Today I’m going to share a resource I frequently use: Google Newspaper Archive. I use it to access The Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, Iowa). Since I’m nowhere near Dubuque, I love that this information is available for free. I use this resource all the time to access one newspaper. It works for me, and I am well aware of the archive’s limitations. I think the best word to describe Google Newspaper Archive is quirky. It’s certainly not fully-fleshed out and functioning. But it helps me, and perhaps it will help you.
Has Google posted every newspaper?
Don’t be silly. Of course not. I’m not sure how the newspapers were chosen for inclusion in the list.
Is Google Newspaper Archive easy to use?
Depends. If the newspaper name is distinctive and the date needed to search is known, then the answer is yes. Otherwise, probably not. Here’s a snapshot of some of the “W” newspapers.
Does this seem like a helpful list? NO. Other than the title of the newspaper, such as The Weekend Herald or The Weekly Times, Google posts no other descriptive data to help identify the town, county, state or country the paper is/was published in. Helpful this is not.
I’m lucky since Google lists the name of the newspaper as The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald. Otherwise, I may never have found it.
But the Search Tool rocks, right?
Um, you’d think? To search or “Google it,” it’s hit or miss. Quirky is a very generous description of the search function, which is ironic since finding things is how Google built its reputation. Some articles returned through search are pay-to-view.
I’ve never paid for an article though. For example, Google says that The Telegraph Herald available are from Oct. 27, 1901 – Dec. 20, 1931. But that’s not accurate since I’ve accessed papers up to 2003. I note the date, and then navigate through the newspaper myself since Google provides backdoor ways to access articles that aren’t available through the main navigation.
So don’t give up if you use this resource!