How do I search for articles on historical newspaper databases?


Hi, my name is Alex, and in this tutorial
I’m going to walk you through some of the basics of searching for articles on historical
newspaper databases. In doing so, I’ll also show you how to search
one specific database – Proquest Historical Newspapers ProQuest Historical includes full-text access
to some of the largest, most well-known papers in the country – including the Wall Street
Journal and The New York Times. At this point, it’s important to point out
a few tips for searching on historical newspaper databases. First, you’ll almost always want to control
the publication date on your searches. On ProQuest Historical Newspapers, you can
choose anything from all dates to a specific date range. Second, you always want to be mindful of the
terminology that you use when searching If you’re doing historical newspaper research
you’ll want to make sure that you’re using the terms and terminology that newspaper writers
and editors would have been using during the historical period that you’re researching. In this day and age, no one really uses the
term “reds” anymore, but in the 1950s at the height of the cold war it was a fairly
commonly used term and therefore a potentially viable search term. To put all this into practice, let’s say
that I need to do some historical research about “the first boer war.” To put all this into practice, let’s say
that I need to do some historical research about “the first boer war.” A quick Google search will tell you that the
conflict occurred roughly between December 16 1880 and March 23 1881, so that gives us
a good starting point on ProQuest. Your Google search will also tell you that
the conflict had several names like the Transvaal war and the Transvaal Rebellion, which gives
us some search terms to use later. And here’s an example of where our terminology
matters. A search for “first boer war” with our
date range brings back no results…because no one called it that while it was going on. Instead let’s try searching for something
like Boer OR Transvaal and rebellion OR war. The OR just makes our search look for any
one of these terms combined with any one of these terms. So we could find articles that mention Boer
and rebellion and we’ll find articles that mention Transvaal and war Before we go, there are more advanced options. For example, I could experiment with the search
filters. The default is anywhere – basically it’s
looking for these terms in the title, the full-text, everywhere. If you’re getting too many search results,
you could try to search for title only. You can also limit your search to a specific
type of article. For example, you could look for an editorial,
a front page article, or even a letter to the editor. And here are the search results. If we choose an article…. you can view it
here, email it to yourself, generate a citation, or download the article as a PDF. And that’s all for this tutorial. Hopefully you learned the basics of searching
on a historical newspaper database, and if you have any questions just ask a librarian.

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