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Primary Sources for Humanities and Social Sciences : Newspapers

Guide to locating primary sources, with an emphasis on online sources, in the UW-Madison Libraries' collections for research in the humanities and social sciences.

Library Catalog

Newspapers on Microfilm

Memorial Library has back issues of the New York Times, 1966-1992, and some international newspapers on microfilm. Microfilm is located in the Mircroforms/Media Collection (MMC) Reading Room (262 D/E in Memorial Library).

The Wisconsin Historical Society Library has the complete holdings of the New York Times on microfilm as well as other US newspapers on microfilm.

Wisconsin Historical Society Library Newspapers Collections

The Wisconsin Historical Society Library owns 11,740 bound volumes, 100,000 reels of microfilm, and 17,000 sheets of microprint spanning three centuries of American newspaper history. Particular strengths include Wisconsin newspapers, colonial and early American newspapers west of the Appalachians, and the largest collection of labor and trade union papers in the nation.

The Library's holdings of 1960s "underground" or alternative newspapers are also extensive. Other areas of the collection that have attained national importance are Native American and African-American newspapers. Among rarities in the newspaper collection are the first African-American and Native American newspapers and the first Bohemian, Dutch, Norwegian, and Spanish language newspapers published in the United States.

To discover if the library owns a particular title, search the Library Catalog. Also see the Library Catalog box on this page.

More information about the Newspaper Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library.


Newspapers are available online, in print, and on microfilm. This page focuses on historical editions of U.S. and international newspapers. Depending on the time period of interest, you may need to use other databases or sources which you can find in the Newspapers research guide.

Historical Newspapers Collections Online

Historical Newspapers Online

For the newspapers available through ProQuest Historical Newspapers collections listed below, digital reproductions of every page and every article from every issue are fully searchable and available in downloadable PDF files. The digitized newspapers include news stories, editorials, letters to the editor, obituaries, birth and marriage announcements, photos, and advertisements.