Newspapers magazines as historical sources
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Newspapers & Magazines as Historical Sources. What is a primary source?. Why are newspapers and magazines primary sources? What do they tell you? . They …. Public concerns Current events Local, national, international Technologies Advertisements Vocabulary – language of the time

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They …

  • Public concerns

  • Current events

  • Local, national, international

  • Technologies

  • Advertisements

  • Vocabulary – language of the time

  • Cartoons – some still published today; more political cartoons

  • Little focus on celebrities, social values

  • Provide “current” info

  • Show how events of the past were reported when the events occurred.


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Major newspapers

  • Los Angeles Times, 1886 – present

  • New York Times, 1857 – present

  • Washington Post, 1877 – present

  • San Francisco Chronicle, 1865 – present

  • Seattle Times, 1895 – present

  • Seattle Post Intelligencer, 1888 – present

  • Times (of London), 1788 – present


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Alternative, ethnic, minority, underground, & special audience newspapers

  • Berkeley Barb

  • Chicago Defender

  • The Great Speckled Bird – Atlanta

  • Helix - Seattle

  • International Examiner - Seattle

  • Notes on Pot - Dallas

  • The Rebel - Montreal


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Some magazines audience newspapers

  • Architectural Digest – LA, 1925 to present

  • Life – Chicago & NY, 1883 to present

  • Nation – NY, 1865 to present

  • Newsweek – LA, 1933 to present

  • Time – NY, 1923 to present

  • TV Guide – PA, 1953 to present

  • Variety – NY, 1905 to present


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How do newspapers & magazines differ? audience newspapers

Newspapers …

  • Journalists

  • Daily

  • Just the facts

  • More local

  • Quotes

  • Higher circulation, less expensive

  • High school level readership

  • More disposable

    Magazines …

  • Journalists, often experts or national figures

  • Weekly or monthly

  • More detail, analysis

  • More general focus, more national

  • Interviews

  • Subject specific/trade magazines

  • May require knowledge of the subject

  • Glossy, larger photos


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Newspaper indexing audience newspapers

  • Historically inadequate

    • Why?

    • Newspapers have a bad rap

    • Difficult – too much content

  • Little profit, but this is changing…

  • Many of the major newspapers are indexed. The key is finding the index.


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Finding the right index audience newspapers

There are many indexes available in the UW Libraries. Which one to use? That depends on …

  • the time period for which you want information

  • which publication(s) you want to use

  • place of publication: domestic or foreign? state? city?

  • language: English? other?

  • scope: general? alternative? ethnic?

  • may depend on full text availability


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Where are the indexes? audience newspapers

  • On the UW Libraries Web site

    • Resources by Subject - News

    • Resources – Electronic Newspapers

    • Microform & Newspaper Collections Web site

      • Finding News Articles

      • Searchable Guide to Newspaper Indexes

  • On a shelf (in print) or in a cabinet (on microform) in the library

  • Ask a librarian!


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What if there isn’t an index? audience newspapers

If there isn’t an index for the time period that you’re researching or for the publication that you need:

  • Use the NYT, Times, or Readers’ Guide indexes available online through the UW Libraries Web site.


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What if there isn’t an index? audience newspapers

  • Use bibliographies in books, encyclopedias, magazine & journal articles, and on the Web.


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What if there isn’t an index? audience newspapers

  • Browse through a week or two of the newspaper or magazine (print or microfilm or online)


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Finding newspapers & magazines in the library audience newspapers

If the database doesn’t provide full text or a library location:

  • Use the UW Libraries Catalog

  • Choose the journal subset

  • Do a title search for the title of the newspaper or magazine. Don’t search by the title of the article!