Databases of the week: Historical Newspaper databases at the Stanford Libraries

December 9, 2019
Benjamin Lee Stone
Chronicling America. Library of Congress

Over the last 25 years, the digitization of newspaper archives has opened up a host of historical sources by providing access to a wealth of content previously available only in print or microform, simultaneously enabling new methods of searching and analysis, including text-mining capabilities. 


The Stanford Libraries have access to a wide range of historical newspaper sources, both through commercial vendors and non-profit projects. This blog post touches on some of these resources, with a particular focus on newspapers published in English, and chiefly in the U.S. and the U.K. 


Proquest News


ProQuest News offers a variety of news content, through aggegrated databases such as Alt-Press Watch, Ethnic NewsWatch, GenderWatch, US Hispanic Newsstand, many of which focus on independent news sources and contain material that is both historical and current.  ProQuest News also provides access to  individual titles through its ProQuest Historical Newspaper Series, of which Stanford has acquired many titles, including the New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles TimesNew York Herald Tribune/Herald TribuneBoston GlobeChicago Tribune, and many other papers of record.   Additionally, the ProQuest Historical Newspapers line contains many African-American neewspapers, including the Chicago DefenderPittsburgh Courier, and New York Amsterdam News; a suite of American Jewish newspapers, and selected international titles such as the Times of India, the Guardian/Observer, and the Korea Times


Gale NewsVault 


 Gale’s NewsVault is an especially rich resource for digitized newspaper and periodical content from the UK, and includes a host of titles from the 17th century to the present, including the 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection of Newspapers; 19th Century British Library Newspapers, Parts I and II; 19th Century UK Periodicals, Series I: New Readerships; 19th Century UK Periodicals, Series II: Empire; 19th Century U.S. Newspapers; The Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2006; the Economist Historical Archive, 1846-2006Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003Penny Illustrated Paper; Times (London) Digital Archive 1785-1985; and Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive 1902-2005.


Newsbank Access World News


For recent historical newspaper (as well as other news sources) content from around the world, Newsbank’s Access World News provides a wealth of content, chiefly from the mid 1980s to the present.  It provides full-text information and perspectives from over 600 U.S. and over 700 international sources, each with its own distinctive focus offering diverse viewpoints on local, regional and world issues. Date coverage varies with individual newspaper. Also includes thousands of broadcast transcripts, newswires, video clips, and news blogs. 


Readex: America’s Historical Newspapers 


For a deep dive into historical American newspapers (chiefly published before 1922), America’s Historical Newspapers, published by Newsbank, contains thousands of titles in multiple modules (many sourced from the holdings of the American Antiquarian Society), including several modules comprising Hispanic American newspapers, African American newspapers, and Ethnic American newspapers (in multiple languages) from the Balch Collection at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 


Chronicling America


Produced by the National Digital Newspaper Project, a partnership between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Chronicling America makes thousands of titles in the public domain freely available to users.   Partnering with state organizations, the project’s goal is to make content available from all U.S. states and territories.