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North Dakota Newspaper Index

Our newspaper archives contain issues from Dakota Territory as early as 1864 and many from 1872 to the present. The North Dakota Newspaper Law of 1905 required official newspapers to provide two copies to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Newspaper titles may be searched using WorldCat or they may be found by clicking on the links below. The State Historical Society of North Dakota also has a small collection of newspapers from Minnesota and South Dakota which document aspects of North Dakota history. Frontier Scout, the first newspaper published in northern Dakota Territory, is available online.

Since 2011 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded four grants to the State Historical Society of North Dakota to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). To date the project has funded digitization of over 300,000 pages of newspapers from microfilm. The Library of Congress has made these newspapers available and word searchable on its Chronicling America website. The titles we have contributed so far are:

Badlands Cowboy. Medora, D.T. 1884-1886
Bismarck Daily Tribune. Bismarck, Dakota [N.D.], 1884-1916
Bismarck Tri-Weekly Tribune. Bismarck, D.T. [N.D.], 1877-1878
The Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, D.T. [N.D.], 1873-1875
Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, D.T. [N.D.], 1878-1884
The Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, N.D., 1916-1922
Bismarck Weekly Tribune. Bismarck, D.T. [N.D.], 1875-1878
Bismarck Weekly Tribune. 1884-1911
The Bottineau Courant. Bottineau, Bottineau County, N.D., 1895-1922
The Bottineau Pioneer. Bottineau, N.D., 1886-1895
The Bowbells Tribune. Bowbells, Ward Co., N.D., 1899-1922
Cavalier County Farmers Press. Langdon, N.D., 1920-1921
Cooperstown Courier. Cooperstown, Griggs Co., Dak. [N.D.], 1883-1884
The Cooperstown Courier. Cooperstown, Griggs Co., N.D., 1902-1906
Courier Democrat. Langdon, N.D., 1891-1920
Devils Lake Inter-Ocean and Devils Lake Free Press. Devils Lake, Ramsey County, N.D., 1905-1909
Devils Lake Inter-Ocean. Devils Lake, N.D., 1909-1914
Devils Lake Inter-Ocean. Devils Lake, Ramsey Co., Dakota [N.D.], 1884-1905
Devils Lake Weekly World. Devils Lake, N.D., 1911-1914
The Devils Lake World and Inter-Ocean. Devils Lake, N.D., 1915-1920
The Devils Lake World. Devils Lake, N.D., 1911-1911
Devils Lake World. Devils Lake, N.D., 1914-1915
The Devils Lake World. Devils Lake, N.D., 1920-1922
The Dickinson Press. Dickinson, Stark County, D.T. [i.e. N.D.], 1883-1917
Emmons County Record. Williamsport, D.T. [i.e. N.D.], 1884-1922
The Evening Times. Grand Forks, N.D., 1906-1914
Golden Valley Chronicle. Beach, Billings County, N.D., 1907-1916
Grand Forks Daily Herald and the Evening Times. Grand Forks, N.D., 1914-1914
Grand Forks Daily Herald. Grand Forks, N.D., 1914-1916
Grand Forks Herald. Grand Forks, N.D., 1916-1922
Griggs County Courier. Cooperstown, Griggs Co., Dak. [N.D.], 1885-1885
Griggs Courier. Cooperstown, Griggs Co., Dak. [N.D.], 1885-1902
The Hope Pioneer. Hope, N.D., 1883-1922
Jamestown Alert. Jamestown, Stutsman County, D.T. [N.D.], 1878-1882
Jamestown Weekly Alert. Jamestown, Stutsman County, D.T. [N.D.], 1882-1922
The Nonpartisan Leader. Fargo, N.D., 1915-1921
Oakes Republican. Oakes, N.D., 1898-1906
The Oakes Times. Oakes, N.D., 1906-1922
Oakes Weekly Republican. Oakes, Dickey County, D.T. [i.e. N.D.], 1888-1898
The Pioneer Express. Pembina, Dakota [N.D.], 1883-1922
Sioux County Pioneer. Fort Yates, Sioux County, N.D., 1914-1922
The Wahpeton Times. Wahpeton, Richland County, Dakota [N.D.], 1884-1919
The Ward County Independent. Minot, Ward County, N.D., 1903-1922
The Washburn Leader. Washburn, McLean County, N.D., 1890-1922
The Weekly Times-Record. Valley City, N.D., 1912-1922
Williston Graphic. Williston, Williams County, N.D., 1895-1919

In 1905, the Legislative Assembly enacted the North Dakota Newspaper Law, requiring official newspapers to send copies of every issue to the State Historical Society of North Dakota. In addition, the agency has attempted to collect as many earlier extant North Dakota newspapers as possible. This compilation of newspapers spans the period from early territorial days to the present.

Newspapers contain a great deal of information for the genealogist and the historical researcher. For genealogists, newspapers may include birth and marriage announcements and death notices and obituaries. Individual newspapers provide information concerning local events throughout the ancestor's lifetime, and state and national events that were instrumental in shaping lives.

Newspaper editorials permit the historical researcher to uncover the dynamics of an area. Information concerning the social and cultural history, economics, politics, and individualism of members of the community can be found. City and county commission minutes and other official records were printed in the newspaper. Advertisements provide information concerning businesses that were a part of the community. Biases in reporting and information in articles on historic events also can supply attitudes, etc.

Publishing History in North Dakota

The first newspaper known to have been published in northern Dakota Territory was the Frontier Scout issued at Fort Union on July 7, 1864. Nine years later, The Bismarck Tribune published its trial run on July 6, 1873. This was soon followed by the Fargo Express, The Grand Forks Plaindealer, and The Jamestown Alert. Within a period of ten years, 160 newspapers were distributed throughout Dakota Territory, and by 1910, more than 344 newspapers documented the hopes, dreams, and events of the developing state. The Brinton Newspaper Law of 1919 limited the number of newspapers publishing official notices. As a result, many newspapers were unable to survive on local community advertising. Other factors also entered into the demise of publications, and more than 200 newspapers ceased to circulate within a five-year period. Presently, fewer than 100 newspapers are published in North Dakota.

Looking for newspapers in other states? Check out United States Newspaper Program participants: National Endowment for the Humanities U.S. Newspaper Program

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