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Question About Newspaper Archives

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I’m not sure where I should post this, but I thought I’d try here. I’m writing my first historical fiction book and have a research question. Does anyone know how I can view newspaper archives online (preferably free)? I’m specifically looking for San Francisco Chronicle archives in the 1930s-1940s. Thanks for any advice.
#1 - October 18, 2011, 10:23 PM

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You can usually pay for back issues, but free is tougher for some of that stuff....UNLESS you belong to a library that has a subscription to those years of the paper. A library in San Fran may have the microfiche of them for free use if they don't have a subscription to the digital collection.
#2 - October 19, 2011, 04:28 AM
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Unfortunately, I think unless someone else here researched with this exact newspaper you're going to have to check with the Chronicle itself. It's just, every newspaper is different because there was no standard for storing archives. I've worked for two newspapers (although both smaller than the Chronicle so it might be very different), and we did not have archives available online that dated back before the 1990s. It just wasn't stored that way. (And those archives were not free -- you can search online and read the headline and first few sentences but anymore and you have to pay.) The older archives were, for the smaller of the two papers, bound and stored at the paper, and, for the bigger of the two newspapers, available at the university library on microfiche. There wasn't a charge for either of those methods. But, like I said, the Chronicle may be a different beast.

Honestly, I'd just call the main number for the Chronicle and tell them what you're looking for and I'm sure they'd be happy to help.
#3 - October 19, 2011, 07:35 AM


Depending on the size of the paper, there might be microfilm copies in a lot of college and university archives in the region or even up and down the coast. When I attended a big urban U, there were LOTS of newspaper archives, some going back to the 1800s. Very cool just to sit down and read.
#4 - October 19, 2011, 07:54 AM


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