Q. Tips for searching online newspapers

Answered By: Kathryn Ray
Last Updated: Feb 06, 2023     Views: 74

Please note that the app version of current newspapers often have different content and headlines from the print version.

Many databases have their own tips. Here is an example from ProQuest Historic Newspaper Searches

When searching online databases of newspapers, keep in mind that there are not subject headings or keywords assigned to each article.  You will retrieve only the articles containing your exact search terms.  For example:

If you are trying to find an article about someone you know as "Gene Smith" and in the news he is referred to as Eugene A. Smith, searching for Gene Smith will not retrieve the article. Similarly, if you are searching for an article on Ida B. Wells-Barnett and you type Ida B. Wells, you may not retrieve what you need,

If you search for Ku Klux Klan, you will not retrieve articles that just call it "The Klan"

Newspapers are notorious for misspelling people's names.  You might be searching for Regenia but the reporter wrote Regena.

Many databases allow you to filter by type of article.  Unless you specifically want ads and announcements, you might want to select the filter for "articles."

Also limit your search by date.

In searching for names, middle initials can be tricky.  You might want to use the Boolean operator OR to cover all possibilities. For example: ("Harry S. Truman" OR "Harry Truman" OR Pres. Truman OR President Truman).  If you use OR be certain to enclose your synonyms in parentheses.




Related Topics