Thursday, March 15, 2012

Library Offers Online Historical Newspapers

--by Peg White

The Copper Queen Library is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our new digital newspaper collection. Titled America’s Historical Newspapers and providing access to over 1,000 newspapers from 1690-1922, this collection is provided free to CQL patrons.

America’s Historical Newspapers is the most comprehensive digital newspaper resource available. Created through partnerships with the American Antiquarian Society, the Library of Congress, the Wisconsin Historical Society and more than 90 other institutions, it offers searchable digital facsimiles of thousands of titles from all 50 states, including Arizona. With eyewitness reporting, editorials, letters, advertisements, and obituaries and more, this collection uniquely chronicles the evolution of American culture and daily life from 1690 to the recent past.

The America’s Historical Newspapers database enables library patrons to easily search and browse archived news articles, editorials, reviews, birth and marriage announcements, obituaries, and a variety of special sections. Patrons can use this resource for general reference or to research local and national issues, events, people, government, education, arts, business, sports, real estate, and much more.

As the first draft of history, American newspapers have preserved essential records and detailed accounts of the people, issues and events that shaped the nation for hundreds of years. In the 1800s, American newspapers were often published by small-town printers and reflected the interests and values of the communities they served. But as the country grew and changed, so too did its newspapers. In the 19th century, the number of titles published rose dramatically, and newspapers were transformed by an increasing emphasis on society, industry, scientific advances, investigative journalism, and human-interest stories. By the early 20th century, nearly every town in the United States had its own newspaper – and many of the stories from those local newspapers were picked up regionally or even nationally (as a search of “Bisbee, Arizona” will show, for example: “Explosion at the Denn Mine: Eight Thousand Pounds of Dynamite Go off No One Killed;” Duluth News-Tribune, January 6, 1907, page 7).

With America’s Historical Newspapers, national and local history truly come alive. Search for “George Washington” or “Paul Revere” or “witchcraft,” “Spanish influenza” or “prohibition” or “Bisbee stage robbery” and see stories as they actually appeared in newspapers around the country (and all the other stories and ads that appeared on the same page!).

America’s Historical Newspapers can be searched on library workstations or on home computers by Dates & Eras, Article Types, Languages, Places of Publication, and/or Newspaper Titles. To get started, visit the library’s web page and click the America’s Historical Newspapers button (home users will be asked to sign in with their library barcode).

For more information, please contact the Copper Queen Library at 432-4232.