Newspaper Articles: Indexes & Microfilm
Newspaper articles from major United States and international papers are widely available in electronic form. Many of these include backfiles dating to the 1970s or 1980s. HSU users can access searchable collections of electronic fulltext newspaper articles by clicking here.
To find older newspaper articles, printed indexes to individual papers are available. Only a few of the newspapers available at the HSU Library publish their own indexes. These not only locate articles within that single paper, but also pinpoint the date of an event so that you can search other newspapers and periodicals.
Major retrospective newspaper indexes at the HSU Library are located on the first floor at the beginning of the Reference Collection (ref AI 21). The Library no longer subscribes to any of these indexes, but they are still essential for access to older newspapers.
NEW YORK TIMES INDEX (1851-2001)
The oldest and most comprehensive of these newspaper indexes is the New York Times Index. It begins with a facsimile copy of the original handwritten index begun in September of 1851. By 2001 the indexes were issued twice a month to comprehensively cover the thousands of pages published annually by the New York Times. Since newspaper headlines are notoriously abbreviated, no attempt is made to index by the title of the article. Instead, the articles are indexed by subject and are summarized as in the following example:
New York Times Index 1990 Subject heading AIR POLLUTION. See also Cross reference Acid rain Entry statement Memo describing private strategy session states that Clean Air Working Group, coalition of 1,950 companies and trade associations, favors stalling early action on Senate clear air bill (M), Ja 4, A, 19:5
The New York Times Index does not repeat its title or year of the article. It is important to note the year, especially if you are using more than one issue of the New York Times Index. Section is always expressed as a Roman numeral, even when the newspaper uses a letter designation in the Monday-Friday issues (i.e., A = I, B = II, etc.). Entries of unusual interest are set in boldface type.
OTHER INDEXES: CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR (1949-1980), LOS ANGELES TIMES (1972-1984), SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (1976-1996), WALL STREET JOURNAL (1958-1996)
These indexes are similar because they have the same publisher. Until 1986 each index was divided into two parts: Personal Names Section and a Subject Section. Since 1986 or 1987, subjects and names have been interfiled together. The Wall Street Journal Index is arranged in two alphabetical sections: Corporate News and General News. In 1990 the index was taken over by the same publisher as the other newspapers and now has the same format, although it continues to be divided into Corporate and General News sections.
There are four additional microfiche indexes covering early years of various California newspapers as well as other sources of information about California history:
- San Francisco Chronicle 1950-1980, ref MC 1633 and ref AI21 S25 C35 1986 Guide
- San Francisco Newspapers Index 1904-1959, ref MC 1632 and ref AI25 S25 C36 1986 Guide
- California Information File 1846-1985, ref MC 1631 and ref F861 C246 1986 Guide; see also California Information File II
- Sutro Library Family History Catalog, ref MC 1630 and ref F861 C247 1986 Guide
ARCATA UNION AND TIMES-STANDARD
The Union, an Arcata-based weekly newspaper published from 1886 until absorbed by the Humboldt Beacon in 1995, covered events of local interest in Arcata, Blue Lake, McKinleyville, and outlying North Coast areas. An index was compiled by HSU Library staff and is located in a cabinet outside the Humboldt Room. The index coveres June 1977-September 1988. An index for the Times-Standard, with an emphasis on local issues was created at the Humboldt County Library, beginning with January 1989; it is now online through 2005. For coverage prior to January 1989, it is possible to use the Union as a guide.
NEWSPAPERS IN THE HSU LIBRARY
Current issues of print newspapers are located in the newspaper reading area on the second floor north. Older issues of some of the newspapers are in kept in microfilm, also on the second floor north. Search by title in the Library Catalog to locate newspapers we own. Search by call number "newspaper" to see a list of newspaper titles to which we currently subscribe. If you need help locating newspapers, or using the microfilm, ask in the Periodicals office. Here is a selected list of newspaper titles in the Library, arranged by beginning date of holdings. (For links to online versions of local newspapers, some with fulltext files, see Humboldt County News Online.)