University of Wisconsin–Madison

What’s black and white and read all over? Newspapers – Online at the Law Library

The digital landscape is rapidly changing the way people read and locate newspaper articles.  Recently ProQuest and Google announced a new partnership that will place  millions of pages of newspaper content on the Internet.  While this promises to be an interesting development for all researchers, serious scholarship has always demanded access to archival newspapers.  Whether in electronic format or that classic microfilm reel, the libraries on the UW Madison campus offer extensive newspaper collections.   This article highlights the best resources for locating online newspapers; all of the databases profiled below are available using the electronic resources section on the Law Library’s web page.

With more than 700 titles offering national, international and local coverage,  ProQuest is the world’s largest digital newspaper archive.  This is one stop shopping for all your newspaper reading, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Milwaukee Journal / Sentinel.  The acclaimed ProQuest Historical Newspaper database provides PDF copies of articles in the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times from approximately 1851 to 2004.

Badgerlink is a collection of databases containing periodical titles and newspapers.  It includes the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and many Wisconsin newspapers as well as specialized business, medical, and education sources not available through regular Internet search engines.
Another reliable source for locating newspaper articles is Lexis / Nexis and Westlaw.  These vendors offer comprehensive American and foreign newspaper coverage, backed with the power of full text searching.

If you are looking for a specific newspaper title and do not know where to begin, try Find-It.   This stand alone research box (with its distinctive red and black logo ) is predominant on the Law Library’s web page and also pops up when searching MadCat.  Find-It helps you determine whether or not the campus libraries own a particular serial title.  It automatically sorts the MadCat holdings and provides a concise list of all available  formats with links to electronic copies. 

Be sure to contact the Reference Staff with any questions as you encounter when using electronic subscriptions.

Submitted by Cheryl O'Connor on September 25, 2008

This article appears in the categories: Law Library

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