To find books on the history of St. Petersburg, note that, in the Online Catalog, St. Petersburg is not abbreviated, so use "Saint Petersburg" in your subject search.
You'll quickly realize that, in order to use a newspaper as a primary source, there's much you need to know about the newspapers of your time period and place. Newspapers and the very concept of "news" have been in almost constant change since the earliest newspapers were published. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the pace of change drastically accelerated. Newspapers also vary by country and region.
Despite its age, Frank Luther Mott's American Journalism; A History, 1690-1960 remains, arguably, the best and easiest to use general overview of American newspaper history. Another work useful in guiding your interpretation of historical newspapers is Kevin G. Bernhurst and John Nerone's The Form of News: A History, which emphasizes large scale and interrelated changes in newspaper format, business models, and the concept of news, rather than particular incidents or personalities.
For American newspapers in the early years of the period covered by this course, consult The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833, by Carol Sue Humphrey, which provides a short, broad overview, with an emphasis on the political side of newspaper publishing. The Popular Press, 1833-1865 by William E. Huntzicker extends Humphrey's history another thirty years. Like Humphrey, Huntzicker provides a broad overview. For social history treatments of journalism and news, two highly regarded works are Discovering the News: a Social History of American Newspapers by Michael Schudson (first sixty pages cover this era), and Journalistic Standards in Nineteenth-Century America by Hazel Dicken-Garcia.
For the American political parties of this era, see Political Parties in a New Nation: The American Experience, 1776-1809 by William Nisbet Chambers, The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era by Richard P. McCormick, and The Third Electoral System, 1853-1892: Parties, Voters, and Political Culture by Paul Kleppner. On the relationship between the political parties and newspapers, see The Press, Politics, and Patronage : the American Government's Use of Newspapers, 1789-1875 by Culver H. Smith.
To find books about the newspapers of a specific country, search in the Online Catalog for the following relevant subject term:
If you are using the Online Catalog Advanced Search, then you can combine one of the above search terms with the name of a city to find books about newspapers from that city. For example: "American newspapers" AND "New York". Be sure to search for your terms in the "Subject field"; using the default "Keyword" will massively over-retrieve.
Note also that subject terms like "United States" AND "newspapers", or "Germany" AND "newspapers" will retrieve records for actual newspapers from the country searched. To find books about newspapers from these countries, you must search using the subject terms listed above.
The following bibliographies and directories vary in the amount of information they provide, but are outstanding sources of information: