Newspaper Archives

Searching History…For Free!

Newspaper archives with their collections of millions of old newspaper articles have always been a treasure trove for historical research. But in pre-digital days, finding the treasure meant hours (or days) going through dusty stacks, scrolling through rolls of microfilm, scanning endless headlines, articles and photo captions, and usually turning up…not very much.

The world has changed! Two and a half centuries of historical newspaper articles can now be searched with ease. In seconds, you can pull up vintage articles on your grandfather’s grocery store, your great grandparents’ marriage record, wanted notices for Jesse James, advertisements for a Ford Model T, or dramatic stories on the sinking of the Titanic.

Fare the well, Titanic, fare the well


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Historical researchers quickly become familiar with commercial newspaper archives like Proquest, Readex, Newsbank, and the like, but these are high-priced, institutional subscription services, and not everyone can get ready access to them.

A much more accessible and affordable subscription service for vintage newspaper articles is…one of the largest digital newspaper collections in existence.  I use them constantly for family ancestry and historical research, and recommend them highly. It’s especially useful for small town news, or the local perspective on worldly events.

Increasingly, there are digital archives of old newspapers available to everyone at no charge…if you know where to look. Many of them are squirreled away in odd corners of the internet, but they’re well-worth knowing about.

I’ve arranged my collection of hundreds of free newspaper archive links into several categories:

I hope you make good use of these links. If you know of another resource that should be included, find a broken link, or just want to chat, go ahead and drop me a line in the Contact Us form on the right.

Did you know? has its own deep collection of newspaper archives.