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Various online resources provide access to full text and/or full-page image of a wide range of periodicals and newspapers from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and/or 20th century. You may find it helpful to start out your research broadly in one of the resources for Multi-Database Searching.
Selected Noteworthy Full-Text Databases provides more specificity in describing individual resources.
Indexes have been designed as guides to help you identify articles by their subject matter. Even in an environment in which many periodicals and newspapers are accessible full text, you may find that indexes will refresh your understanding of how specific subjects have been approached and understood. They might also enhance your ability to identify relevant articles.
Bibliographies and Histories can provide you with useful context about the periodicals and newspapers you are discovering in your research.
Finally, you will find advice on Using CLIO to identify Additional Resources.
The following platforms provide access to databases that focus primarily on older materials. Although these older materials are in a variety of formats (books, newspapers, periodicals, etc.), each platform provides options that will allow you to limit your search to newspapers and/or periodicals.
Contains a wide range of primary-source collections drawn mainly from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Offers the option, in opening screen, of limiting search by “Publication Type: Newspapers and Magazines.” Collections include: African-American Newspapers (key titles 1827-1909); American Military Camp Newspapers (World War I); Civil War newspapers; South Carolina Newspapers; and key newspapers and periodicals advocating for Women’s Suffrage. A few of the noteworthy titles included here are: Frank Leslie’s Weekly; Frederick Douglass' Paper; Godey’s Lady’s Book, and The Pennsylvania Gazette.
Gale. Primary sources
An integrated research environment that allows users to search across all of their Gale primary source collections. To limit your search, select Product Categories, then select Newspapers and Periodicals. Databases cross searchable in that category include: American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society; and Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers. Many resources that are British in focus are also included, such as: Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals.
Allows you to search across over 50 databases containing full text and page image of publications from the 17th through the late 20th century. Includes periodicals, newspapers, books, pamphlets, ephemera, and government documents. The pull down menu in the opening search screen allows you to select from among a variety of American newspaper and periodical databases: African American Periodicals; America's Historical Newspapers (which includes Ethnic American Newspapers and Hispanic American Newspapers); and American Underworld: The Flash Press.
Below I have listed full-text databases that are noteworthy either for A.) their extent and breadth of coverage; or B.) their relevance to current known areas of research interest in American history.
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, Series 1 (Readex)
African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, Series 2
"Provides online access to more than 350 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African-American experience. This unique collection, which includes historically significant papers from more than 35 states, features many rare 19th-century titles." Based upon James P. Danky's African-American Newspapers and Periodicals.
Magazine Archives (Ebsco)
Each archive provides indexing, abstracting, full text, and page images for the magazine listed. Coverage begins with the first issue and extends up at least as far as 2000. Some of the key titles are:
Architectural Digest Magazine Archive (1922 to 2011)
Bloomberg Businessweek Archive (1929 to 2000)
Forbes Magazine Archive (1917 to 2000)
Fortune Magazine Archive (1930 to 2000)
Life Magazine Archive (1936 to 2000)
The New Republic Archive (1914-2020)
Sports Illustrated Magazine Archive (1954 to 2000)
Time Magazine Archive (1923 to 2000)
NOTE: In order to search any of these magazines in combination with one or more of the others: go to EbscoHost Research Databases; select "Choose Databases"; deselect all; then choose the desired Archive titles.
Full-text and full-image, dating back to their first issues, for more than thirty five newspapers. Some of the key U.S. titles are: Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945); Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003); Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988); Boston Globe (1872-1927); Chicago Tribune (1849-1987), Hartford Courant (1764-1985); Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005); Los Angeles Times (1881-1987); New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993); New York Times (1851-2006); The New York Tribune (1841-1962); The Wall Street Journal (1889-1992), and The Washington Post (1877-1993). Also includes some newspapers published in Britain--such as The Guardian (1821-2003) and The Observer (1791-2003).
NOTE: To limit your search to one or more of the newspapers: Click on "Select Multiple Databases" in the main search screen; click twice on "Select All" to clear selections; then scroll down to "Proquest Historical Newspapers:" and select titles as desired.
Indexes are designed to help researchers identify where articles meeting certain criteira (subject, author, title, etc.) have been published in periodicals and/or newspapers. With so many full-text resources available (as listed in box above), why would you want to use an index? Sometimes indexes can help you find things that you were overlooking in a full-text resource. Or sometimes they might cover titles that are not included in a full-text resource. They are one more tool that an inventive researcher will want to explore. It is also the case that many databases that have traditionally been understood as indexes have increasingly been providing access to full text of articles through the e-Link feature.
For a fuller listing and discussion of periodical and newspaper guides and/or indexes, see:
Bibliographies and histories can provide you with varying degrees of information about specific periodicals or newspapers and/or about the periodical press as a whole in a given time period. Some major examples of such works would be:
Many specialized bibliographies, which list and describe certain types of periodical publications, are also available. Some examples are listed below. Note that the base call number they share--R016.051--identifies a good area of Butler Reference (Room 310, Alcove 5) to browse for similar resources.
A. More databases:
Here is a full and current list of databases in CLIO that include the word “newspapers” in their title or description.
Here is a full and current list of databases in CLIO that include the word “periodical* OR "magazine” in their title.
Note: Although most of the databases listed through CLIO search links above are likely to be full text, a few may not be.
B. Information about Periodicals and Newspapers
Books and other information resources about periodicals and newspapers can be searched in CLIO using the appropriate subject headings.
Select "Subject" from the pull-down "Search" box menu in the Basic Searching screen of CLIO.
Based on your interests, you could enter a search for: american periodicals
or a search for: american newspapers
We will use "american periodicals" as our example. Once you have done your subject search in CLIO, you can open some of the CLIO records, look at the Subject field, and start to find some of the more specific refinements of the basic subject heading "american periodicals."
Here are some examples of subject headings that have been expanded out from the base heading "american periodicals."
American periodicals > Bibliography.
American periodicals > Directories.
American periodicals > History.
American periodicals > Indexes.
You will also find subject headings relevant to American Periodicals that do not begin with the base heading "american periodicals." For example: