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Where Can I Read Old Newspapers Online?

Old newspapers are an excellent source of historical information. You can read them on dozens of free and open-access newspaper websites, through monthly subscriptions, or at national and state libraries. Whether researching your family history or learning about critical events, we can’t forget the invaluable wealth of knowledge that lies within the pages of old newspapers.

However, the days of paper carriers tossing rolled-up newspapers into your front yard are long gone, so finding old newspapers published hundreds of years ago can be a little bit tricky. Thankfully, the digital era has also brought many online resources to explore and discover these historical documents. 

In this article, we will explore various platforms and repositories that offer the opportunity to delve into the past, uncover forgotten stories, and gain a deeper understanding of our collective history.

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Popular Online Resources For Reading Old Newspapers

Dozens of platforms publish free historic newspapers online. However, some have a more decadent collection of newspaper archives than others. These free online resources include the following.

Google News Archive

Google has partnered with numerous publications and libraries to digitize a vast collection of newspaper articles. This news archive search engine offers a user-friendly interface allowing easy searching and browsing through historical papers.

Google News Archive allows users to browse results according to search terms, date ranges, source publications, and language, among other options.

Chronicling America

This initiative by the Library of Congress has a comprehensive collection of newspapers from the United States. It offers advanced search options, filters, and high-quality digitized images.

In addition to newspapers, Chronicling America has related resources such as directory listings, essays, and bibliographic information. These supplementary materials can enhance the research process and provide contextual background for a deeper understanding of the newspapers’ historical significance. has an extensive collection of old newspapers worldwide, making it a comprehensive free resource for researchers with diverse interests. While Chronicling America focuses specifically on U.S. newspapers, offers a broader global scope.

The website also offers features like proximity search, wildcard search, and boolean operators, which can benefit more targeted historical research.


Are you looking for a specific publication in Australia? Trove is an online archive provided by the National Library of Australia with a user–friendly interface. You can search millions of individual titles using advanced features that narrow your results.

Because Trove is community-driven, users can contribute and correct metadata, transcribe newspaper pages, correct links, and add annotations, among other things.


Elephind is a helpful tool for finding old newspapers, allowing you to search over 3.8 million free online newspaper collections simultaneously. It provides a convenient way to view a wide range of sources and can be particularly helpful if you conduct research across different regions or countries.

One of the advantages of Elephind is that it saves you time and effort by eliminating the need to search for a specific newspaper individually. Instead, you can perform a single search query and receive results from multiple sources in one place.

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National & Regional Archives

Regarding national and regional archives for finding old newspapers, several notable institutions stand out for their comprehensive collections and resources. Here are some of the best regional and national libraries renowned for their historical newspaper archives.

Library Of Congress

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., houses one of the largest collections of old newspapers in the United States. Its newspaper collection spans several centuries and covers a wide range of topics. Before your visit, you can request advance assistance from a librarian through their official site.

Then, visitors can explore one of many research centers. The General Collections Center hosts a main reading room, law library, and newspaper/current periodical section. Its International Collections Center has documents in over 470 languages.

National Archives & Records Administration (NARA)

NARA holds a significant collection of old newspapers as part of its archival holdings. While its focus is primarily on official publications, it also includes newspapers that document important events in American history. Researchers can find articles and old newspapers through NARA’s research facilities or their online catalog.

If you’re new to archival research, NARA provides a comprehensive overview for determining your topic of interest and gathering the appropriate information. It also has a wealth of online research tools and aids, including a newspaper archives catalog, microfilm catalog, history hub, access to archival databases (AAD), and the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC).

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library (NYPL) has an extensive collection of newspapers, particularly those associated with New York City and the surrounding region. The Milstein Division of United States History, Local History, and Genealogy at NYPL offers access to many newspapers, including digitized collections.

The NYPL’s newspaper archives, magazines, and manuscripts have 11,390 collections, over 1.3 million described components, and over 730,000 digitized pages, among other things.

State Libraries & Historical Societies

Many state libraries and historical societies have robust collections and programs if you’re looking for local newspapers.

University Libraries

You’ll be surprised by what you can find in a university library, especially if they host special history programs. Renowned university libraries with notable newspaper collections include the Harvard University Library, the University of California Libraries, and the University of Michigan Library.


Subscription-Based Services

Do you need regular access to old newspapers for ongoing research? These subscription-based services might be helpful for you.


GenealogyBank specializes in historical and genealogical research and provides many old newspapers. It offers over 15,000 historical newspapers and 260+ million obituaries. You can find obituaries and newspapers published as far back as 1690.

Subscription cost: $19.95/month or $99.00/year

ProQuest Historical Newspapers

ProQuest is a well-known provider of academic and historical databases. They offer a comprehensive collection of digitized newspapers through their Historical Newspapers database. This website has over 60 premier newspaper titles and over 52 million digitized pages.

Its impressive collection has U.S., Canadian, international, Black historical, Jewish-American, and African American newspapers.

Subscription cost: $20 for the 10 U.S. major and regional newspapers


Fold3 focuses on military records and historical documents, including newspapers. It covers various periods, including the following:

  • U.S. Revolutionary War
  • Spanish-American War
  • U.S. Civil War
  • World War I and II
  • Korean War
  • Vietnam War
  • French Revolution
  • Napoleonic Wars

Users can search according to names, places, dates, and service numbers.

Subscription cost: $7.95/month or $79.95/year

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The Bottom Line

Digital solutions and the internet have made accessing and exploring old newspapers online easier than ever. Whether you’re wondering, “Where can I read old newspapers online?” a researcher, historian, genealogist, or simply curious about the past, numerous subscription-based services and free access sources can cater to your needs.

These online platforms and databases have revolutionized how we find and engage with old newspapers. The availability of digitized collections has democratized historical research, enabling users worldwide to uncover fascinating stories and gain insights into the social, political, and cultural contexts of bygone eras.