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Welcome to the GSU Library Newspapers Guide!

Tips for Searching in Newspaper Databases

When you are searching in a newspaper database, you are typically searching in the full text of the newspaper.

This means that your search terms may show up in the title, any subtitles, and in the full text of any article included in that database. This can be very helpful, but it can also mean that you'll need to pay careful attention to the titles of the articles that turn up in your results to make sure you're finding relevant results. (Example: if you're looking for articles about coronavirus/covid, many articles nowadays may include a throwaway line like "in this era of covid..." but be about something completely different.)

When searching in newspaper databases, you should think about what terms/words are most likely to have been used
at the time of the event/topic you are researching.

A newspaper database's Advanced Search option will have various ways to limit your search, including:

  • Date of publication: look for a dropdown next to "Publication date" for publication-date options; you can select a range of dates as needed.
  • Type of article: some newspaper databases will let you search by article type (editorial, front-page article, obituary, etc.). This can be helpful, but it can also be limiting, so be sure to also try your search without using these limiters, too, so you aren't missing other kinds of articles that might be useful
  • Subject/topic:
    • Current-news databases are more likely to also have an option to search by subject. This option is usually in the Advanced Search option, and will either be in a dropdown box next to the search boxes, or in the body of the Advanced Search page. 
    • Historical news databases are less likely to have a subject search option. If you are researching a historical topic in newspapers, be aware that you may encounter problematic/offensive language; these terms may be useful for searching, but should be understood as historical terms and not terms to be used casually. 

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You can also limit your search results in various ways once you've gotten to a list of results.
Look for a menu on the left-hand side of the page with various options for limiting your results.

Using GIL to Find Historical Newspapers

Use the Journals tab on the GSU Library homepage to search for historical periodical holdings.

Keep the "All Journals" button selected. This will tell you if we have the journal in paper or in microfilm.

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Searching the GSU Library for Historical Newspapers

To see if the GSU Library provides access to a particular periodical (newspaper, magazine, or journal), follow these steps:

  • From the library's homepage, click on Library Catalog under Shortcuts.
  • Click on Advanced Search (to the right of the main search box)
  • Click Title in the dropdown menu under Any field
  • Select Journals in the dropdown under Format
  • Type the periodical title in the search box (selecting starts with instead of contains is a more effective search if you know the periodical's name)

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Using Center for Research Libraries to find Historical Newspapers

The Center for Research Libraries holds many international historical newspapers in microfilm or microform format.

Click on the "Newspapers" tab and then select a country to browse holdings for that country.

If a newspaper is held on microform (that is, microfilm or microfiche) at the Center for Research Libraries, you can place an Interlibrary Loan order for a specific date range. Use the "Other (Free Text)" request to request microform copies of newspapers or journals.

Using WorldCat to Find Newspapers

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>

WorldCat is a database that searches libraries worldwide, including books, audiovisual materials, periodicals (magazines and newspapers), and archival materials. You can request many of the items in WorldCat using Interlibrary Loan.

Use Advanced Search to limit searches by author, title, and/or format.

WorldCat will also indicate if a digital version of the newspaper is available. More often than not, it will be available behind a paywall (and the GSU Library may or may not provide access) and/or only be limited to recent issues. But WorldCat may also link to a freely available version, so it's worth clicking to see whether the digital version is free or not. 

If you are looking for periodicals, look for records including the word "microform" or "microfilm." Most libraries will not lend out bound copies of periodicals, but many will lend microfilm versions.

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Requesting Microfilm via Interlibrary Loan

When requesting microform copies through Interlibrary Loan, use the "Book" request option and include periodical title, dates needed, and note that you are requesting microfilm.