Finding Articles from the 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Century in American Periodicals & Newspapers

Resources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.

This page is designed to provide researchers with information that will help them to choose between a wide range of resources for identifying, locating, or accessing periodical and newspaper articles from the 18th, 19th, or early 20th centuries.

Online Full-Text Resources

  • Accessible Archives
    A set of databases that can be searched individually or simultaneously. The focus is on periodicals and newspapers in the Eighteenth Century (Pennsylvania Gazette) and the Nineteenth Century (African-American Newspapers, Godey's Lady's Book, and Civil-War newspapers). Also includes specialized databases of genealogical and industrialization information.
  • African American historical serials collection   (EBSCO)
    "Includes African American periodicals, annuals and reports published from 1829-1922 including materials from African American religious organizations and social service agencies." (from publisher's description)
  • African-American Newspapers, 1827-1998     (Readex)
    Provides online access to approximately 270 U.S. newspapers chronicling a century and a half of the African American experience. This unique collection features papers from more than 35 states—including many rare and historically significant 19th century titles.
  • African American periodicals, 1825-1995    (Readex)
    "Allows users to search more than 170 African American Periodicals published between 1825 and 1995. Created by Readex through a partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society, African American Periodicals enables researchers to explore African American culture, thought and opinion ranging over more than 150 years of African American life." (from publisher's description)
  • American Antiquarian Society (AAS) Historical Periodicals Collection    (EBSCO)
    Provides full-text searchability and full-page-image access to periodicals from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society, one of the premier repositories in the United States. Currently includes series 1 (over 500 titles dating from 1691 through 1820) and series 2 (over 1,000 titles dating from 1821 through 1837) out of a five series collection. Series 3-5 (covering 1838-1877) are forthcoming and will be added to this site when they become available.  The subject matter covered in AAS Periodicals is broad in scope and covers most aspects of American society during the time period.
  • American Periodicals     (ProQuest)
    "Includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century. Titles range from Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine and America's first scientific journal, Medical Repository; popular magazines such as Vanity Fair and Ladies' Home Journal; regional and niche publications; and groundbreaking journals like The Dial, Puck, and McClure's." Also includes a substantial number of trade, or professional, journals.
  • America's historical newspapers : including Early American newspapers series, 1-7, 1690-1922; African-American newspapers, 1827-1998; and Hispanic American newspapers, 1808-1980    (Readex)
    Provides fully searchable digital facsimiles of nearly 2,000 newspaper titles from all 50 states.
  • Ethnic American newspapers from the Balch collection, 1799-1971 (Readex)
    "Enables users to search more than 130 Ethnic American newspapers published in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. Created in partnership with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. . . ." (from publisher's description)
  • Gerritsen Collection: Women's History Online, 1543-1945
    Full-text collection of books and periodicals relating to the history of women, women's rights, and women's suffrage. The bulk of materials fall within 1880-1920.
  • HarpWeek
    Page images and searchable full text of Harper's Weekly, the popular illustrated American magazine, for the period 1856-1912. Detailed searchable subject index.
  • Historical Black Newspapers 
    A subset of Proquest Historical Newspapers (see listing below). Full-text and full-image access to the following newspapers: Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988),  Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), and Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002).
    NOTE: To include other historical databases in your search, or to remove one or more of the above newspapers from your search: Click on "Select Multiple Databases" in the main search screen, scroll down to "Historical Databases," and select or de-select items as desired.
    Searchable full text, displayed as page images only, for more than 120 key scholarly journals from their earliest issue up to about five years ago.
  • Making of America
    Searchable full text of thousands of pages of text from U.S. books and periodicals of the late 19th and early 20th-century.
  • The Nation
    Searchable full text, displayed as page images only, for a leading American left-liberal journal, 1865-1999.
  • 19th Century U.S. Newspapers
    Searchable database containing digital facsimile images of newspapers, presented as full page layout as well as single articles. Advertisements and illustrations are included. This collection includes numerous newspapers from a range of urban and rural regions throughout the U.S.; and it encompasses the entire 19th century.
  • Periodicals Archive Online
    Focus: American, British, and European
    Archive of hundreds of digitised journals published in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and areas of general popular interest. Each periodical is covered back to its first issue, regardless of when it began publication. International in scope, Periodicals Archive Online covers periodicals in a number of Western languages.
  • Proquest Historical Newspapers
    Full-text and full-image articles, dating back to their first issues, for the following American newspapers: Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945), Atlanta Daily World (1931-2003), Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), Boston Globe (1872-1927), Chicago Tribune (1849-1987), Hartford Courant (1764-1985), Los Angeles Sentinel (1934-2005), Los Angeles Times (1881-1987), New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), New York Times (1851-2006), The New York Tribune (1841-1922), Pittsburgh Courier (1911-2002), The Wall Street Journal (1889-1992), The Washington Post (1877-1993). Also includes British newspapers The Guardian (1821-2003) and The Observer (1791-2003).  
    NOTE: To limit your search to one or more of the above newspapers: Click on "Select Multiple Databases" in the main search screen, scroll down to "Historical Databases," and de-select items as desired.


