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American Studies

This guide provides general resources for starting research in American Studies.

Search Techniques for Magazines and Newspapers

This guide lists digitized, full-text searchable databases for newspapers and magazines, with a focus on databases that have historical (e.g. 20th century and earlier) coverage. In order to search in these databases, you should use terms that would have been in wide use at the time of the writing of the article, even if those terms or words would not be in use currently. Build these lists of keywords from your reference sources, secondary sources and from other primary sources. 

We have access to many more newspapers and magazines than are included in the databases listed on this guide. To search for a specific newspaper or magazine, for publications from a certain city, or for a specific article, use CLIO:

  • To search for a newspaper or magazine, search in the Catalog. You can search first in E-Journal Titles to see if we have digital coverage of the journal during the years you are looking for; if not, broaden your search to the Catalog as we may have it in print or on microfilm. Narrow your format to Newspaper or Journal/Periodical to hone in on the correct title and keep in mind that there may be many publications with the same name--look to place of publication or the full catalog description to determine if it is the right one. Click on the catalog record; the box on the right will have information about what years we have and in which format/from which databases.
  • To find newspapers from a certain city, search in the Catalog, narrowing the format to Newspaper first (you can do this with other formats such as Journal/Periodical, but since we have access to so many more scholarly journals than popular magazines, you may not find the type of periodical you're after). Then select Publication Place in the search bar and enter the name of the town or city, adding quotes for place names with more than one word, e.g. "Los Angeles". This is not a fool-proof method, and you may try similar searches in WorldCat to find many more publications.
  • To search for a specific article (for which you have a citation, ideally with the publication and date), try searching first in the Articles tab, making sure to unselect the pre-applied "Not Content Type: Newspaper Article." If the article is not returned, follow the above instructions to search for the name of the newspaper or magazine in the Catalog. If you do not find it, or if we do not have coverage for the date on which the article appeared, you can put in an ILL request for the article. Try to include as much information on the request as you can, and know that this approach will take some time. Another approach is to see if NYPL or NYU has coverage for the newspaper or magazine and go to a branch or to NYU to use it (Barnard and Columbia students have reciprocal on-site access to NYU Libraries).‚Äč

Selected Newspaper, Magazine, and Other News Media Databases

Many of the databases noted in the Primary Sources and Articles pages of this guide also contain digitized newspapers and magazines. Those databases are not repeated here--definitely check those lists out if there is a subject area or time period not covered in these databases.