How to Find Older Newspaper Articles Online Free

By Anni Martin

Save yourself a trip to the library and spare your eyes from looking at roll after roll of unindexed microfiche news articles to find information on your family, town or favorite historical figure. You can find many newspapers scanned and indexed for use over the Internet, and other newspapers are publishing their content directly to the Web where you can search and view it. Much of this content is free, but you will find some sites charge for access to certain content.

Chronicling America

Step 1

Direct your Web browser to Chronicling America website. This searchable database contains about 800 U.S. historic newspapers from 1836 through 1922. There are approximately five million pages you can search at no charge. This site is maintained by the Library of Congress in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Step 2

Enter your search terms in the Search field. Narrow your search by clicking the “All States” down-arrow and choosing a state. Click the “From” and “To” down-arrows to select specific years.

Step 3

Click “Go” and the page results appear in thumbnail form. Click on a page to see it in a larger format. Your search terms are highlighted. You can print, save or share the newspaper article. You can download the entire newspaper image or clip part of the image for downloading or printing.

Google News Archives

Step 1

Navigate to the Google News Archive website. This site contains a list of approximately a million pages from around 2,000 newspapers. The site lists the newspapers in alphabetical order with the available dates listed under each title. Google no longer updates these archives, but you can still use what is available.

Step 2

Type your search terms in the “Google News” field and click “Search Archive” for a general search. For a more specific search and to use a date range, go to Google’s Advanced News Search Web page and fill in the fields for your search terms. Specify the dates you are searching for or click on the “Date Added to Google News” and select “Archive.”

Step 3

Click on the articles links to see the article. To be sure you see only free articles, click the “Any Price” drop-down menu and select “Free Only.”

The Olden Times

Step 1

Direct your Web browser to the Olden Times website. This site contains scanned newspapers from 1788 to 1920 from the site owner’s personal collection.

Step 2

Click “Search” and type in your search terms and click “Find.”

Step 3

Click the links for the articles that interest you. You can see the article, but you cannot clip it or share it. The site contains a link to Ancestry.com's Historical Newspaper Collection and its more than 1,000 old newspapers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Even if you are not able to access a specific newspaper article itself online free, you can check with your local library to see if they have a copy. Many public libraries have a resource center that includes resources such as NewsBank or Newspaper Source. These newspaper databases are accessible online when you have a library card.