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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

RLST 235/HIST 239: History of Religion in America

Course guide

Historical Online Newspapers


Among the historical major metropolitan dailies available online to the UIUC community are the Historical New York Times (1851-2003), the Historical Wall Street Journal (1889-1989), the Historical Chicago Tribune (1849-1985), the Historical Chicago Defender (1910-1975), the Historical Washington Post (1877-1991) and the Historical Los Angeles Times (1881-1985). These are digital facsimiles of the originals and are keyword searchable. All of these are available from the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site under Quick Links.

The Archive of Americana includes the full text of all titles listed in Early American Imprints, series I (1639-1800) and Early American Imprints, series II (1801-1819), the U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1817-1980), American State Papers (1789-1838), and America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876. There are options for searching both by keyword and subject term (e.g., “Slave Trade”) in Early American Imprints. You can search across the full text of several hundred early American newspapers in America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1876, or you can limit your search to newspapers published in a particular state, among other options.

American Periodical Series Online is an important collection of 1,100 periodicals, published between 1741 and 1900. A few newspapers are included, such as the National Police Gazette. The articles in the database are fully searchable by keyword, but there is no subject indexing, so you have to be careful to construct your searches using the language of the original articles. To get to American Periodical Series Online, go to “Quick Links” on the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library web site.

African-American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century provides the full text (in transcribed form) of seven African-American newspapers published between 1827 and 1876: Freedom’s Journal, Colored American, North Star, National Era, Provincial Freeman, Christian Recorder, and Frederick Douglass Paper (which continues North Star). This database offers only the transcribed text of the original newspapers, not a digital facsimile of the original. It is available on the Library’s Online Research Resources page or through the link to Historical Newspapers under Quick Links on the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site.

Nineteenth Century U.S. Newspapers offers about 700 newspapers as fully searchable digital facsimiles. For many of these titles, only a handful of issues are available, while for others, several decades' worth of issues are included. The database is available through the link to "Historical Newspapers" under Quick Links on the HPNL web site.

There are many projects underway to digitize historic U.S. and foreign newspapers, and over the next decade many newspapers will become available on the web. There is a comprehensive listing of projects on the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library web site, under Historical Newspapers Online.