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Archives - Newspapers - Researching Newspapers

To obtain the best results, request the newspaper nearest the area where the event took place. Early newspapers usually contain information on an area within a fifteen to thirty mile radius, which was normally considered the trading area of a community.

Many newspapers were established to capitalize on homesteading notices. Once the area was settled, publishers relocated and another nearby newspaper placed correspondents in the community to report the news. Researchers need to identify the publishing order of newspapers which served a community.

In many communities it was up to family members to report to newspapers births, deaths or marriages. Prior to the 1950's, newspapers seldom contained specific sections devoted to births, deaths or marriages. The researcher needs to explore every part of the newspaper in order to locate such items. The local newspaper may provide insight into the life of a community and it's members.

Sources in the State Archives that may be helpful in locating dates, events and places include the newspaper abstract files, county and local history books, census records, and cemetery lists.

The Researcher Should:

  • Establish a precise date and location of the event through other sources;
  • Inspect the newspaper inventory for name changes, suspension of publication, or change in location of publication;
  • Furnish the microfilm roll numbers or provide the location and date of the event;
  • Record the newspaper title, roll number, date, page number and article title and column if a microprint (reader-printer copy) is desired.

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