Newspapers provide a record of the people, places and events of the past, allowing today’s users to understand history in the context of what was happening at that time. The Ohio Digital Newspaper Portal provides a variety of resources for users of digitized and historical newspapers to help them better access the vast amount of information available in these primary sources.
- It’s helpful to know which newspapers are available so you know what information you can expect to find. Not every newspaper or even every city or county in Ohio is represented on Chronicling America or Ohio Memory. Not every time period is represented either. To see what Ohio newspapers are currently available, click here.
- Take advantage of search limits such as state, newspaper title and date. Using these limits can help you eliminate results that are irrelevant to your search.
- Use Advanced Search options to ask the search engine to look for your search terms in different ways. Here are a few examples:
- “Any of the words”: Type (without the brackets) <dog cat> to retrieve any page with the word dog, cat or both words.
- “All of the words”: Type (without the brackets) <dog cat> to retrieve any page on which only both words appear.
- “Phrase“/”Exact Phrase“: Type (without the brackets) <”dog cat“> to retrieve pages on which the words appear exactly as you have typed them. This is helpful for looking for specific quotations, sayings, place names or people names.
- Proximity Search: Search for words within 5, 10, 50 or 100 words of one another. Use this to find information about a specific person, place or event. [Only on Chronicling America.]
- “None of the words”: Type (without the brackets) <dog> to eliminate any search results on which the word dog appears. [Only on Ohio Memory.]
- When selecting your search terms, be sure to use contemporary vocabulary! The words we use today to describe the people, places and events of the past are not always the same as the words that people living at that time – those people reading and writing the news – would have used. For example, the country we know today as Thailand was called Siam until 1939. If you did a search for <Thailand> in Chronicling America (which contains only newspapers published before 1923), you would get few or no relevant results. Use the search term <Siam> to get the results you want.
For additional search tips, check out our collection of subject guides. These were developed by the National Digital Newspaper Program in Ohio
to introduce you to topics that were widely reported on by the Ohio press of the time. Modeled after Chronicling America‘s Recommended Topics
(created and maintained by the Library of Congress
), each guide provides a list of significant dates, search tips and strategies as well as links to sample articles. This is also a great way to browse historical newspapers if you don’t have a particular search topic in mind.