Thursday, August 23, 2012

Historic Newspaper Research Available Via Google News

It has been brought to my attention that Google News offers images of historic newspapers though their News Archive Search.  The "About" section offers the following information:

About News Archive Search

"News Archive Search provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. Users can search for events, people or ideas and see how they have been described over time.
Search results include content from a number of sources, including both partner content digitized by Google through our News Archives Partner Program and online archival materials that we've crawled. Search results can include content that is freely accessible as well as content that requires a fee. You can either browse through the full collection of papers scanned or use Advanced News Search to specify the date range in which you'd like to search the archives."
The closest newspapers in proximity to Poplar Bluff that I could locate are three published in Cape Girardeau:
  • The Daily Republican (1,169 issues covering April 1, 1908 - February 28, 1918)
  • Cape Girardeau Bulletin (232 issues covering December 28, 1967 - Oct 14, 1976) 
  • Southeast Missourian (22,937 issues covering November 17, 1901 - December 31, 2007) This paper is still in production and issues since September 2001 are available on their website.

The oldest newspaper I've managed to locate so far has been an issue of the St. John's Gazette from September 12, 1788!  Another paper I browsed, The Centinel dated November 27, 1805, provides contemporary reports of the state of affairs in France regarding Napoleon Bonaparte.

Resources such as these will provide you with day-to-day historical context (locally and globally) in which to place your ancestor's life.

Happy reading and good luck with your research!

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