Database Highlight: ProQuest Historical Newspapers
By Lynn Parliman, Head of Serials and Electronic Resources
Historical Newspaper Databases
Historical newspaper content is unique in that it allows users to experience the news as it was written and within the context in which it was made. Much of our history and culture is recorded in these newspapers and many times they provide a record of information not likely to be found elsewhere. Using this primary source material is a great way to explore a wide range of global, national, and local subjects from different time periods and geographic locations.
Fordham Libraries provide access to the digitized newspaper archives of four highly respected U.S. national and regional newspapers. Every issue of each title includes the complete paper with full-text and full-image articles dating back to the 1800’s. Included are front-page headlines, classified ads, death announcements, comic strips, display advertising, editorials, and many other article types. Explore a selection of our historical newspaper databases below.
Known as “America’s Newspaper” for more than a century, The New York Times also has a strong international readership. The world news and personal stories captured by this Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper for nearly 170 years allow researchers to browse and search the definitive record of the day. Incorporated into the digitized newspaper is the historic New York Times Index. The digitized Index lets users search on and view terms exactly as they appeared in the New York Times print index and newspaper articles.
The Washington Post is known for its comprehensive political reporting, first-rate photo essays, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writing, and unmatched investigative reporting. Beginning in the 1940s, the newspaper featured editorial cartoonist Herbert L. Block (“Herblock”), who used his drawings to express indignation with political leaders. This newspaper is perhaps most famous for a series of stories that began with a break-in at the Watergate office complex in 1972.
Chronicle of a century of America’s westward expansion, the Los Angeles Times covers the vast development of the American West. As the railroads connect the coasts for the first time and immigrants arrive from China, Japan, and Mexico, major industries such as shipbuilding, citrus crops, aviation, and moviemaking prosper. Popular sporting events such as the first Super Bowl and two Olympic Games take place, and all these events are captured and reproduced for a glimpse of life in this area of the country.
In 1889, Dow Jones & Company first published The Wall Street Journal (formerly known as the Customers’ Afternoon Letter) and it has grown into a comprehensive news outlet for global business, economics, consumer affairs, and trends and issues. Included in this publication are unique reports, exclusive analysis, agenda- setting editorials, and controversial opinions. Researchers also can study the charts, stock tables, graphics, and illustrations featured throughout.
Fordham Libraries also provide access to the ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Black Newspapers collection, made up of the most distinguished African American newspapers in the United States.
Each of the ten newspapers included in this database provides researchers with unprecedented access to information excluded or marginalized in mainstream sources. The content, including articles, obituaries, photos, editorials, and more, is easily accessible for scholars in the study of the history of race relations, journalism, local and national politics, education, African American studies, and many multidisciplinary subjects.
Researchers can study major movements from the Harlem Renaissance to Civil Rights, and explore everyday life as written in the following historical newspapers: Atlanta World 1931-2003, Baltimore Afro-American 1893-1988, Chicago Defender 1909-1975, Cleveland Call and Post 1934-1991, Los Angeles Sentinel 1934-2005, Michigan Chronicle 1936-2010, New York Amsterdam News 1922-1993, Norfolk Journal and Guide 1916-2003, Philadelphia Tribune 1912-2001, and Pittsburgh Courier 1911-2002.
All of these historical newspapers are cross-searchable on the ProQuest platform. Find the links from the Library Databases A-Z list, Newspapers Subject box. Check the Publications link in each database for exact coverage dates.
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