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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.

Locating Major American Newspapers

Locating Major American Newspapers

The following are links to online databases that provide access to digitized (PDF) copies of recent, major American newspapers. Under each major title listed below, the links will direct you to the place in the UNC Libraries catalog from which you can access the database.

Access Restrictions: Any library patrons can access these databases using a computer terminal that is physically connected to UNC's network. However, these databases are only available for remote use by the UNC Community via login with your Onyen and Password.

Chicago Tribune

  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers (Chicago Tribune)
    • Coverage: 1849 - 1995
    • Recommended Search Strategy: To browse through individual issues within the database, choose to search by "Publication" (the third search option after "Basic" and "Advanced"). Next, select the collection series that contains the year in which your article was published. Finally, scan to the bottom of the page to see the "Browse Specific Issues" option. This will allow you to filter your search by year, month, and day.
  • ProQuest Digital Microfilm
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: This database only allows you to search via edition, so it is easiest if you have a particular date in mind. However, once you are searching within a newspaper for a specific date, you can quickly view the thumbnails of the pages at the bottom of the page. On the lower left-hand bar, choose to "Scroll thumbnails" to quickly find the particular page that you need.
  • ProQuest Digitized Newspapers (Chicago Tribune Recent)
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you are searching for a particular date, you can choose to "Browse Issues." This will allow you to narrow down by year, month, and day to the appropriate edition of the newspaper. Otherwise, you can run a targeted search based upon the title of an article.

Los Angeles Times

  • Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers
    • Coverage: Dec. 4, 1881 - Dec. 31, 1890
    • Recommended Search Strategy: Once you arrive at the database, look at the top panel for a link titled "Publications List." If you choose to search by "Publications List," you then can select Los Angeles Times and choose to view digitized images of the paper based on date.
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers (Los Angeles Times)
    • Coverage: 1881 -1996
    • Recommended Search Strategy: To browse through individual issues within the database, choose to search by "Publication" (the third search option after "Basic" and "Advanced"). Next, select the collection series that contains the year in which your article was published. Finally, scan to the bottom of the page to see the "Browse Specific Issues" option. This will allow you to filter your search by year, month, and day.
  • ProQuest Digital Microfilm
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: This database only allows you to search via edition, so it is easiest if you have a particular date in mind. However, once you are searching within a newspaper for a specific date, you can quickly view the thumbnails of the pages at the bottom of the page. On the lower left-hand bar, choose to "Scroll thumbnails" to quickly find the particular page that you need.
  • ProQuest Digitized Newspapers (LA Times Recent)
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you are searching for a particular date, you can choose to "Browse Issues." This will allow you to narrow down by year, month, and day to the appropriate edition of the newspaper. Otherwise, you can run a targeted search based upon the title of an article.

New York Times

  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers (New York Daily Times)
    • Coverage: Sept. 18, 1851 - 2014
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you know the title of the article you need, you might try searching for the article title. However, you can also browse issues if you the specific date that you need. To do this, click the "Publications" link under the main page header, and you should see options for viewing the New York Daily Times (1851-1857), New York Times (1857-1922), and New York Times (1923-current). You can then "Browse Specific Issues" to find the specific article that you need.
    • Note: If you have trouble accessing the paper through the provided link, please visit the UNC Libraries Newspapers page to proxy into the database.
  • ProQuest Digitized Newspapers (New York Times Recent)
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you are searching for a particular date, you can choose to "Browse Issues." This will allow you to narrow down by year, month, and day to the appropriate edition of the newspaper. Otherwise, you can run a targeted search based upon the title of an article.

Wall Street Journal

  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers (The Wall Street Journal)
    • Coverage: Jul. 8, 1889 - December 29, 2000
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you know what article you are looking for, you might try searching for the article title. However, you can also "Browse Specific Issues," but the database does not let you scan through the pages of the newspaper. Instead, you will see the articles and advertisements presented as clickable links. Choose to view the very first article on the list, and you will see the digitized copy of that particular item. Once on this viewing page, select the "Page View - PDF" tab to see the entire page and have the ability to flip through the full pages in consecutive order. 
  • ProQuest Digitized Newspapers (Wall Street Journal Recent)
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you are searching for a particular date, you can choose to "Browse Issues." This will allow you to narrow down by year, month, and day to the appropriate edition of the newspaper. Otherwise, you can run a targeted search based upon the title of an article.

Washington Post

  • Washington Post UNC access
    • Coverage: 2005 - present
    • Recommended Search Strategy: You may use the search bar to access articles and general subscriber content, as well as archives back to 2005.
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers (Washington Post / Washington Post, Times Herald)
    • Coverage: Dec. 6, 1877 - Dec. 31, 2001
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you know what article you are looking for, you might try searching for the article title. However, you can also "Browse Specific Issues," but the database does not let you scan through the pages of the newspaper. Instead, you will see the articles and advertisements presented as clickable links. Choose to view the very first article on the list, and you will see the digitized copy of that particular item. Once on this viewing page, select the "Page View - PDF" tab to see the entire page and have the ability to flip through the full pages in consecutive order.
  • ProQuest Digitaized Newspapers (Washington Post Recent)
    • Coverage: 2008 - three months ago
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you are searching for a particular date, you can choose to "Browse Issues." This will allow you to narrow down by year, month, and day to the appropriate edition of the newspaper. Otherwise, you can run a targeted search based upon the title of an article.

Locating Regional & Local Newspapers

Locating Regional & Local Newspapers

The following is a list of online databases that provide access to digitized (PDF) versions of older newspapers. The databases in this section cover local newspapers from across the U.S., North Carolina newspapers, and foreign/international newspapers. 

Access Restrictions: Any library patrons can access these databases using a computer terminal that is physically connected to UNC's network. However, these databases are only available for remote use by the UNC Community via login with your Onyen and Password.

U.S. Newspapers

  • Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
    • Description of Database: Chronicling America provides access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages. It is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program, which is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. Many of the newspapers are smaller, local papers with shorter printing periods, so it is a great resource for tracing harder-to-find titles.
    • Useful Features:
      • Newspaper Title Directory, 1690 - Present - This feature allows you to search for newspaper titles and any name changes to that paper over time. The database includes over 140,000 bibliographic title entires. Thus, you can trace the name of a single newspaper over time (as they often change), which can be helpful when doing a cite-check involving a  historic newspaper title.
      • Digitized Newspapers, 1789 - 1922 - Chronicling America currently holds digitized newspapers from 2,097 different titles. However, the digitization coverage is spotty, so you will need to search for your specific date to see if it is included in the collection. You can easily do this by searching for a newspaper title by state, and then selecting the appropriate paper. Once on the newspaper's individual webpage, choose to "Browse Issues" to see which dates/editions have digitized materials.
  • ProQuest Historical Newspapers
    • Description of Database: This database provides access to digitized copies of over one hundred historic newspapers from nearly every state and certain foreign publications.
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you want to view the available newspapers, choose the "Publications" button at the top of the home screen. This will allow you to search through the newspapers in alphabetical order by title. 
  • Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers
    • Description of Database: This database provides access to digitized copies of both urban and rural newspapers in the United States published during the 19th century. Users can view the newspapers in the collection either as full editions or single articles, and all advertisements and illustrations are also visible.
    • Recommended Search Strategy:If you already know the newspaper title, begin your search using the "Publications List" link at the top of the database homepage. On the "Publications List" page, there is an sidebar filter to "Browse Place of Publication," which is a great option if you are looking for titles from a particular location. Note that the coverage for each newspaper included on this database can vary, so make sure to confirm the available dates for each title.
  • America's News - Historical and Current (Newsbank)
    • Description of Database: Newsbank offers access to digitized images of many American local newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries. Coverage varies by state and year, so be sure to check whether the edition that you need is available in image format (PDF).
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you want to search by newspaper title, look for the "Newsbank" headline near the top of the page, and click the "A-Z Source List" link immediately to its right. This will generate a full listing of all available titles, and you can see the coverage period and the format. You can also choose to filter by state, via the map at the bottom of the page.

