Early American Newspapers, 1690-1922: By Series
An essential record of America across three centuries
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The Readex digital Early American Newspapers will revolutionize the way American history is taught and studied....The possibilities boggle the mind.
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Edward G. Gray, Associate Professor of History, Florida State University

Quick Facts

  • The single most comprehensive and authoritative online source of early American newspapers 
  • Chronicles the evolution of American history, culture and daily life from 1690 to 1922
  • Nearly 2,000 historical newspapers from all 50 states provide an unparalleled record of the people, issues and events that shaped America

Overview

Early American newspapers, often printed by small-town printers, documented the daily life of hundreds of diverse American communities, supported different political parties and recorded both majority and minority views. This growing digital collection of early American newspapers is the most extensive resource of its kind. With nearly 2,000 titles from all 50 states, Early American Newspapers provides an unparalleled record of the topics, people, issues and events that have shaped America for nearly three centuries. 

In Early American Newspapers, users can limit searches to items that fall into such categories as news and opinion, election returns, letters, poetry, legislative information, prices, advertisements, matrimony notices and death notices. An integrated interface allows researchers to cross search all of these series, as well as easily view, magnify, print and save digital images of articles and pages. Advanced search capabilities allow users to search by date, place of publication or article type; browse individual titles and more. 

More than 90 sources and superior bibliographic control
Early American Newspapers has been created through partnerships with the American Antiquarian Society, the Library of Congress, the Wisconsin Historical Society and more than 90 other institutions. Numerous other institutions and historical societies have contributed to the digital collection, including the Boston Athenaeum, the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut State Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the libraries of universities such as Brown and Harvard and private collections. This joint effort has led to the creation of a historical newspaper collection of unparalleled breadth and depth. A distinguished academic advisory board supervises the title selection process, considering the historical significance of each newspaper and the diverse political positions of the period. 

Early American Newspapers, Series 1, 1690-1876

Providing unprecedented access to the nation’s early periods, Series 1 enables researchers to explore essential newspapers from 23 states and the District of Columbia. Series 1 offers 350,000 fully searchable issues from over 710 historical American titles. Focusing largely on the 18th and early 19th centuries, this online collection is based on Clarence S. Brigham’s “History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820” and other authoritative bibliographies. The core of the Readex digital collection consists of American Antiquarian Society (AAS) founder Isaiah Thomas’ own collection of colonial and early national period newspapers and is supplemented by issues added by Thomas’ successors at the AAS.

Early American Newspapers, Series 2, 1758-1900

Series 2 offers several hundred thousand fully searchable issues from more than 250 significant 18th- and 19th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. Series 2 focuses on the period between 1820 and 1860, when the number of American newspapers rose dramatically. In the first half of the 19th century, the number of American newspapers increased from less than 200 to more than 3,000. During this time period, westward expansion and the penny press helped create thousands of local newspapers, and daily editions replaced many weeklies. In addition, the format of newspapers was transformed by an increasing emphasis on society, industry, scientific advances, investigative journalism and stories of human interest.

Early American Newspapers, Series 3, 1829-1922

Series 3 offers several hundred thousand fully searchable issues from more than 135 significant 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. The titles focus on the period between 1861 and 1900. Like Series 2, Series 3 provides in-depth coverage of the mid-19th century and the Civil War, but Series 3 also focuses on Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era and beyond. Between 1861 and 1900, the number and size of newspapers continued to grow rapidly, as the adoption of the telegraph and the prevalence of the Associated Press contributed to a second transformation of the newspaper industry in the 19th century.

 

Early American Newspapers, Series 4, 1756-1922

Series 4 offers several hundred thousand fully searchable issues from more than 140 significant 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. Many of the titles are of special historical significance, including The Liberator, William Lloyd Garrison’s powerful anti-slavery newspaper. Others include the Springfield Republican, known for its high literary quality, and  Gaceta de Texas, the first newspaper in Texas. In addition to titles that highlight important themes and eras in American history, Series 4 features regional weeklies and big-city dailies, including the New York Herald, Maryland Gazette, Boston Evening Transcript, Charleston Courier, Albuquerque Journal, Salt Lake Telegram, Philadelphia North American and many others.