An index will enable you to identify articles published in periodicals and/or newspapers.

Online Indexes

  • Nineteenth-Century Masterfile
    Integrates a number of indexes to nineteenth-century printed material into one database. Includes: Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1906), and other general periodical indexes; New York Daily Tribune Index (1875-1906), New York Times Index (1863-1905), and other indexes devoted to specific newspaper or periodical titles; as well as specialized indexes for law, religion, and government documents.
  • Historical Newspapers Online
    Electronic form of the indexes to the London Times and the New York Times. Currently covers the London Times beginning 1790 and the New York Times beginning 1851.
  • PAIS Archive
    Includes references to more than 700,000 journal articles, books, hearings, reports, gray literature, government publications, and other English-language materials from around the world, originally published in the PAIS Bulletin, 1915-1976. Subjects covered include: demography, economic conditions, energy resources, environmental studies, government, human rights, international affairs, media, political science, and public policy.
  • Readers Guide Retrospective
    Coverage: 1890-1982. Provides citations to articles in popular and general-interest periodicals.

Print Indexes

  • Writings on American History, 1902-1989/90.
    Location: BUTLER STACKS
    Call Number: Z1236 .L331
    Lists books and articles on American history.

To Identify Additional Relevant Indexes

For a fuller listing and discussion of periodical and newspaper guides and/or indexes, see:

  • Balay, Robert. Early periodical indexes : bibliographies and indexes of literature published in periodicals before 1900. (Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2000)
    Butler Reference R016.05 B18
  • Prucha, Francis Paul. Handbook for Research in American History, 2nd ed. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1994), 50-61, 73-80.
    Butler Reference Desk R016.973 P951

Bibliographies & Histories

Bibliographies and histories can provide you with varying types and degrees of information about specific periodicals or newspapers and/or about the periodical press as a whole in a given time period. Some major examples of such works would be:

  • Danky, James P. and Maureen E. Hady. African-American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press)
    “A guide to more than 6500 titles by and about African Americans.” Includes key information such as: where a title has been indexed (if it has been indexed); if the title has been microfilmed; libraries known to hold the title, etc.
  • Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, 5 vols. (New York, London, D. Appleton 1930-1968)
    BUTLER STACKS PN4877 .M63 1930

Using CLIO to Identify Additional Resources

Books and other information resources about periodicals and newspapers can be searched in CLIO under the appropriate subject headings.

In the “Basic Search” screen of CLIO:
Select "Subject Heading" from the “In:” box menu.
Enter searches using subject headings as appropriate:

For example:

african american periodicals
african american newspapers

american periodicals
american newspapers

Once you have done your subject search in CLIO:

  • Look at the overall list of entries to see how the subject of "african american periodicals" is broken down. If you are interested in finding more of the types of resources listed on this page, you should be attentive to headings such as:

    african american periodicals--bibliography
    african american periodicals--directories
    african american periodicals--history
    african american periodicals--indexes
  • Click "More Info" next to the "American Periodicals" subject heading to see more specialized subject headings that you may wish to search under, for example:

    children’s periodicals American
    women’s periodicals american