North Carolina Newspapers

  • America's News - Historical and Current (Newsbank)
    • Description of Database: Newsbank offers access to digitized images of many American local newspapers from the 19th and 20th centuries. Coverage varies by state and year, but they do provide access to ditigitized editions of the Charlotte Observer (1892-1985), the Raleigh News & Observer (1871-1991), and the Greensboro News & Record (1906-1989). This database offers a mix of digitized and HTML editions. 
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you want to search by newspaper title, look for the "Newsbank" headline near the top of the page, and click the "A-Z Source List" link immediately to its right. This will generate a full listing of all available titles, and you can see the coverage period and the format. You can also choose to filter by state, via the map at the bottom of the page. 
  • DigitalNC
    • Description of Database: DigitalNC is a digitization initiative supported by the State Library of North Carolina and UNC. This program offers free digitization services to museums, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions in North Carolina in order to preserve and promote North Carolina historic materials. In particular, DigitalNC focuses on the digitization of community and student newspapers, and currently holds digitized records for over 200 community and student newspapers. This database is unique  because it has digitized copies of rare, lesser-known titles that are typically only available in print. 
    • Recommended Search Strategy: Once inside the "Newspapers" collection, users can choose to search by title of publication or by area of publication. Each newspaper title's individual page will highlight the dates of coverage for which the database has digitized copies.
  • NC Newspaper Locator
    • Description of Database: This is NOT a source for digitized newspapers, but it does provide a catalog of all North Carolina newspaper microfilm holdings at the Government & Heritage Library inside the State Library of North Carolina. The focus of this collection is state and local titles based in North Carolina, with coverage dating back to the 18th century.
    • Recommended Search Strategy: You can filter this catalog list by county, town, date range, or newspaper title. This catalog reports what is available in microfilm, but it does NOT have any online access.
  • Newspapers.com
    • Description of Database: Newspapers.com provides access to over 1000 historic newspapers from North Carolina. This is a great database for locating digitized copies of lesser-known and local North Carolina newspapers. The database includes digitized copies of newspapers from the mid-1700s to the present.
    • Recommended Search Strategy: From the home page, choose to view "Papers." Once on this page, you can filter to see only those newspapers within the UNC Libraries subscription and can also apply filters for location and date of publication. Note, however, that the database does not offer complete coverage of these newspapers, and in some cases the coverage can be spotty. Ignote the "Recent Clippings" that you will see upon selecting a newspaper title. These are clippings of larger pages that have been made by recent users. Instead, focus on the calendar in the left-hand sidebar that allows you to view entire pages by date.
  • Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers
    • Available Newspapers:
      • Daily Raleigh Register (Feb. 27, 1868 - Mar. 23, 1868)
      • Daily Register (Raleigh) (Nov. 19, 1850 - Dec. 25, 1861)
      • Fayetteville Observer (Aug. 22, 1816 - Dec. 28, 1899)
      • News and Observer (Raleigh) (Sept. 12, 1880 - Dec. 31, 1899)
      • Raleigh Register (Jan. 7, 1800 - Jan. 6, 1886)
    • Recommended Search Strategy: Once you have arrived at the database, choose to search by "Publication List." Then, use the right-column search bar to "Browse Place of Publication." This will allow you to narrow your results to only North Carolina newspapers, and you can then quickly access the needed publication.

Locating Foreign Newspapers

Locating Foreign Newspapers

The following is a list of online databases that provide access to digitized (PDF) versions of foreign newspapers. The databases in this section cover most of the globe, but coverage is very spotty. The most robust collections of digitized foreign newspapers are typically from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. 

NOTE: This list is not exhaustive, and UNC Libraries may have individual subscriptions with specific foreign newspaper publishers that also provide electronic access. A general search in the UNC Library catalog should tell you whether or not UNC has a specific subscription for that title.

Access Restrictions: Any library patrons can access these databases using a computer terminal that is physically connected to UNC's network. However, these databases are only available for remote use by the UNC Community via login with your Onyen and Password.

  • Gale News Vault
    • Description of Database: This database provides access to digitized, foreign newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries. The British newspapers collection is extensive and includes most major titles and also many regional newspapers. In addition to the British collection, this database also provides limited coverage for a number of newspaper titles in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands, New Zealand, Scotland, South African, Sri Lanka, the United States, and Wales. However, outside of the British newspaper titles, coverage is spotty.
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you already know the newspaper title that you are searching for, choose to search by "Publications List." If not, you can also choose to "Browse by Location" or complete a keyword search in the "Advanced Search" feature. Note that keyword searching is probably not the best option, as many of the newspapers are not printed in English.
  • Times (London) Digital Archives
    • Description of Database: This database provides access to high-quality digital scans of The Times (London) from 1785-2010.
    • Recommended Search Strategy: If you already know the specific edition that you need, choose to search by "Publication Date." If not, the keyword searching capabilities in this database are robust and allow for full-text searching of all digitized scans.
  • World Newspaper Archive
    • Description of Database: This database provides access to digitized copies of historical newspapers from around the world. Publications from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia are included in this collection. Newspaper titles from Eastern European and Slavic countries are forthcoming. The majority of available titles are from the 19th and 20th centuries.
    • Recommended Search Strategy: The most efficient ways to search within this database are either by publication name or by geographic location. If you do search by location, the database allows you to filter by using a global map that will narrow down to the titles available for individual countries. Note that the number of newspaper titles available for each of the identified regions varies greatly.