text Print (Local availability)

Universities

The major universities in San Diego County all have historical newspaper collections. Titles and date ranges can be browsed through their online catalogs or the joint catalog system, CIRCUIT.

Public Libraries

San Diego County Library System AND San Diego Public Library have historical newspaper collections. Titles and date ranges can be browsed through their online catalogs or the joint catalog system, CIRCUIT.

Check city libraries (Carlsbad, Oceanside, etc.) as they are not members of the county or SD Public system, so have separate online catalogs.

Historical Societies

San Diego History Center has a list of titles with larger runs. An article from the Journal of San Diego History at http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/1965/october/index-46/ discusses historical newspapers and their use.

 


Indexes

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.

Some papers have print or digital indexes. Please refer to the guide for Newspapers for more information or consult the librarian.

 


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