24 August 2008 by Published in: Research and Writing 10 comments

Last week, I unexpectedly received an e-mail from a fellow named Paul Stokstad. Mr. Stokstad was writing to invite me to join Newspaper Archive.com, his employer. Let me say thank you to Mr. Stokstad for the free membership, which was most unexpected, but gratefully accepted.

I’ve had a chance to noodle about the site a bit and to do a few searches. There are thousands of old newspapers digitized here, meaning that this is an incredibly useful research tool for anyone interested in researching historical newspapers, as I often am. There are lots of really obscure papers here that are not available anywhere else, meaning that I will be able to tap resources that I’ve never accessed previously. I have to admit, though, that I was genuinely shocked that there is not a single Philadelphia newspaper available in the database, which was really surprising. With all of the really obscure papers available, you’d think that the newspapers of a major city would be there, but there’s not a single one available.

The site is user-friendly, and it has a powerful search engine. This is a site where I expect to spend a LOT of time over the coming months, and I commend it to you.

Scridb filter


  1. PHW
    Sun 24th Aug 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Need to fix your link to the site…it has yours embedded in it and it comes up with an error.

  2. Sun 24th Aug 2008 at 7:31 pm



  3. Dave Powell
    Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 7:09 am

    I use Newspaper Archive sporadically – I will sign on for a month as I need stuff, rather than keep up a yearly membership. I find that I use it frequently for a month or so, and then wait for a while to see what new stuff they add.

    There are some odd coverage holes, like Philadelphia, or some of the date ranges they start with. I think they still need to add a lot more 61-65 newspapers before the site becomes standard for ACW users.

    Dave Powell

  4. Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 10:07 am

    The places where we tend to have gaps are typically in the big cities, since our coverage is largely small town America (as much as 90-95% in that category). in the 1961-1965 date range we have 6.35 million newspaper pages. So I wouldn’t necessarily despair of finding your relative in the mix. Even though we are just a another tool in the mix for the canny genealogist, we still think it is a bright shiny tool and useful in quite a few tight spots. Thanks for your comment, however We are always looking for/adding more content…

  5. Sean Dail
    Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 10:50 am

    It looks like wonderful tool – what must one do to qualify for the free membership that Eric received? 🙂

  6. Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 11:39 am

    Dear Sean.

    I guess it has something to do with being as good looking as Eric. As measured by receiving a unanimous vote of all our female employees. Or else being willing to write a number of deeply insightful articles that will appeal to our the audience of hard core genealogists and/or sports historians.

    Either one should be fine

    Best wishes,


  7. Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 11:47 am

    Okay, so I didn’t actually lie about our numbers in the ’61-’65 era, it’s just that I was off by a factor of a hundred, a hundred YEARS, that is…In guess a true genealogist would know that Dave Powell was talking about 1861-1865 in his post, and I though he meant 1961-1965. So, I need to eat those words and report that we are sporting just under 162,000 newspaper pages in the older time frame. So, yes, there are many gaps to be filled, and you might want to think of us as just another tool in the toolbox. A bright shiny one, we like to think, but I wouldn’t throw away the hammer and chisel.



  8. Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I’ve been a subscriber of NA.com for nearly 2 years now. I use it all the time for my research and a good number of the newspaper references in my new book, Lincoln’s Labels, as well as my forthcoming book on CW medicine, were drawn from my NA research. After I did a search for a friend whose parents were doing some family tree work, and found some great pieces, they became subscribers as well. I find that you have to be flexible with your word choices and the interface a bit clumsy, but the payoff is fantastic.

    Jim Schmidt

  9. Teej Smith
    Mon 25th Aug 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I’ve been a subscriber for almost 3 years now and I think Newspaper Archives is well worth the money.

    Teej Smith
    Pinehurst, NC

  10. Dave Powell
    Wed 27th Aug 2008 at 6:38 am


    I didn’t mean to imply that the site wasn’t useful – just that I always want more.:)

    I think what you guys are doing is a daunting task, to be much much applauded. For years, I have been xeroxing my own collection of ACW papers, drawm from microfilm, to the point where I have about a dozen binders of stuff and organization is becoming a problem.


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