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Newspapers - Finding PDF & Microform Formats at UNC

This guide is an aid for students needing to locate digitized (PDF) versions of original newspapers - both recent and historic.

General Search Strategy

General Search Strategy

The follow instructions are guidelines for searching inside the online version of UNC Libraries Catalog. The catalog automatically searches through a massive amount of material across multiple libraries, so the best option for efficiently locating a particular newspaper title on microform is through the use of search filters. This is certainly not the only way to search within the UNC Libraries Catalog, but it is an effective method.

Step One: Search for your newspaper title in the UNC Libraries Catalog.

  • Once you've arrive at the UNC Libraries Catalog, type in the title of the newspaper that you want to locate. The next page should contain two boxes titled "Articles+" and "Books & More." Choose to "View All Results" under the "Books & More" box, as this will allow you to view the physical holdings at UNC Libraries.

Step Two: Use the "Refine Your Search" filters to quickly narrow your search results to the appropriate title and medium.

  • On the left-hand side of the main library catalog page, you should see a "Refine Your Search" bar with multiple filter options. The two most effective options for locating newspapers on microform are Format and Genre. Select "microform" as your Format and "newspapers" as your Genre.
  • Note: It may not be effective to apply a Location filter to your search results, as not all newspaper microforms are stored in the same libraries. For instance, many collections are held in the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library, while some more recent titles and editions can be found at Davis Library.

Step Three: Examine the catalog entry to determine if your needed year is available.

  • In the this linked example, you can see that the catalog provides you with some general coverage dates for the selected newspaper microform. However, if you click the "Expand" button, you will be able to view a more detailed breakdown of the available dates. This final step in the process will allow you to ensure that the library has the exact copy of microform that you need.

Major American Newspapers

Sampling of Major American Newspapers on Microfilm

The following are links to the UNC Libraries catalog that highlight the availability of each newspaper title in microform at UNC Libraries.

Chicago Tribune

  • Coverage Details: February 17, 1963 - present
  • Location of Materials: The microfilm collection is available in the lower level of Davis Library under Serials 1-527.

New York Times

  • Coverage Details: September 14, 1857 - present
  • Location of Materials: The microfilm collection is available in the lower level of Davis Library under Serials 1-517.

San Francisco Chronicle

  • Coverage Details: August 15, 1869 - December 31, 2011 (some issues missing)
  • Location of Materials: The microfilm collection is available in the lower level of Davis Library under Serials 1-574.

Wall Street Journal

  • Coverage Details: July 1, 1889 - present (issues between December 1, 1891 - July 8, 1892 are missing)
  • Location of Materials: The microfilm collection is available in the lower level of Davis Library under Serials 1-542.

Washington Post

  • Coverage Details: Davis Library carries the following issues:
    • Dec. 6, 1877 - Dec. 25, 1914
    • Feb. 1, 1915 - Dec. 4, 1919
    • Jan. 3, 1920 - Mar. 7, 1954
    • Mar. 18, 1954 - Jun. 5, 1950 (as "Washington Post and Times Herald")
    • Jul. 1, 1960 - Dec. 31, 1973 (as "Washington Post and Times Herald")
    • 1974 - present
  • Location of Materials: The microfilm collection is available in the lower level of Davis Library under Serials 1-518.

North Carolina Newspapers

Sampling of North Carolina Newspapers on Microfilm

The following are links to the UNC Libraries catalog that highlight the availability of each newspaper title in microform at UNC Libraries.

Charlotte Observer

  • Coverage Details: 1916 - present
  • Location of Materials: Davis Library holds the last four weeks of this newspaper at the Davis Library Circulation Desk. The microfilm collection is available in the North Carolina Collection, shelved as Microfilm C071 C47 1916-.

News & Observer (Raleigh)

  • Coverage Details: 1894 - present
  • Location of Materials: Davis Library holds current editions of this newspaper at the Davis Library Circulation Desk, and Davis also carries the microfilm for most dates from 1980-2011 in the Davis Library Microfilm Collection under Serial 1-857. The North Carolina Collection currently holds microfilm for all dates from 1894 through the present, shelved as Microfilm C071 N55 1894-.

Fayetteville Observer (formerly The Fayetteville Daily Observer)

  • Note: The link provided in this guide is only to a portion of the library's collection, from 1999 to the present. See the specific call numbers below for the full scope of the collection.
  • Coverage Details: 1833 - present
  • Location of Materials: The North Carolina Collection currently holds microfilm for all dates from 1833 to the present, shelved as Microfilm C071 F28o, C071 F28o1, C071 F28o2, C071 F28o3, and C071 F28o4. Note that each of these call numbers corresponds to a different publication period of the newspaper.