Early American Newspapers, Series 5, 1777-1922

Series 5 offers several hundred thousand fully searchable issues from more than 140 significant 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. Many of the titles in Series 5 are of special historical significance, such as the famous anti-slavery newspaper, the North Star. Others include the Steamer Pacific News, a nationally popular publication that covered the Gold Rush; Hokubei Jiji (The North American), the first Japanese-language newspaper in the Pacific Northwest; Territorial Enterprise, one of Nevada's most important early newspapers; and Owyhee Avalanche, the first daily in Idaho. In addition to titles that highlight important themes and eras in American history, Series 5 features regional weeklies and big-city dailies, including the Texas Gazette, Boston Journal, New York Tribune, Daily Alaska Dispatch, St. Louis Republic, Cincinnati Daily Gazette, Milwaukee Sentinel and many others.

Early American Newspapers, Series 6, 1741-1922

Series 6 provides more than 160 significant 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. Series 6 includes many titles of singular importance, including the Detroit Plaindealer, Detroit’s first successful black newspaper; The Colored American, which provided detailed coverage of the Amistad revolt; Argus of Western America, an early Kentucky paper and a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson; and the Arkansas Gazette, one of the first papers west of the Mississippi. Series 6 also features substantial new runs of important titles found in earlier series but previously unavailable. These include the National Intelligencer, the leading newspaper of the capital; Massachusetts Spy, co-founded by Isaiah Thomas, one of the most successful and colorful journalists of the 18th century; Charleston Courier, predecessor to the oldest daily newspaper in the South; and The Enquirer, Richmond’s enormously influential weekly.

Early American Newspapers, Series 7, 1773-1922

Series 7 provides more than 160 significant 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century newspapers from all 50 present states. Series 7 includes many new titles of singular importance, including New Orleans' Picayune, established in 1837 and one of the South’s most prominent newspapers, and The Oregonian, founded in 1850 in Portland and still the state’s largest daily. Also included here are the Courier de la Louisiane, a bilingual Creole title; Frederick Douglass’ Paper, the successor to the influential North Star, the title that marked the beginning of a separate black press; California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, a pioneer of early natural history writing; Charleston Mercury, a strong supporter of slavery; Ohio Monitor, published in Columbus and one of the state's principal 19th-century newspapers; and the popular and entertaining Southern Illustrated News. Series 7 also features substantial new runs of important titles found in earlier series but previously unavailable. These include the National Aegis, a strong supporter of Jeffersonian Republicanism; New-Hampshire Gazette, one the nation’s oldest existing newspapers; and New York Evening Post, nationally famous under poet and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant.

Early American Newspapers, Series 8, 1844-1922

Series 8 includes new titles of singular importance, including the Baton Rouge Advocate and its predecessors, vital forces in Louisiana's capital city for more than 140 years; Charleston's News and Courier, one of the oldest daily newspapers in the South; prominent predecessors of today's Riverside Press-Enterprise, which chronicle California's explosive growth; and the Winston-Salem Journal, which became North Carolina's first illustrated newspaper. Also here are the Camden Democrat, one of New Jersey's most outspoken papers during this period; Cape Ann Advertiser, from one of New England's oldest ship-building and fishing centers; Washington, D.C.'s Daily Union, an unparalleled example of political influence in the press; and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, the most popular illustrated publication of its era.

Early American Newspapers, Series 9, 1832-1922

Series 9 includes major titles of singular importance, including The Boston Herald, one of America's top three papers in circulation in the 1870s; Bay City Times, which captures dramatic changes in Michigan as the automobile industry created a massive influx of immigrant workers and the American labor movement divided the state; and Marietta Journal, a key newspaper capturing the challenges facing the South at the turn of the century. Also here are the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the newspaper of record for the capital of Virginia; predecessors of the Rockford Register Star, one of the oldest and largest papers in Illinois; predecessors of the San Diego Union-Tribune, this city's longest-running and most important newspaper; and the Tampa Tribune, one of Florida's oldest and most significant publications.

Early American Newspapers, Series 10, 1730-1900

Featuring some of the earliest and rarest newspapers published in every American region, Early American Newspapers, Series 10, provides more than 440 titles from all 50 present states. Included are more than 60 18th-century newspapers providing fresh insight into the Colonial and Revolutionary War eras. Among these are especially early titles from such states as Florida, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio. The earliest 19tht-century newspapers in this new collection include more than 160 published before 1825, offering new material on Westward expansion, the Early National era and other major topics, Also here are more than 200 newspapers published between 1825 and 1900, including the first papers published in the newly formed states of Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota.

For more information, contact a Readex representative by calling 800.762.8182 or by using our easy contact form.