American Gazettes: Newspapers of Record
An America’s Historical Newspapers Collection
America’s Historical Newspapers is a fabulous tool for research...and it will also be rewarding for…teachers and students who want to use old newspapers as part of their study of the American story.
Bruce Chadwick, Professor of History, Rutgers University in Journal of American History

Quick Facts

  • Unique primary sources offer official facts, figures, legal decisions, pronouncements and news
  • More than 100 essential newspapers from 35 states, published between 1796 and 1884
  • Balanced geographic coverage including many Midwestern, Southern and Western states

Overview

In this unique collection of titles required to publish official announcements and documents, American Gazettes: Newspapers of Record offers a wealth of local facts, figures, legal decisions, and pronouncements, as well as wide-ranging coverage of regional and national events.

Illuminating records for posterity
The collection provides more than 100 gazettes, or “newspapers of record,” all of which complied with prevalent town and city government requirements in the 18th and 19th centuries to publish official information. Their pages were rich with vital coverage of meetings, legal actions, notices, laws and the like. The intention was to give the community an opportunity to read these important documents and to better inform public action or comments. Over time, the gazettes evolved to refer to papers widely considered authoritative less by virtue of legal authority than through influence earned from journalistic quality and accuracy.

Nationwide geographic distribution across the 19th century
The collection spans the nation with gazettes published in 35 states between 1796 and 1884. Coverage is provided from all regions, including strong representation from the Midwest (Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc.), South (Louisiana, Texas, etc.) and West (California, Hawaii, etc.). Major subject areas covered in the gazettes range from political history, slavery and abolition to legal history, ethnicity and immigration. Students and scholars will find a trove of illuminating information. Even papers with short runs offer abundant value, recording critical moments in America’s past.

Key titles include the Daily Globe (Washington, DC), Polynesian (Honolulu, HI), Chicago Daily Republican (Chicago, IL), Bangor Courier (Bangor, ME), Natchez Daily Courier (Natchez, MS), Daily Argus (Fargo, ND), Daily Telegraph (Jersey City, NJ), Morning Oregonian (Portland, OR), Milwaukee Daily News (Milwaukee, WI), Nacodoches Chronicle (Nacodoches, TX), and many more.

Other subject-specific newspaper collections
American Gazettes: Newspapers of Record is part of a new group of collections designed to meet targeted teaching and research needs. The other subject-specific collections include American Business: Agricultural Newspapers, American Business: Mercantile Newspapers, American Politics: Campaign Newspapers, and American Religion: Denominational Newspapers.

Reviews

“The term gazette was first used to refer to a government publication that provided official notice of legal or other official actions and announcements and appeared weekly or monthly. Private publishers used it in the titles of their publications to indicate that it contained small pieces of information, briefer than what one usually found in traditional newspapers. They also expanded the scope of their gazettes to include a wide variety of information, such as business advertisements or ship arrivals and departures. Researchers can readily make good use of this detailed historical or genealogical information…This collection covers more than 100 publications from 35 states. Small towns are represented along with large cities.”
— D. K. Blewett, College of DuPage in Choice (November 2017)

American Gazettes: Newspapers of Record will open new horizons for researchers, as it makes this rare primary source material available to much larger audiences. It will foster new interpretations of life and events. It will also be of great value for genealogists, cultural historians and scholars in a wide variety of academic disciplines, including American studies, history, journalism, political science and religion.”
— Norman Desmarais, Professor Emeritus, Providence College, in Reference Reviews (2017)

“Details over 100 titles from 35 states released between 1796 and 1884, concentrating on newspapers that were required to announce official information from town and city governments.  These papers list materials such as laws, notices, legal actions, and coverage of meetings….highly recommended for academic libraries seeking to expand their primary source coverage in history…”
Library Journal, reviewing subject-specific collections of America’s Historical Newspapers (June 2016)

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