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Primary Sources: Newspapers as Primary Sources

This guide aims to help you identify common types of primary sources in the University Libraries’ collections and those that are freely available on the Internet. It doesn't cover finding source material in other museums, libraries or other collections

Online Newspapers

Newspapers in the Libraries

Newspapers in the University Libraries’ collection may be housed in:Govt. Information, Microforms and Newspapers (level 5 in Thomas Cooper Library)South Caroliniana Libraryonline in Lexis Nexis Academic Universe, New York Times, The State or other databases.

To learn all the newspapers or newspaper indexes the library has online, go to the Electronic Resources page, select All Subjects and then in step 2 check Newspapers, then "View Sources."

A list of the historical newspaper collections kept in Government Information, Microforms and Newspaper Department, including Early American Newspapers and Early English Newspapers, can be found at

Search the library catalog with a subject search using the place of publication (city or county) followed by the subdivision newspapers. State names will be abbreviated (with two word state names separated by a space).


Richmond VA newspapers      Boston Mass newspapers      Charleston S C newspapers

Consult the book South Carolina Newspapers. It lists newspapers in libraries in South Carolina.


Finding Articles from Newspapers: Indexes

Most newspapers, especially for older years, do not have an index.

Try a subject search using the newspaper’s title.

state columbia s c- -indexes
times london
monde- -indexes

Newspapers with a Particular Viewpoint

Do you need to know the viewpoint of a newspaper or find one with a particular editorial stance? Consult a guide, directory, or find a book on the history of newspapers.

Try an advanced keyword search newspapers bibliography

Enter a subject search on appropriate headings such as American newspapers, African American newspapers and scan the various subdivisions. A book on the history or some directories might be useful.

For South Carolina newspapers, John Hammond Moore’s guide, South Carolina Newspapers indicates if the paper was independent, Democrat, black publication, etc.

Subject Guide

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Reference Desk Thomas Cooper Library
Thomas Cooper Library
Subjects:Special Topics