Access Historic Newspapers Online – Free!

I love researching in historic newspapers. Being able to read the news that was occurring where and when my ancestors lived is incredible. You can get a feel for what was important  to them, prices for goods they may have purchased, weather conditions, disasters, crop successes and failures, and of course, the genealogy information printed in the newspapers.

Each state has one state newspaper archive and in Oregon it is the University of Oregon. There you will find microfilm and digital images of Oregon newspapers. It is a wonderful resource for genealogists. You have to check out their website at http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/

The Oregon Digital Newspaper Program (ODNP) is digitizing historic newspapers and making them available online for free. They are concentrating on newspapers published from 1860 to 1922 during the first phase which started in 2009. There are more than 180,000 pages available at this writing. You can read more about the ODNP at http://libweb.uoregon.edu/diglib/odnp/.

The Oregon Newspaper Project: Oregon Newspapers on Microfilm, by County is a list of newspapers organized by county. The list is being cataloged and the online list does not include all newspapers. You can contact them by phone or email to see if a newspaper you are searching for is in their collection. Microfilm may be viewed at the UO Knight Library on the Eugene campus, or requested through interlibrary loan for viewing at your local library. Details are available at http://libweb.uoregon.edu/govdocs/micro/titles.html.

Here is an example of the microfilm listing for the Daily Astorian.

Astoria. DAILY ASTORIAN (-1883). OCLC: 35655683. Daily (except Mon). Reels: 12 covering 4/30/1874-12/29/1883. Continued by DAILY MORNING ASTORIAN (1883-1899) Related to WEEKLY ASTORIAN (-)

You can read it as:  City. TITLE (Starting Year-Ending Year). OCLC: number. Frequency by Publisher. Reels: Quantity covering Dates. Related TITLES. (OCLC is a worldwide library cooperative and the UO is a member and uses their numbering system.)

The UO also has the Oregon Newspaper Index which is currently home to The Portland Oregonian index of 839,000+ records covering 1859 – 1987,  30,000+ records for The Register-Guard for 1963 – 2004, and the Oregon Daily Emerald, 1900 – 1979, with 102,000+ records.  Check out these indexes at http://libweb.uoregon.edu/govdocs/indexing/.

The Library of Congress has digitized newspapers from 1836 – 1922 online at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/. There are 4,674,487 images available. I found 17 newspapers with digital images listed for Oregon. The oldest newspaper listed was The New Northwest, published in Portland from 1871 – 1887. You can also find a list of newspapers, by title, for the United States, 1690 – present, at http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/titles/. There are currently 140,115 titles. A search for newspapers in Oregon returned 1,400 results, the earliest date I found (in a quick search) was 1846. You will not find all of these newspapers at the Library of Congress, but you will find information on how to access the them.

Even thought they have discontinued adding newspapers , Google still has the historic newspapers available at http://news.google.com/newspapers#. You will find an alphabetical list of newspapers and the years they have available. They have 1,379 issues of the Heppner Gazette-Times, beginning with Volume 46, Number 42 published on January 2, 1930 through the April 15, 2009 issue.

Take a few minutes to check out these websites and see what genealogy clues might be hiding just a few keystrokes away.

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About oregon genealogy

Oregon Genealogical Society was formed September 22, 1962 in Eugene, Oregon to promote genealogical research, education, and to create a genealogy library. In 2012 we will celebrate our 50th anniversary. Our research library has more than 10,000 genealogy books, periodicals, and microforms. Check us out at www.oregongenealogicalsociety.org.
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