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How can I find what I’m looking for?

You’re ready to start searching, but you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, this helpful guide will highlight three useful search tools with more specific instructions available in each section. You will also find a few tips and tricks that can be handy in improving your search results.

First, the Advanced Search feature will allow you to search for key terms and names within certain timeframes or dates. You can also apply more filters to make your search more specific, too. To read additional instructions regarding this tool, click here.

Browse Tool

Secondly, our Browse feature will allow you to check for specific newspapers with a geographic filter. Browse allows you to check what newspaper content we have for a specific town, city, state, and even country. To read additional instructions regarding this tool, click here.

Publications Tool

If you’re looking for a certain newspaper, our Publications feature will allow you to search for a title directly. To read additional instructions regarding this tool, click here.

How Can I Improve My Search Results?

That’s a great question! Locating content in old newspapers can be challenging but really rewarding when you find something. There are quite a few ways to improve your chances of finding relevant articles at You can also read a blog post here on how to increase your results by as much as 20%.

Check for Availability

Start your search by checking to see what newspaper content is available for the geographic area and date range you’re searching for. Nothing is more frustrating than searching for an article you know was printed, but our collection does not have the particular newspaper for the specific date that you’re requesting. To lessen your frustration, use our Browse and Publications features to check the availability of newspapers for specific locations and date ranges before setting out on your search.

Review your Search Filters

When performing a search, ensure that you are trying out different combinations of search filters. Results can vary depending on key terms and different filters. For example, it can be helpful to move relative and supporting terms from our “With All of the Words” filter to our “With at Least One of These Words” filter and then add additional adjectives that are similar in nature (die, died, passed, perished, etc.). This trick can allow you to get results that may have not have been returned in your original filters.

Loosen Your Search Filters

If you are having trouble returning search results for a particular city or town, try opening up your search to a wider demographic, such as state, province, or territory. Sometimes, certain newspapers that were available in different towns are organized under the town they were published in, and you may miss those results if your filters are too specific. This can also apply to dates. Changing your date filters by a year or two can be helpful in finding related articles and more when you’re struggling to find results.